Arsenal, Barcelona, PSG, And Others Under UEFA Watchlist For Breach Of Financial Fair Play Rules

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    Premier League side Arsenal, PSG, Barcelona, and 20 other clubs may likely face UEFA sanctions for alleged breach of Financial Fair Play Rules. The Gunners have been caught by UEFA spotlights after reporting a staggering £213m in losses since 2019. The Emirates are leading the pack of clubs such as Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona, and others.

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    The Union of European Football, UEFA, is once again on the hunt for clubs that have breached Financial Fair Play Rules under the 2021-2022 football year. Arsenal are reportedly leading the list of top clubs in the list. About 20 clubs have made the watchlist.

    However, the European football governing body is yet to receive official financial reports for the affected clubs in the year in question; hence potential punishments and sanctions are speculative.

    It has also been reported that ten football clubs in Europe will summarily be sanctioned immediately as investigations proceeds due to a glaring and undeniable transfer spending that has breached the FFP Rule. Clubs that are said to be in this category include Arsenal, Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain, Roma, Inter Milan, and Juventus.

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    UEFA had reportedly earmarked £25m for the said period, but there were exceptions and ‘healthy spending’ for women and Academy football. The clubs in question have reported huge debts that have surpassed the £25m benchmark. UEFA expects clubs to streamline their spending on agent fees, wages, and transfers to the set benchmark.

    There are plans by the European football governing body to revise the set benchmark further downwards as the year progresses. In 2023, the current £25m will be reduced to 90% in 2023, 80% in 2024, and 70% in 2025. This will further restrict and squeeze the ability of clubs to spend in the transfer market

    Why Arsenal Tops List

    Despite a disappointing 2021-2022 Premier League campaign, Arsenal were the biggest spender in last year’s transfer window.

    Under the watch of Mikel Arteta, backed by Sporting director Edu, Arsenal splashed a whooping £150m in the transfer market last year. They brought in the likes of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid and Ben White from Brighton with heavy sums.

    Meanwhile, Arsenal has denied running against Financial Fair Play Rules and has admitted not having any notice from UEFA to that effect.

    So far, Mikel Arteta has reaped the fruits of his prime target signings, winning all opening three Premier League matches in a row.

    This season, Mikel Arteta has continued in his spending spree with multi-million dollar signings. The Manchester City duo, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchencko, have joined the team. Fabio Vieira from FC Porto and Marquinhos also joined this summer.

    Over the past three years, Arsenal have reportedly accumulated a debt bill amounting to £213m, while the UEFA stipulated benchmark over the three years is £25m. The implication is that the London club may likely face UEFA sanctions.

    PSG have always been on the list of high-spending clubs. La Liga Boss Javier Tebas had locked horns with Nasser Al-Khelaifa over his excessive transfer spending. Although defending the club’s financial position, Al-khelaifa has always come under attack by Tebas for massive transfer spending.

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    Barcelona came into the spotlight before Lionel Messi’s exit in the summer of 2021. The club has struggled financially, accumulating debts of up to a billion euros. Recently, they have clashed with the La Liga and nearly failed to register their new signings ahead of the 2022-2023 La Liga due to the alleged breach of Fair Play Rules.

    Other clubs on the list include Inter Milan, Juventus, and Roma. The list of clubs under the watchlist has reportedly risen to 20. UEFA is currently awaiting official accounts from these clubs to decide on appropriate sanctions.

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