Paris Saint-Germain have won their appeal to dismiss Uefa‘s investigation into the club’s financial affairs, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) ruled the decision to close the initial case was “final and binding”.
Last June Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) closed its investigation into PSG over alleged breaches of its Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. However, nine days later the chairman of the CFCB requested that decision be reviewed.
Following that review in September, Uefa concluded that PSG’s conduct did indeed warrant further investigation and deemed the case open once more.
But PSG filed an appeal to Cas seeking to have the decision annulled, claiming Uefa had breached its own rules which state that it must reopen any investigation within 10 days of the chairman’s request to review – Uefa had taken two months.
PSG’s appeal was therefore upheld by Cas, with no chance that it can be reopened in the future.
The news is a major boost for PSG who could have faced major fines and a suspension from European competition. In 2014 PSG were fined €60m over FFP breaches, although €40m were suspended, and their squad was reduced to 21 players in European competitions.
Full Cas statement
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedure between the French football club Paris Saint-Germain Football SASP (Paris Saint-Germain) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
The appeal filed at the CAS on 3 October 2018 by Paris Saint-Germain against the decision issued on 19 September 2018 by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) (the Challenged Decision) is upheld and the Challenged decision is set aside.
The decision issued on 13 June 2018 by the Investigatory Chamber of the UEFA CFCB in which the investigation into Paris Saint-Germain’s compliance with the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations was closed is thus final and binding.
On 22 June 2018, the Chairman of the UEFA CFCB, on the basis of Article 16 (1) of the UEFA CFCB Procedural Rules (the Applicable Rules), ordered that the Adjudicatory Chamber review the decision taken by the Investigatory Chamber on 13 June 2018. The Adjudicatory Chamber ruled on 19 September 2018 that the case should be referred back to the Investigatory Chamber for further investigation. On 3 October 2018, Paris Saint-Germain filed an appeal at the CAS seeking to have such decision annulled on the basis that Article 16 (1) provided for a 10-day review period during which any review should be instigated and completed and that the Challenged Decision was manifestly late.
The CAS Panel in charge of the matter issued its decision on the basis of the parties’ written submissions. The CAS Panel concurred that the 10-day time limit which starts to run from the date of communication of the decision of the Chief Investigator to the CFCB Chairman, as set out in Article 16 (1) of the Applicable Rules, did indeed mean that the review conducted by the Adjudicatory Chamber should have taken place within ten days and that since the Challenged Decision was issued beyond the 10-day time limit, the Challenged Decision was untimely and must be annulled.
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