While the departures of Lionel Messi and Neymar grabbed headlines, PSG benefitted from sales of three players to Qatari clubs. The money coming back to the French club allowed PSG to retool its squad. However, the French champions now find themselves in legal trouble for some of these departures.
UEFA is planning to examine the PSG sales of players to Qatari clubs according to the French publication L’Equipe. The European soccer’s governing body will open a probe into the departures of Marco Verratti, Abdou Diallo and Julian Draxler.
PSG bagged more than $90m in three Qatari sales
The sales of Verratti and Diallo to Al-Arabi SC and Draxler to Al-Ahli netted Les Parisiens more than $70 million. On Monday, the Red-and-Blues confirmed they sold Julian Draxler to Al-Ahli in Qatar for a transfer price of $21 million.
The move of the German set off alarm bells at UEFA headquarters. He follows in the footsteps of Marco Verratti and Abdou Diallo in leaving PSG for a Qatari club. The transfer fees for Verratti and Diallo were $54 and $16 million, respectively.
What consequences could PSG face if found guilty?
Qatar Sports Investments, a subsidiary of Qatar’s wealth fund, owns the majority stake in PSG. Therefore, the relationship between the Qatari clubs and PSG has come under scrutiny. According to L’Equipe, UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) specialists may determine that a transfer in a club’s financial records included linked parties. Consequently, UEFA has the power to “freeze” the transaction.
If such is the case, the club may lose all of the funds they have received from these three deals, which might exacerbate its financial stability problems. Interestingly, the report notes that to avoid FFP fines, the French team sold to a Qatari club at the exact moment they required a sale this season.
L’Equipe also reports that the Ligue 1 champions are confident in their position since Qatar Sports Investments does not have a financial stake in either Al-Arabi SC or Al-Ahli. They also have argued that they were fairly compensated for the three players’ services.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Buzzi
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