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Volume 7 No. 149

Franchises

Paris St. Germain "may be forced to let go of one of its two stars," Kylian Mbappé or Neymar, to avoid "heavy financial fair play sanctions," according to Degorre & Hermant of L’ÉQUIPE. Several weeks before a decision from UEFA over FFP violations, club execs are “preparing for everything and anticipating anything.” Facing such risks, senior management are resigned to the idea of losing one of the club's stars, a plan that was “completely ruled out during the previous transfer window.” PSG owners would “prefer to keep Neymar” because they believe his int’l influence “remains higher” than that of the young Frenchman (L’ÉQUIPE, 12/7).

'MEDIA OF DISINFORMATION': In a statement released following the L’Équipe report, PSG said, "Beyond denying with the utmost firmness these totally erroneous, ridiculous claims, which are only likely to recreate a climate of great tension between the club and the media, Paris Saint-Germain questions, once more, the intellectual honesty of L'Équipe and the ulterior motives behind the editorial. ... Faced with the misinformation orchestrated by L’Équipe, and its relentless attempt to undermine its image, Paris Saint-Germain, the most popular and most successful club in France, reaffirms its desire to move forward and have dialogue only with partners of good faith" (PSG).

Man City Manager Pep Guardiola said that he has been assured by the club's hierarchy that the club "will not be banned" from the Champions League over allegations that it broke Financial Fair Play rules, according to Paul Hirst of the LONDON TIMES. German magazine Der Spiegel published a series of stories last month claiming that Man City agreed to "inflated sponsorship deals so the Abu Dhabi royal family could funnel extra money into the club." UEFA sources claimed this week that Man City could be banned from the Champions League if an investigation found that it broke the rules, but Guardiola "believes no such punishment will be handed down to the club." He said, "We will not be banned, no. That's what I think because I trust in my chairman, with my CEO, what they have explained to me. I trust in them. If it happens, because UEFA decide that, we will accept it and move forward." Man City has "maintained all along" that the Der Spiegel articles, which came as a result of information supplied to it by Football Leaks, is part of a "clear and organised attempt to damage the club's reputation" (LONDON TIMES, 12/8). The BBC's Simon Stone reported a senior figure in European football said that the entire credibility of FFP is "at risk" if UEFA and the Premier League "do not fully investigate the allegations." The European football source, who did not wish to be identified, said that the fact the allegations came via the Football Leaks organization and, according to Man City, were "purportedly hacked or stolen," should not "prevent a thorough investigation to discover whether historical allegations are true and, as importantly, if breaches are being committed." The source said, "UEFA and the Premier League have got to ask all the questions. They cannot make it easy, otherwise credibility in the whole system will be lost" (BBC, 12/7).