It is a subject which is taking up more and more column inches as the real consequences of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules come into full effect. In an attempt to curb ever-increasing transfer fees and wages, teams now have to balance the books in order to play in UEFA Competitions now. Under the terms of the new rules, teams will not be able to spend more than the income they generate from the football side of their business – which includes gate receipts, TV deals and sponsorship. Some thought this may deter foreign investment into football clubs however it hasn’t, as can be seen with the latest Qatari investment into Paris Saint-Germain.
The team based in the French capital have been spending huge amounts of money over the past 15 months since the Parisien club were bought over, and some onlookers have watched to see what the club will do to curb the spending. Well this week they’ve announced the addition of a huge new sponsor according to the French newspaper L’Equipe. The contract lasts for many seasons and was signed prior to the 30th June cut-off date, meaning that PSG can present ‘balanced’ books despite having splurged out tens of millions on Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and more recently, Dutch international full-back Gregory van der Wiel.
The puzzling thing, or should I say troubling, is that nothing has been released publicly. It’s all generalities, ‘record partnership…for multiple season’. I would expect UEFA to ask for clarification and for more details on this new sponsorship.
This isn’t the first time that a major sponsorship has been announced to get around these new financial fair play rules. Manchester City posted a £123.3m loss in 2011 prior to the introduction of these Fair Play rules and then announced a 10-year undisclosed stadium renaming deal with Etihad Airways to help get rid of the footballing losses and therefore allow the English champions to continue playing in Europe’s premier competitions.