I happen to think that there is more than a grain of truth to Zlatan Ibrahimovic comments that “jealous” rival European clubs put pressure on UEFA to use financial fair play to hold back Paris Saint-Germain.
Ibra helped set a new points total in Ligue 1 last season and they were just a late Demba Ba goal away from reaching the Champions League semifinals.
With their ambitious Qatari owners hoping to win the European title in the near future, PSG would have been expected to significantly reinforce their squad in the coming transfer window.
However, though the signing of David Luiz from Chelsea has already been agreed, PSG have been warned by UEFA they will not be able to make further significant additions to their squad without first reducing their wage bill in accordance with FFP regulations.
European football’s governing body has also limited PSG’s Champions League squad to 21 players, rather than the usual 25, and fined the French champions 60 million euros.
Speaking to media ahead of Sweden’s friendly with Denmark, Ibrahimovic declared that he believed rival European clubs were scared of PSG’s rise to prominence and were the driving force behind UEFA’s punitive measures.
“The other big clubs are afraid of this huge project, that’s why they use financial fair play to try to counter it. Some are perhaps jealous,” the Sweden captain, who will lead his nation in Copenhagen on Wednesday, stated.
“With the club, the value of the Champions League increases, the television rights increase. I hope that UEFA acknowledge that, because PSG works for UEFA. We work for French football, but also for European football.”
The traditional powers in Europe, Man United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are scared of the wealth that PSG, and Manchester City owners have. They can buy anybody that they want, and winning their domestic leagues this season, they once again make themselves attractive to too players.
Man City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak recently questioned Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules as they are injecting cash into the club and not burdening it with debt like Man United, and even Barca and Real Madrid have. Why is that viewed as worse under FFP than club’s whose debt load leaves them vulnerable to administration?