“Scandalous”. “An insult to football”. It is with these particularly harsh words that Javier Tebas, the president of the Spanish Football League, commented on the transaction which allowed Paris Saint-Germain to keep Kylian Mbappé in its ranks until 2025. The Spanish leader does not s did not stop at these outraged statements and promised, through a press release, that the body would take legal action “with UEFA and the French financial and administrative authorities”.
What makes PSG tremble? Maître Julie Gliksman, a lawyer specializing in sports law, agreed to answer this question for Franceinfo: sport.
FranceInfo: sport: The Spanish league denounces the figures put forward to keep Mbappé even though PSG has suffered colossal losses in the last two seasons. What does the Parisian club risk by overriding the rule of financial fair play?
Julie Gliksman: If it is actually proven that the provisions of this contract contravene financial fair play, sanctions are provided for. They can be of principle, being summed up in a reprimand, “a slap on the wrist and we leave it there”, but also much more serious, financial or which can go as far as a ban on participating in competitions. The question that arises is whether these sanctions can be applied and applied knowing that, in the past, the actions have not succeeded [la Liga avait déjà menacé de saisir l’UEFA quand le PSG avait levé la clause de libération de Neymar au moment de son transfert du PSG au Barça en 2017]. In most cases, so far, these penalties have been limited to warnings.
In this panel of sanctions, which ones could PSG target?
JJ: What would seem to work in favor of Paris is the recent evolution of the rules aimed at framing financial fair play. If there is still a clear desire to ensure transparency in transactions, the trend is towards increasing deficits and the possibility offered to clubs of recovering their balance within the next three years. It would seem that we are heading towards a sort of American-style salary cap, with a ceiling on the payroll not to be exceeded. We will thus keep the rule of not spending more than what we earn, but this will be accompanied by increased tolerance and an increase in the legal duration to regularize our situation. All this legal context is therefore rather favorable to Paris.
Isn’t this a new stroke of the penknife in the effectiveness of financial fair play?
JJ: The figures put forward on the club’s huge losses are striking, but there are independent commissions which will examine the file and it is only on this basis that decisions can be taken. Financial fair play is something that makes sense, its rules are useful and they must be respected because it is essential to have control over the financing of clubs.
Should PSG take seriously the threat from La Liga when it claims that it will seize the French administrative and tax authorities?
JJ: Once again, if there is a complaint, that does not mean that there will be a sanction. These threats also come from the fact that there is an obvious frustration fueled by a recent past where complaints have not been successful. And even if UEFA could sanction Paris sportingly, we have seen in the past that the Court of Arbitration for Sport could rule on matters of financial fair play. We can therefore think that La Liga is brandishing this threat to seize the French authorities out of simple pride.