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Premier League have another super club to contend with


Premier League clubs have long been frustrated at their lack of success in the Champions League, falling foul of the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletico Madrid, Bayern Munich etc.  Now they have another super club to contend with in the shape of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).   Up to now there has been a tendency to dismiss what has been happening in France and it has to be admitted that the league as a whole is not that strong.

How things play out depends on the operation of Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) rules and there are many complexities and uncertainties surrounding them with the sports lawyers hovering in the background and hoping for a big pay day.   It will be the biggest test so far of the FFP regulations.

PSG have the sixth biggest turnover in world football, ahead of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.   However, it raises questions about the nature of the relationship between its owners and its sponsors. Its commercial income includes the Qatari National Bank, Ooredoo and beIN Sports.   PSG may play in Paris, but they are also Qatar's club side.

The earliest we will know whether Uefa thinks the FFP rules have been breached will be the autumn of 2018.  It is then that PSG will be assessed on three seasons starting in 2015-16.   There is also the question of whether a severe penalty would be applied if a breach was found to have occurred.  

What happened in 2014 was that PSG (and Manchester City) effectively put in a plea bargain and negotiated a lighter sentence.   By doing this they will able to prevent the case going to Uefa's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) which is composed of independent judges.

This time round any club in European competition will be able to challenge a negotiated settlement and ask for it to go to the adjudicatory chamber.  Barcelona and other clubs would have every incentive to do so.