The organisation that runs Spain’s top football league has filed a complaint against French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) with the European Commission.
La Liga has claimed that Qatari-owned PSG’s funding mechanisms “seriously distort” the EU’s internal market.
The league referred to the Foreign Subsidies Regulation, which came into effect last month.
The EU regulation was brought in to address what the EU described as “a regulatory gap”, whereby subsidies granted by EU member states were closely scrutinised under state-aid rules – but those granted by non-EU governments went unchecked.
“La Liga has filed a complaint alleging that PSG has received foreign subsidies from the state of Qatar, which has allowed it to improve its competitive position, thus generating significant distortions in several national and EU markets,” a statement from the Spanish league said.
It claimed that PSG had access to resources “on non-market terms” that distorted several closely related markets, allowing PSG to use those foreign subsidies to sign top players and coaches “well above its potential in a normal market situation”.
“It is also able to secure sponsorship income which does not correspond to market values,” La Liga continued, adding that PSG’s funding had affected the ability of rival clubs to recruit.
In the past few years, PSG have bought stars such as Neymar (for €222 million in 2017 from Barcelona), Kylian Mbappe (€180 million in 2018 from AS Monaco) and Lionel Messi (on a free transfer from Barcelona in 2021, but with a guaranteed salary of approximately €23 million per year after tax, plus bonuses).