PSG in danger of being marooned in a ‘third tier’ European league as Ligue 1 struggles with losses

Spread the love

nike promo web

new balance

Paris Saint-Germain are destined to become a super power marooned high and dry ‘in a third division’ European league, as French football feels the impact of financial losses and bad management, according to a new book.

Ligue 1 is already a procession most seasons, with PSG finishing top in eight out of the last 10 campaigns, but the situation could deteriorate even further, according to Pierre Maes, a media analyst and author.

Maes even warns that the Qatari backers of PSG could consider investing in the English Premier League, if the Paris outfit struggles to maintain a European challenge as domestic competition dwindles.

His new book, The Ruin of French Football (La Ruine du Foot Français), documents the financial crisis that has engulfed the French league after the collapse of a hugely optimistic television deal with the Spanish company, Mediapro, in December 2020.

The ongoing consequences of that disaster, in which the French clubs agreed to a TV deal at well over the market value, is to slash the income of the teams, although PSG are continuing to benefit more than most.

Maes grimly predicts Ligue 1, which is currently considered to be one of the Big Five European Leagues along with Serie A, LaLiga, Bundesliga and the Premier League, will experience a steady decline in the quality of players it can attract and keep, ultimately falling to the level of the Scottish Premiership or the Russian Premier League.

Paris Saint-Germain are a super-power club immune to the financial crisis in Ligue 1

‘It is going to the third division of European football,’ Maes told Sportsmail. ‘It will not be possible for other clubs, other than PSG, to buy good players.

‘They will try to have young talent, or buy cheap players to sell them at a higher price. French clubs will be very weak in European competitions.’

France is already a major exporter of football talent. The CIES Football Observatory found that as of May 1 this year, the country was second only to Brazil for exporting players, with 978 expatriates plying their trade abroad.

PSG's Qatari owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi is able to invest heavily in the club to bring success

PSG’s Qatari owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi is able to invest heavily in the club to bring success

The danger for French teams now is that their position in the international transfer market is weakened, and they may be forced to sell more players for less.

See also  Cristiano Ronaldo hailed by Manchester United interim Ralf Rangnick after ending drought

In addition, a host of clubs are reportedly up for sale. Indeed, only this week, the parent company of Lyon, announced it was in talks with Eagle Football Holdings, an investment vehicle controlled by Crystal Palace co-owner John Textor and Authentic Brands founder Jamie Salter.

The potential sale underlines the financial distress of French clubs, but also suggests investors are still willing to put money into Ligue 1 sides, even if they are falling behind more powerful rivals.

Olympique Lyonnais announced this week that the club is in discussion with a potential buyer

Olympique Lyonnais announced this week that the club is in discussion with a potential buyer

Last season, of the three French teams that qualified for the Champions League, Monaco were knocked out in a play-off game ahead of the group stage by Shakhtar Donetsk, Lille were eliminated by Chelsea in the round of 16 and at the same stage, PSG fell to the eventual winners of the competition, Real Madrid.

The French have not enjoyed European club success since Marseille won the European Cup in 1993 and PSG claimed the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1996.

The fact is that while their domestic challengers have been hit hard, PSG are immune from the financial storm.

In an extraordinary show of intent, the Paris giants recently handed their star player, Kylian Mbappe a new £650,000-per-week three-year deal.

However, if PSG struggle to maintain a consistent and credible European challenge in future, Maes questions why the Qatari investors would continue to back Paris, rather than move their money elsewhere.

PSG are owned by Qatar Sports Investments, which are backed by the Qatari government, and led by the PSG president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi. 

‘When you look at the investment in Manchester City and Newcastle United you can ask yourself, “why is Qatar investing in France?”

Brazilian forward Neymar is one of a host of megastars at the Ligue 1 champions, PSG

Brazilian forward Neymar is one of a host of megastars at the Ligue 1 champions, PSG

‘If the Qataris had to [invest] again, of course they would invest in the Premier League. It is amazing to see them struggle with PSG since 2011. It has not been a success.’

While PSG have dominated at home, in the UEFA Champions League, they have achieved the round of 16 and quarter finals on four occasions respectively, one semi-final and they were also a runner-up during the last decade.

