With the summer transfer window coming to a close, teams all across Europe have strengthened their squads, bought new players and offloaded players to other teams as well.
This transfer window was gained much attention when French club Paris Saint Germain bought Brazilian winger Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior for a record 222 million euros, which prompted UEFA (The Union of European Football Association) to investigate the club for breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
The FFP was enacted in 2011 to control how much teams could spend on players.
Basically, teams with bigger budgets were limited in what they could spend as it was unfair to smaller teams with smaller budgets.
That way, smaller teams could have a better chance to bring in the same players even though they didn’t have as big of a spending budget.
It was also put in place to help clubs to not accumulate debt and/or help pay off debts.
Paris Saint Germain have been known to be big spenders, but after spending a record breaking 222 million euros on Neymar, it raised a lot of controversy.
This move broke the previous record for the most amount paid for any player, which previously was held by English club Manchester United when they paid 105 million euros for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.
Shortly after this, the French Club then secured Monaco wonder kid Kylian Mbappé on loan for 180 million euros.
This poses a huge problem for teams and the transfer market as it makes it harder for other teams in the league to compete with them.
This price tag also changes the way teams value players too.
If Neymar is worth 222 million euros and Mbappé is supposedly worth 180 million euros, how much is someone such as Philippe Coutinho, Eden Hazard or Marco Asensio worth? Because of this, transfer bigger clubs will put bigger price tags on players even if they’re not necessarily worth that amount.
But Paris Saint Germain aren’t the only clubs to be under investigation by UEFA.
Italian club AC Milan have come under investigation after spending 210 million euros on new players this transfer window.
AC Milan have struggled in the past years to replicate the form the had about 10 years back, and now under new ownership, they could spend the money they needed to bring in new players to strengthen the squad.
The Italian club brought in the likes of defender Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus, midfielder Hakan Çalhanoğlu from Bayer Leverkusen, defender Ricardo Rodríguez from VFL Wolfsburg, and many more.
Even though they have strengthened their squad, UEFA is investigating the club as this spending could be breaching FFP guidelines.
Paris Saint Germain and AC Milan are not the only clubs to have been investigated by UEFA for breaching FFP guidelines.
In the past, teams like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid of Spain and Manchester City FC of England have been punished for overspending and breaking UEFA and FFP guidelines.
UEFA needs to crack down and make sure that these clubs, backed by wealthy owners from Qatar to China, don’t overspend and ruin the transfer market.
This makes it so smaller teams have a harder time competing with the bigger clubs, and it sometimes makes it more difficult for clubs with debts to pay it off.
The more rich clubs like Paris Saint Germain and Manchester City overspend, it shows that UEFA are okay with clubs breaking guidelines and changing how clubs value players.
Luke Stergiou can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org