Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has hit out at how ‘Paris Qatar’ are financed. “They turn their budget green as if they’re magicians…”
PSG’s Qatari ownership has come under mounting scrutiny after they splashed out €222m on Neymar in the summer of 2017 and signed Kylian Mbappe on a two-year loan with a €180m obligation to buy, seemingly to get around Financial Fair Play.
“PSG have great strength thanks to the fact they have no financial problems,” remarked De Laurentiis to Le Parisien ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash between the two clubs.
“If their budget is in red, they turn it green as if they’re magicians. For me, football isn’t a way to make other investments, like Qatar is doing.
“It’s only another sector, like when I make films. Since 2004 we’ve come a long way, we’ve let players explode like Lavezzi, Cavani, Higuain, Insigne and Mertens.
“If after 10 games a team have 30 points and the second have 22, like in Ligue 1, there’s something wrong.
“PSG want to win the Champions League by forcing their hand, but for what? If you invite six people into your home for dinner, do you buy 100kg of spaghetti and 50 boxes of tomatoes?
“The price of Neymar sad and vulgar? It’s not just vulgar, it’s a market issue. If someone is rated €180m or €200m, I can say that we value Koulibaly, who’s the best defender in Europe, at €150-200m, but he’s not for sale.
“These prices increase everyone’s value, but it doesn’t help. Balance is needed, otherwise there will always be a team with 30 points and the other 10 [points] below them.
“[Jean-Claude] Blanc worked for Juventus. We spent some time together in Serie A and he comes across as decent and professional.
“I also know [Nasser] Al-Khelaifi, who’s a great guy. I have nothing bad to say about them. Like I said, the problem is political: Paris Saint-Germain could be called Paris Qatar.
The movie mogul also took aim at Liverpool, another of the Partenopei’s Champions League rivals in Group C.
“Big clubs with foreign owners? In England they have Americans and Russians, and the latter are trying to clean up their image,‘ he added.
“Liverpool’s owner, who is American, on the other hand, thinks football is an industry.”
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