“The takeover by Qatar has not strengthened French football”

Dince its takeover in 2011 by Qatar, by the sports subsidiary of its sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), the Paris-Saint-Germain football club has undoubtedly changed in size. He dominates the national scene almost hegemonically and is now a contender for victory in the Champions League every season.

He also knew how to impose his mark internationally. For this, Qatar has invested massively in the transfer market (more than 1 billion euros in net expenditure in eleven years). It offers salaries much higher than those of the competition (around 110 million euros per year for Kylian Mbappé). The Parc des Princes stadium has been beautifully renovated, and soon PSG will move into an ultra-modern training center in Poissy (Yvelines).

What benefits Paris-Saint-Germain benefits other French clubs? The supporters of the takeover of the Parisian club by Qatar defended the idea of ​​a form of runoff, both financially and sportingly, and, ultimately, an elevation of the general level. It is this theory that should be put to the test of facts on the eve of the opening of the World Cup, a true consecration of the strategy of “soft power through sport” of the Emirate.

The same average rank

What about purely sporting matters first? Ligue 1, which, before the arrival of the Qataris, came out of a sequence of five different champions in five years, is now a real preserve of the Parisian club. If he has won only eight of the last ten titles, it is due to the emergence of the golden generation of AS Monaco in 2017 and the incredible friability of PSG in 2020-2021 (8 defeats in 38 games), combined with an exceptional season for Lille. A link between these two obstacles to going around in circles, their sports director, the Portuguese Luis Campos, now sports boss of… PSG (“What you don’t know how to develop, you buy! »). With the exception of these two chaotic seasons, Paris-Saint-Germain are marching in Ligue 1, breaking all records one by one (96 points in 2016, + 83 in goal difference the same year).

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PSG has also changed its status on the European level. He was 38e in the UEFA club rankings in 2011. He is now 5e. But did he train the other French clubs in his wake? Nothing is less sure.

During the 2001-2010 decade, in the Champions League, French clubs (Lyon, Monaco, Bordeaux) played six quarter-finals, one semi-final and one final. In the following decade, between 2011 and 2020, they (PSG, Monaco, Lyon) played eight quarter-finals, one semi-final and one final. The increase is therefore not significant.

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