Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain won a major victory Tuesday when the world’s top sports court backed the French champions against European football’s governing body UEFA over club finances.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld PSG’s appeal against a UEFA decision to reopen a probe into the club’s compliance with Financial Fair Play regulations.
UEFA had originally cleared PSG of wrongdoing in June following an investigation triggered by PSG splashing out 400 million euros ($454 million) to buy Brazilian superstar Neymar and French phenomenon Kylian Mbappe.
“The appeal filed at the CAS on 3 October 2018 by Paris Saint-Germain against the decision issued on 19 September 2018 by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA (to reopen the case) is upheld and the challenged decision is set aside,” CAS said in a statement.
It added that the ruling was “final and binding”.
The probe was opened to determine whether PSG respected financial rules imposed by UEFA which broadly limit them to spending no more than they earn.
The club said in a statement it “took note of the favourable decision and intends to go ahead serenely with its development”.
The court ruled that the decision to reopen the case missed UEFA’s own deadline of 10 days to review its previous decision to drop the case.
“The challenged decision was untimely and must be annulled,” CAS ruled.
However, Qatari-owned PSG’s financial troubles are not yet over.
The French club’s sponsorship deals are under the microscope amid allegations of inflated income including from Qatar’s tourism authority.
The club has a financial hole of around 100 million euros and must present a balanced budget on June 30, according to multiple media reports.
To avoid UEFA sanctions in the future that could involve a fine or even exclusion from UEFA competitions, the club could be forced into selling a number of players to fill the financial deficit left by the purchase of Neymar and Mbappe.
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