Europe’s biggest clubs are “jealous” of Paris Saint-Germain’s ability to pursue continental domination, according to French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet.
PSG signed Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record €222million last month and added Kylian Mbappe on an initial loan deal that is expected to see him become the second-most expensive player of all-time in a €180m move next year.
The Ligue 1 giants’ activity in the market has led to UEFA launching an investigation into potential breaches of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, which were alleged by LaLiga in an official letter to European football’s governing body.
Le Graet considers such complaints to be borne out of a concern at the continent’s elite clubs that their established hegemony is under threat from PSG, who are “very confident” of passing FFP tests.
“PSG have always honoured their commitments,” he told L’Equipe. “I don’t see them not respecting the rules in place in France. UEFA is worried. It wasn’t too worried by others at a moment in time, notably in LaLiga.
“I don’t see where PSG would have made a mistake. Financial Fair Play enables accounts to be cleaned up, but who other than clubs in small nations have been punished? Has UEFA touched Real [Madrid]? Barca? An English club?
“Depending on the country, clubs are taxed in different ways. There is also a bit of jealousy, I think. In the big boys’ playground, it’s a bit difficult for them to accept a little newcomer.”
Le Graet is looking forward to seeing Mbappe and Neymar joining forces at PSG, but confessed he prefers the more understated model of Bayern Munich.
“In sporting terms, you’d have to be stupid not to say, ‘Bravo.’ I’m happy to see Mbappe and Neymar in the same French team. If PSG have signed them, it’s not only to be champions of France. Otherwise, it would be money spent for nothing,” he said.
“PSG’s squad will enable them to be more ambitious in the Champions League. Now, it is true, PSG are moving forward with an economic model outside the norm, like Monaco, actually.
“We need a great PSG, but I prefer the Bayern Munich model, a solid club with the structure of a company.”
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