Paris Saint-Germain are confident they will comply with Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules despite European football’s governing body opening an investigation over the signing of Neymar this summer for a world record fee of €222 million and the extraordinary deal for Kylian Mbappe that could rise to €180m.
Reportedly PSG have been careful to keep UEFA fully informed as to how they structured both deals, particularly the complicated, protracted deadline-day agreement for Mbappe to sign from Monaco initially on a season-long loan.
The Mbappe deal almost collapsed at the 11th hour because negotiations between the two clubs were complex and dragged on. There was real fear that the move would not happen and Mbappe would stay at Monaco, who did not want him to go during this window but could not persuade him to sign a new contract.
After that the 18-year-old will be signed on a permanent four-year contract, until June 30 2022, for a minimum fee of €145m. In addition to that, there are various bonuses and add-ons that could amount to a further €35m being paid to Monaco over his contract.
PSG will pay part of the fee next season and then the following season but, interestingly, the deal will begin to be ‘amortized’ – written-down, or the cost spread, over the course of the contract – from this season. So the costs will be covered over five years and not four, it appears.
That is important from a Financial Fair Play perspective as it means that Mbappe will cost PSG €29m a year. Well within FFP restrictions.
PSG have also brought in €65m through player sales during this window. The sales include Serge Aurier to Tottenham for €25m, Blaise Matuidi to Juventus for €20m and Jean-Kevin Augustin to RB Leipzig for €13m.
At the same time some high-earners have also gone on loan, including Jese Rodriguez to Stoke City and Grzegorz Krychowiak to West Bromwich Albion.
Overall it means that PSG have saved more than €32m in salaries from moving on these players, although clearly that will be topped by the money they pay Neymar and Mbappe.
PSG will also be in the market to sell players when the January window opens, and next summer, to ensure that they comply with FFP, having fallen foul of the regulations in the past when they were fined €20m.
Uefa has warned that it still takes FFP seriously and PSG have taken that on board despite claims from the big Spanish clubs that they have run rough-shed over the rules, with the French club expressing incredulity the investigation had been launched.
“The club is surprised by this approach given that it has constantly kept the Uefa Financial Fair Play teams informed about the financial impact of all players’ operations carried out this summer, even though it wasn’t obliged to do so,” PSG said in a statement.
“The club is very confident in its ability to demonstrate that it will fully comply with FFP rules for the fiscal year 2017/18…”
Interestingly, and this is where PSG will face scrutiny given their Qatari ownership structure, the club is also re-negotiating contracts with a number of key sponsors to bring in yet more revenue. It will argue with justification that the signing of Neymar, in particular, and now Mbappe has hugely raised the profile and interest in the club and is attracting commercial partners.
That is already being born out in increased revenue through merchandising, in particular, with PSG shirts being sold out. The team’s third strip, a yellow kit, has been rushed out three weeks early to meet demand and the second kit is sold out. There has been a huge surge in demand for tickets and match-day income has gone up dramatically.