Kylian Mbappe Contract Prompts La Liga to File FFP Complaint Against PSG

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 21, 2022

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 23: Kylian Mbappe #7 of Paris Saint-Germain warms up before the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Paris Saint Germain and RC Lens at Parc des Princes on April 23, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)
Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

La Liga announced it will report Paris Saint-Germain to UEFA after the Ligue 1 champion convinced Kylian Mbappe to sign a new contract.

ESPN's Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez first reported the development.

Mbappe's deal was made official Saturday:

Paris Saint-Germain @PSG_English

𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞<br>𝐈𝐜𝐢 𝐜’𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐬<br><br>🔴🔵 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KylianCestParis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KylianCestParis</a> <a href="https://t.co/e3ZSY1E3FZ">pic.twitter.com/e3ZSY1E3FZ</a>

La Liga issued a statement arguing the contract "attacks the economic stability of European football":

"It is scandalous that a club like PSG, which last season reported losses of more than 220 million euros after accumulating losses of more than 700 million euros in prior seasons (while reporting sponsorship income at doubtful valuation), with a squad cost around 650 million for this season, can close such an agreement, while those clubs that could afford the hiring of the player without seeing their wage bill compromised, are left without being able to sign him."

La Liga president Javier Tebas already voiced his criticism on social media, calling Mbappe's return to PSG "an insult to football":

Javier Tebas Medrano @Tebasjavier

Lo que va a hacer el PSG renovando a Mbappé con grandes cantidades de dinero (a saber dónde y cómo las paga) despues de dar pérdidas por 700M€ en las últimas temporadas y tener mas 600M€ de masa salarial, es un INSULTO al fútbol. Al-Khelafi es tan peligroso como la Superliga. <a href="https://t.co/sZ1Y1TaSbK">pic.twitter.com/sZ1Y1TaSbK</a>

Faez and Julien Laurens initially reported that Mbappe was snubbing Real Madrid in order to sign a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

The 23-year-old was widely seen as likely to sign with Real with his PSG deal expiring this summer. Discussions with the Spanish giants were far enough along that Laurens and Faez reported Mbappe personally spoke with Madrid president Florentino Perez to let him know he wouldn't be signing after all.

B/R Football @brfootball

Real Madrid after letting Erling Haaland join Man City to focus on signing Kylian Mbappé, only for Mbappé to stay at PSG: <a href="https://t.co/nUxgZiAFHb">pic.twitter.com/nUxgZiAFHb</a>

The specifics of Mbappe's new PSG contract are unclear. The Guardian's Ed Aarons and Fabrizio Romano only described it as a "lucrative extension" that runs until 2025.

It's fair to express a level of concern about how this move is part of a wider trend across world football, one in which an ever-shrinking number of clubs can realistically attract the best talent.

That has been the case to some degree for a long time, but it's telling when even a historically significant power such as Real Madrid is beginning to lose ground, as Miguel Delaney of the Independent noted:

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

Amazing to think Mbappe signing for *Madrid* would have been better for football.<br><br>Any player being paid this much, where only state clubs can compete, is a bad precedent for football. That was always the Qatari aim - raise fees/wages to such a point only a few clubs can compete.

Of course, English football legend and former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker noted there's a level of irony in La Liga drawing a line in the sand here:

Gary Lineker 💙💛 @GaryLineker

I love Spanish football, but the bleating about <a href="https://twitter.com/KMbappe?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KMbappe</a> staying at <a href="https://twitter.com/PSG_English?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PSG_English</a> ruining the sport is a bit much. The 2 Spanish giants have always attracted and paid enormous sums for for the game’s superstars. No one else got a look in. Can’t always have things your own way.

Real Madrid, for example, has been siphoning off top talent from lesser opposition for years.

And in terms of spending above your means, the failed Super League was largely viewed as a vehicle for Real Madrid and other top clubs to begin addressing their sizable debts. Perez and past presidents have been savvy in finding inventive ways to balance the books.

It's unclear what kind of consequences PSG could face as a result of La Liga's legal measures. In May 2014, the club was fined 60 million euros ($63 million) and a squad reduction in UEFA competition for the following season for FFP breaches.