What Financial Fair Play rules? That seems to be the response that Paris Saint-Germain, AS Monaco and Manchester City are giving to the impending FFP regulations as all three sides continues to spend heavily in this transfer window.
On Thursday, Manchester City agreed to buy a Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic for £25.8 m and Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo for £20.6m, taking their summer spend to £100m. That is more than double anyone else in the Premier League.
But that is small change to what PSG and Monaco are spending across the channel in Ligue 1. PSG are expected to follow up the €64m signing of Uruguay international Edinson Cavani from Napoli earlier this week, with the signing of Roma defender Marquinhos for around €35m. Add in the €13.5m they just spent on left-back Lucas Digne on Thursday and the French champions are over the €110m mark already this season.
But both Man City’s and PSG’s spending os dwarfed by that of Monaco’s. Monaco are expected to sign Zenit Saint Petersburg forward Hulk this week for around €60m, bringing Monaco’s spending to close to €200m this summer.
The big question is how will these clubs manage to comply with Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules? Monaco will not be in Europe next season, due to the fact that they have just ben promoted. But with the likes of Hulk, Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho they should finish in the top three in Ligue 1 next season, and thus qualify for the Champions League in 2014/15.
But Manchester City and PSG are both in the Champions League and have spent heavily over the last year of so. Over the last three season’s PSG have spent over €300m on new players. And it is not just the transfer fees, which get amortized over the length of the contract that is the problem. It is the wages that PSG and City are paying.
According to the football financial site Swiss Ramble, PSG signings in 2011 and 2012 increased their wage bill by €151.2m a year! And the tax situation in France is not making it any easier. The new super tax, whereby all income above €1 million is taxed at 75%, means that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s €14m a net deal, actually cost the club close to €35m a year!
The situation is not any better at Eastlands where Manchester City’s wage bill in 2010/11 was over £200m and 114% of their revenue. In 2011/12 the situation had improved slightly as wages were only 87% of turnover.
These are unsustainable numbers by all three clubs, but does anyone really expect Platini to take action against two French sides and ban them from competing in the Champions League, especially when they might win it? Of course not.