In this endless boxing fight, the exchange of blows has intensified in the center of the ring for several weeks. And live from Anne Hidalgo, on the occasion of the Facing the readers that she granted to our newspaper, the PSG, once again stung in its pride, was quick to respond with a hook.
“Very clearly, the Parc des Princes is not for sale, declared the mayor of Paris to the readers of Le Parisien. And it will not be sold. This is a firm and final position. This is an exceptional heritage of Parisians. This is the first time that the town hall has so clearly closed the door, directly following the multiple recent outings of a Nasser Al-Khelaïfi who, in substance as in form, acted as a catalyst in the change of tone. of town hall.
The threat of a move already turbulent in early December
“Everyone loses in the position taken by the mayor, reacted to the Parisian a spokesperson for the club of the capital. Paris Saint-Germain are now forced to find alternative options to relocate the club, depriving Paris of a major investment for its attractiveness. This is not the outcome the club, nor its supporters, were hoping for. »
This winter, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi had already raised the threat of a move if the sale did not take place. Two options were then put forward: buy the Stade de France, which however already seems impossible, or build a new enclosure. An option which would be extremely costly for PSG, which will very soon invest in its new – and very expensive – training center in Poissy, and which ended the 2021-22 season with nearly 370 million euros in losses.
“PSG has already invested more than 85 million euros to maintain the Parc des Princes, and has undertaken to invest an additional 500 million euros, the club explains to us again. Our project is to offer fans, and all Parisians, a high-performance stadium to allow PSG to develop and play at the highest level. It is obvious that such a large investment will only be made by PSG if we become owners of the Parc des Princes. By definitively closing the takeover discussions that began a very long time ago and by refusing our very significant investment to renovate the Park, the mayor is forcing PSG to leave his house and imposing a tax burden of several million euros on Parisian taxpayers. »
The town hall favors an extension of the lease
For her part, Anne Hidalgo specifies “that it is of course necessary to support the PSG in its desire and its need for renovation, increase in capacity, modernization of the Park”, and the town hall remains camped on its preferred option: a renegotiation of the public domain occupancy agreement, which would offer PSG a long-term lease at the Park. A similar manipulation had, for example, been applied in the case of the Accor Arena, without the city funding the work.
Anyway, it is a new exchange of blows which should not calm relations between the town hall of Paris, PSG and Qatar. For the capital club and its leaders, already stung by the boycott of the 2022 World Cup announced by the municipality this fall, this is a new snub.
The management of the club, which has been supporting the cause of this takeover for many years, finds it difficult to digest that the door to negotiations is thus closing, considering itself to be little supported by the town hall in its development project, even though Anne Hidalgo came out in 2015 for a Park with 60,000 seats.
On the side of the town hall, we assure that we would like to be able to resume the discussions in a more calm and confidential way. But difficult, under such conditions, to envisage a peaceful return to the negotiating table. Especially since the departure of Jean-Claude Blanc, privileged interlocutor, respected and highly appreciated by the board Parisian with the town hall, should not streamline the process. The Parc des Princes file still seems far from closed.