The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Ligue 1 champ Paris Saint-Germain is in serious danger of running afoul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations due to its sponsorship agreement with the Qatar Tourism Authority. According to the report, Europe’s governing body for soccer has concerns about the club’s 200 million-euro ($275 million) per-year agreement with a company that is owned by the same company—the Qatari government—as PSG owner the Qatar Investment Authority.
However, the Telegraph report claims that the fact that both companies are state-owned-enterprises is not the main issue. Rather, questions are being raised as to whether the sponsorship agreement represents fair market value. The report notes that one reason the PSG tie-up is under scrutiny is the fact that English giant Manchester City, which has similarly wealthy backers from Abu Dhabi, has reported its sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways, another state-owned enterprise, as being worth 35 million pounds ($58 million) per year, which is far less per year than the PSG deal.
UEFA’s independent Club Financial Control Body will have to make a decision next month about whether the sponsorship deal breaks FFP rules, and if it does, PSG could be expelled from next season’s Champions League. Meanwhile, PSG refused to comment on the developments.