Manchester City and PSG are expected to be fined heavily for failing to meet financial fair play rules. City and PSG are said to be still strongly challenging the settlement offer from UEFA, are facing a fine in the region of £49million and a cap imposed for next season to ensure there is no rise on this season’s Champions League A squad wage bill.
The fine is a drop in the bucket to City’s and PSG’s owners so that will not concern them. What will though is the reduction in the size of the Champions League squad to 21 (from a maximum of 25).
City have also been told that they need to include eight locally-trained players in that 21-man squad, a bonus for the likes of Milner and Lescott and it could mean that City will be forced to retain them this summer instead of selling them.
The cap on the squad’s wage bill will also impact how City approaches this summer’s transfer window as they have to make sure that the wages of the new signings equal those of the players that are leaving. City have been rumored to be interested in a making a run at unsettled Barcelona star Lionel Messi this summer, but you have to wonder how they can add Messi’s €20m a year wages (net) without increasing their wage bill.
Both Manchester City and PSG are believed to have fallen foul of the FFP rules with sponsorship deals related to each clubs’ owners.
Abu Dhabi-owned City have a £40m-a-year deal with Etihad Airways, while Qatar-owned PSG have a backdated deal with the Qatar Tourist Authority worth up to €200m (£165m) a year.
The French newspaper L’Equipe has reported that Uefa has ruled the QTA deal should be valued at only half that sum.
The issue is what happens if neither side accept Uefa’s offer? If that doesn’t happen then both sides could technically face even stiffer sanctions from the CFCB’s adjudicatory panel. And if they disagree with those, then the Court of Arbitration will settle it.
But the bottom line is that the Champions of England and the Champions of France will be playing in the Champions League next season. Uefa, and especially Uefa president Michel Platini, are not going to throw them out of the competition, which is ultimately why the squad reductions could be the most severe of the sanctions as that will impact the quality of the team that both teams can put on the field.