PARIS – A Barcelona member has filed complaints with a French court and the European Commission aimed at blocking Lionel Messi from moving to Paris St Germain, according to documents seen by Reuters on Monday.
In the complaints, shared by fan lawyer Juan Branco, the Barça member says French soccer authorities have failed to enforce the rules of financial fair play (FFP) to help PSG become a force in European soccer. .
Barcelona, like its main La Liga rival, Real Madrid, is wholly owned by its subscription-paying members known as “partners.”
FFP rules prohibit top European soccer clubs from paying their playing teams an excessive portion of their total revenue, according to complaints from members, who also claim the transfer of 34-year-old Argentine Messi to PSG it would violate the code.
The EU executive confirmed receipt of the complaint.
“The Commission is evaluating the complaint according to its standard procedures,” said a spokesman.
PSG and France’s professional soccer league LFP did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Sam Boor, a senior manager at Deloitte’s sports business group, told Reuters in April that Europe’s governing body for football, UEFA, has historically said that a salary-to-income ratio of 70% should be the upper limit that players must reach. clubs. But he added that several large clubs may exceed that figure and possibly even exceed 100% in the short term.
Any transfer of Messi from Barcelona to PSG would constitute a distortion of competition with other national leagues, the complaints say, and would be detrimental to Barcelona fans.
This distortion would affect competition in the football market within the European Union, according to the complaint filed with the EU executive body, and therefore constitutes illegal state aid.
The Commission can order EU governments to recover state aid if it is found to have given companies an unfair advantage.
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