UEFA to probe record €222m Neymar transfer

Author: ALEX LEACHFri, 2017-08-04 03:00ID: 1501794546802627300
LONDON: European football’s governing body UEFA confirmed it would probe Neymar’s proposed world record transfer from FC Barcelona to Qatari-backed Paris Saint-Germain to ensure it complied with Financial Fair Play rules.
English Premier League (EPL) managers Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger all voiced their concerns over the €222 million ($263 million) deal.
“Once a country owns a club, everything is possible. The number today involves a lot of passion, pride, public interest and you cannot rationalize that anymore. It’s beyond calculation,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Nevertheless, UEFA have pledged to look into Neymar’s transfer retrospectively and thereby establish whether Financial Fair Play rules have been breached.
“As part of the continuous monitoring of clubs under Financial Fair Play regulations, UEFA will look into the details of this transfer in due course to ensure PSG are compliant with FFP requirements,” said a spokesman.
“The transfer of Neymar to PSG will have an effect on the club finances over several years, but the impact of such an operation cannot be judged in advance, notably as PSG could well sell several players for a significant amount.
“We shall therefore only make calculations at the end and make sure that they respect the rules.”
Barcelona confirmed late on Thursday that Neymar’s lawyers had paid his buyout clause of €222 million.
The Catalan club still intend to keep UEFA fully abreast of developments though, with an official club statement insisting that they “will pass on to UEFA the details of the above operation so that they can determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case.”
Meanwhile, the astronomical fee could still be eclipsed according to a football finance expert.
The Brazilian striker’s highly lucrative move has sent shockwaves throughout world football and beyond, with the fee more than £100m above the prior benchmark set when France midfielder Paul Pogba left Juventus for Manchester United in a £89.3m switch last summer.
Qatar-backed PSG may not be the last of the big spenders either, with Dr. Raffaele Poli expecting the £200m barrier to eventually be broken as Europe’s top clubs attempt to prize away the likes of AS Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe and Tottenham Hotspur duo Dele Alli and Harry Kane.
“It will certainly happen again soon,” said Poli, who heads the CIES (Center International d’Etude du Sport) Football Observatory — a leading research group for the analysis of the transfer market and the performance of players.
“Only a few players can reach this value. It will mainly depend on their own will to change team, as with Neymar this summer.”
On Neymar’s transfer itself, Poli was not shocked by the seismic sum paid for his services as it matched their own calculations as to his actual value in the marketplace.
“I wasn’t surprised as we have developed an algorithm to estimate the transfer value of professional football players and our estimate for Neymar is very close to the figure paid. This means that Neymar was not overpriced,” he explained.
“This is a sport and a business decision. Neymar will allow PSG to pursue their quest of becoming a global football brand and, sportingly, he is among the three best strikers in the world.”
Poli also doesn’t expect PSG will face any repercussions from UEFA’s stringent Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
“I don’t think PSG will face any issue,” he added. “They will have surely studied the situation in detail before deciding to move ahead.”
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