Top-flight French football has been in a long, slow decline

Top-flight French football has been in a long, slow decline 

‘If they do not see a future any more in PSG, the Qataris will leave,’ said Maes. ‘That is for sure. That is the danger.

See also  Manchester United face new Jurrien Timber setback as Ajax boss claims defender is 'not done yet'

‘There is not enough competition for PSG in Ligue 1,’ added Maes. ‘The league is at a low level and the value is declining.’

Top-flight French football has been in a long, slow decline. But the current crisis was precipitated by a combination of the Covid pandemic and the disastrous TV deal.

The French league was rubbing its hands when it came to an agreement with Mediapro, the Barcelona-based, Chinese-backed media company in 2018, for £670million per year for 80 per cent of the rights over a four-year period.

It was a 60 per cent mark up on the previous deal with Canal+. Meanwhile, Canal+ did a separate deal with beIN Sports, the Qatari-based broadcaster, picking up its £283million-a-year deal for the rest of the rights.

In total, the French league thought it had done business worth around £1billion per year, which would benefit Ligue 1 and 2.  It was believed the windfall would catapult  its clubs into competition with at least three of the Big Five leagues. The Premier League’s TV income dwarfs the rest.

The French club recently agreed a new deal for Kylian Mbappe worth £650,000 per week

The French club recently agreed a new deal for Kylian Mbappe worth £650,000 per week

It was too good to be true and Mediapro could not make the payments within months of the deal beginning in the 2020-21 season.

The collapse of the arrangement launched an epic saga, which finally led to dramatically reduced TV income for French football, which is back to where it was in the 2016-17 season.

Remarkably, Amazon Prime picked up the Mediapro business for around £215m, in what has been described as the ‘deal of the century’, by the The Athletic, while Canal+ were left paying more, for less games, reportedly furious and looking for redress.

Unfortunately, for Ligue 1, it has not ended there. Earlier this year, a new commercial company that will handle the selling of broadcast rights for the French league entered into a separate deal with the private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners.

In return for much-needed cash, the league sold 13 per cent of the company, a stake that was worth £1.3billion, according to L’Equipe and Sportspromedia.

PSG won the Ligue 1 title this season finishing 15 points clear of Marseille in second place

PSG won the Ligue 1 title this season finishing 15 points clear of Marseille in second place

The deal is structured so that the largest clubs benefit from the most money. PSG will be the biggest beneficiary receiving £170m, with Olympique de Marseille, Olympique Lyonnais, OGC Nice, Stade Rennais, AS Monaco and Lille OSC also reportedly receiving significant payments.

See also  Premier League: Just FIVE clubs ditched damaging single-use plastic water bottles - SPECIAL REPORT

Maes is sceptical that the shot in the arm will change the underlying condition. ‘I don’t think it will save French football,’ he said. ‘It will just give them time.’

All of the major European leagues are struggling to keep pace with the Premier League. For the rights cycle, 2022-25, the Premier League has secured more than £10billion for its domestic and international deals combined.

PSG crave European success, but the club is yet to clinch Champions League victory

PSG crave European success, but the club is yet to clinch Champions League victory

In contrast to France, where the league has antagonised Canal+ so much the broadcaster has turned to the courts, the Premier League has sought to balance the interests of Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video in its domestic rights sales.

The closest competitor to the English league is LaLiga. It is part way through a five-year cycle that is generating £3.7billion over that period and a three-year domestic deal earns £2.9billion.

The difference in wealth can already be seen clearly in revenues and transfer activity.

According to the Deloitte Football Money League 2022, which ranks clubs based on revenues and financial performance, half of the top 20 sides in the ranking play in the Premier League. PSG is the only French representative; Lyon dropped out this year.

In addition, the Premier League accounted for almost 50% of spending across Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues in the January 2022 transfer window.

*The Ruin of French Football: From the Mediapro crash to the European D3: whose fault is it? (La Ruine du Foot Français) is available from publishers Fyp

nike promo web

SPIN banner 728x90 1
new balance


Source link


Spread the love