QSI wants to buy the Parc des Princes. Only small problem, the enclosure belongs to the city of Paris, which does not wish to sell off the heritage of the capital by yielding so easily to the whims of the owner of the PSG. Between big money business and political arm wrestling, is Anne Hidalgo still right, or the means, to resist?
And hop, another soap opera around the PSG. A muted and yet increasingly noisy conflict between the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and Nasser al-Khelaïfi, president of the club. At the center of this battle of egos and values (pure commercialism vs historical heritage): the acquisition of the Parc des Princes. The Parisian club presents this approach as an essential condition for its development, even though its economic situation seems most perilous, with a record deficit. The management, however, multiplies the alarmist declarations as to the financial consequences for the city which is stubborn in its refusal. A real communication campaign has even been deployed, with its relays in the media and on social networks (a digital army of TikTok influencers and pro-PSG youtubers, this time apparently volunteers). Even some right-wing elected officials, for example in the person of Karl Olive, deputy mayor of Poissy, take up the argument of the PSG (surely the recognition of the belly for the training center which will be established on his commune) .
An easy victory for the mayor?
In this game of liar poker, however, it would be wrong to imagine Anne Hidalgo in a weak position. If, moreover, his political situation proves to be delicate (in particular his relations with LFI), without forgetting the criticisms surrounding his municipal management, this conflict, which is a bit Manichean, offers him a great opportunity to redress the bar. The case of the Parc des Princes is thus an opportunity to close ranks and to raise very high convictions that are difficult to dispute, such as the defense of the common good of Parisians and the public domain. In an interview given to Parisian on January 14, the city councilor definitively closed the door to real estate negotiations by reaffirming his sense of priorities: “It is a firm and definitive position. This is an exceptional heritage of Parisians. » This unique enclosure, inaugurated in 1972 in its current architecture, child of the ring road which reshaped Paris by enclosing it, therefore takes on the air of footballing Verdun. We should not cede an inch of ground in the name of the people. The two parties also find themselves faced with the heritage of the French and Republican tradition, in terms of sports equipment, whatever it may be, which has always rested on the shoulders, and deep in the pockets, of public finances. . This was still the case for Euro 2016, even if with PPPs (public-private partnerships), the major construction groups were able to draw their pin and their profits from the game.
“Obviously, Qatar struggles to understand that money doesn’t buy everything. The Park belongs to Parisians forever and it is not for sale. » Nicolas Bonnet Ouladj
If the PSG can in this way promise 500 million investment to transform the Park into a marketing setting worthy of its dreams of grandeur, the questions of money ultimately prove to be very secondary. The insulting 40 million proposed to finalize the sale – “It’s cheaper than Paredes” in the words of the first deputy, Emmanuel Grégoire – embody a pleasant pretext to close the debate. The pressure, tinged with commercial bad faith trying to install the lawsuit in incompetence of the mayor, is unlikely to shake the town hall. “The mayor forces PSG to leave her houseleaked a PSG spokesperson in the columns of the Parisian. It imposes a tax burden of several million euros on Parisian taxpayers to maintain the structure of a stadium which is more than fifty years old and needs a complete renovation. » What Nicolas Bonnet-Ouladj, at the head of the communist group at the Paris Council (municipal majority) retorts in all coherence on Twitter: “Obviously, Qatar struggles to understand that money doesn’t buy everything. The Park belongs to Parisians forever and it is not for sale. » A position that is all the easier to hold since the mayor knows full well that PSG has few options or immediate alternatives in the Paris region. A fairly young club despite everything, it cannot do without one of its main historical roots in the capital and in the hearts of supporters. Anne Hidalgo must tell herself that this time the symbolic victory will prove to be easy.
By Nicolas Kssis-Martov