Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has called on UEFA to deduct points from overspending clubs, saying Paris Saint-Germain’s owners “laugh” at fines.
PSG’s purchase of Neymar for €222 million this summer has led to an investigation into possible financial fair play violations, and if found to be repeat offenders, the French club could be kept out of the Champions League in the future.
They could also face heavy fines, but Watzke says financial penalties mean nothing to PSG’s Qatari owners.
Asked by German outlet T-online how UEFA could prevent teams from spending ever-increasing fortunes on transfer fees, Watzke said: “I don’t know. But that’s UEFA’s job and they could hire highly-qualified lawyers for it.
“But what you should not do: Fine them. It’s the biggest nonsense ever to impose a fine on Paris. They laugh at it in Qatar.”
Asked for an alternative, Watzke said: “Deduct points. The world would look different then. But that’s UEFA’s business.”
Watzke also suggested a potential limit on sponsorship funds. In 2014, UEFA devalued PSG’s sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority by half in their FFP calculations.
“You could tell clubs they can only get so and so much money from their main sponsor or owner,” Watzke said. “But look at Qatar for instance. They can activate one of their many industry shares they hold. And in case of doubt all of them become sponsors at Paris. They’d still collect over €100m.
“That’s why I don’t think a political regulation is feasible. But in spite of that it’s important that UEFA tries to create regulations which are so tight that it’s at least no longer that easy to bypass them.”
Dortmund were on the receiving end of one of those major transfer fees, netting €105m for the sale of Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona.
But Watzke rejected the notion that his club could have immediately spent that money on new signings, saying: “In theory we could have bought someone for over €100m, but it’s just a stupid idea.”
Dortmund are currently top of the Bundesliga table, one point ahead of Bayern Munich, but Watzke admitted he expected Bayern should be able to easily win the league barring unforeseen circumstances.
“We started even better two years ago. In the end, Bayern won the league,” Watzke said. “To me, it’s already a miracle we top the league now. We sometimes were without nine players, five, six of them part of the starting formation. [Marcel] Schmelzer, [Marc] Bartra, [Marco] Reus, [Raphael] Guerreiro, [Andre] Schurrle.
“The question always is: What happens at Bayern. If they live up to their potential, we don’t stand a chance. They must first not escape unscathed, then there would be a different Bundesliga champion again.
“Bayern have such a strength, their squad is class — a lot must happen. And I don’t see that right now.”
However, Reus has more confidence, telling the club’s in-house TV station on Friday that Dortmund would finish “on top” at the end of the season.