“PSG has lost all competition in Ligue 1 and has made a place among the major clubs in Europe. The problem is that he cheated. Two after its “Football Leaks” , Mediapart and its partners in the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) release this Friday, November 2 their season 2. Either the “biggest flight in the history of journalism,” ensures the website .
“For a month, Mediapart and the EIC will publish a series of articles dealing with fraud, racism, doping, the purchase of matches, the exploitation of minors, state corruption, corruption, “spying, impunity leaders and clubs,” promise journalists who sell their new season of Football Leaks as Netflix is promoting its latest series.
Their first target: Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The club of the country crowned world champion this year would not have played fair play financially. The investigative unit tackles the transition to the two main institutions of world football, UEFA and FIFA. “In a word, our subject is the system.” The world of football is warned.
“Financial Fair Play”
In the first revelations released Wednesday, Médiapart evokes the absence of “financial fair play” of major clubs such as PSG or Manchester City.
“Behind this harmless term, which aims to prevent it always being the richest who win by financing teams lost funds, hides one of the biggest scandals of modern football,” says the site.
These groups would have knowingly and, apart from the rules enacted by UEFA, “artificially inflated their budget to buy the best players, pay the best salaries, invest in the best equipment.” Like doping with money finally.
It is thanks to a confidential document dated September 2017 that journalists can ensure that “UEFA is fully aware of this inequality”:
“It has been academically and empirically proven that there is a very high level of correlation between money spent and winning. In other words, the more you spend against your competitor, the more chances you have to win, “says the document that was available to the investigators Football Leaks.
Easy to get a head start when you’re one of the richest clubs. This is the case of PSG and Manchester City, both held by wealthy states: Qatar for the first and the United Arab Emirates for the second.
According to the survey, “the two countries have thus injected the last seven years the sum of 4.5 billion euros, mainly fraudulently, to increase the budgets of clubs they hold.”
The risk for fraudulent clubs? “To be excluded from the Champions League for several years,” warns the site. On Europe 1 Wednesday, Fabrice Arfi, an investigative journalist for Médiapart, said: “There is nothing to exclude PSG from the Champions League. “
“A certain Nicolas Sarkozy”
But how and why PSG and Manchester City would have taken such a risk?
“The maneuver was made possible through the granting of fictitious sponsorship contracts with institutions directly linked to the State of Qatar. In total, according to the survey, the country would have injected 1.8 billion euros into his club “largely fraudulent way”.
The investigation also accuses the supervisory body, the European Football Federation (UEFA), of having “knowingly helped clubs to make up their own irregularities for ‘political reasons'”. President Michel Platini and his general secretary, Gianni Infantino, who has since become FIFA’s president, “helped hide the deception”, “thanks to a series of schemes”.
“For Manchester City, an advisor of a particular kind took part in the intrigues. A certain Nicolas Sarkozy “, looses the site of investigation.
Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi, owner of Manchester City, has massively subsidized his club. And again, “despite record financial doping by its shareholder in Abu Dhabi, the British club was only slightly sanctioned by … UEFA, thanks to the leniency of his former secretary general, Gianni Infantino “but this time also” with the help of a special advisor named Nicolas Sarkozy “.
“Everything is done to reduce to its minimum the glorious uncertainty of sport, its chance, its beauty. This system makes victims: football fans. They are billions in the world, “say the reporters who sign the investigation.