SHAFAQNA- Paris Saint-Germain, the Qatari-owned soccer team fined for breaching European soccer’s finance regulations, made more money from miscellaneous sales than from TV rights, sponsorship and tickets combined.
Propelled by funds from Qatar’s government, PSG has emerged as among the biggest spenders in soccer, buying its way to domestic success and a position in Europe’s elite Champions League. It meets Cyprus’s Apoel Nicosia today.
The club’s income from “other products” was 233.6 million euros ($298 million), helping to narrow the net loss for the 2012-13 season to 3.5 million euros, according to figures released by French soccer’s licensing authority, the DNCG. Television rights, sponsorship and ticket sales brought in a total of 166 million euros.
PSG representatives Yann Guerin and Louise Cosnard didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment about the other items, which made up 58 percent of total income and almost doubled from a year earlier.
Current French championship leader Olympique de Marseille had 14.9 million euros of miscellaneous income, 14 percent of its total. PSG lies second in the league after winning four games and tying six.
PSG, along with Manchester City, another club owned by Gulf royalty, were handed fines that could total 60 million euros earlier this season after their losses breached a cap introduced by European soccer body UEFA.
UEFA punished PSG after the club had a loss of 5.5 million euros for the 2011-12 season. Independent analysts at the European soccer body said the team’s sponsorship agreement with the Qatar Tourism Authority failed a “fair value” test and deemed it to be inflated.
The agreement is worth between 150 million euros and 200 million euros per year, according to the Le Parisien newspaper. Under UEFA’s so-called financial fair play regulations, clubs are limited to 37 million euros in losses over the past two seasons.
“Our contract with Qatar Tourism Authority is not some accounting trick,” PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi said before UEFA announced its decision in May. “It’s the same contract we have with Emirates. There’s no reason for UEFA to disagree. Everything is legal. Our lawyers are very competent.”
Under the Qataris, PSG have been competing for some of soccer’s most sought-after talent. In June it agreed to spend as much as 50 million pounds ($81 million) on Brazil national team defender David Luiz. He joined a roster that includes Brazil captain Thiago Silva and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.