Paris Saint-Germain’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has sent out a warning that is widely being interpreted as singling out FC Barcelona about the dangers of high debt and cash injections.
Without mentioning Barcelona by name, Al-Khelaifi said: “The rules serve to control costs and encourage investment. You have to be careful with dangerous levels of debt. Injecting capital magically is not a path that is sustainable. You have to think long term, not short term.”
Barcelona’s high debt has been frequently discussed, as well as the fact that they sold assets to bring in cash to buy players over the past summer.
Al-Khelaifi, who is also the president of the European Clubs Association, was responding to reports that UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules are to be changed over the next few years.
Of course, PSG itself has used big cash injections to buy players and pay debts in the past. It went from a relatively small player in the international transfer market, to one of the clubs that spends the most, including breaking the world transfer record to sign Neymar from Barcelona.
It recently received a €316 million injection from Qatar Sports Investments, the organization that owns the club, in 2018. It also was said to be the biggest beneficiary of the €1.5 billion deal Ligue 1 made with investment firm CVC.
Al-Khelaifi has also opposed the European Superleague, an alternative to the UEFA Champions League favored by Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus, that once had the support of most of the biggest clubs in Europe but which collapsed after being officially announced.
“We have to make competitions more inclusive, so that our income grows. That is what has happened in the English Premier League and the French Ligue 1. We have grown 150% in the United States, we have Paramount as a partner... we must be innovators,” he said.