Over the past two weeks, Qatar has been heavily involved in french football. Indeed, after Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) bought 70% of PSG, Al Jazeera invested more than €90 million for the Ligue 1 TV rights from season 2012 to 2016.
QIA owns 70% of Paris St Germain
May 2011, the Qatar Investment Authority decided to invest in one of the top Ligue 1 club: Paris St Germain. The Authority invested up to €60 million and now owns 70% of the club’s share. Bold move from the UAE organisation who is strengthening its football presence in Europe. After purchasing Malaga in Spain, the QIA sets sail on french football.
It’s interesting to notice that 5 years ago, the Qataris wanted to buy 100% of the share off Canal+. Why didn’t the operation happen? because some top notch executives of Paris town hall claimed that the origin of the funds was unclear, unclean, worse……not good enough. Pick one.
So let me get this straight. Five years ago, the QIA’s money was not clean enough, and five years later……it is!
Anyways, PSG is now in position to recruit decent players to play and compete on an international level. Let’s face it. To win games, you have to have great players, and great players are NOT cheap.
So if you want to win european competitions, you have to have…..money. Period. However, in France, there is an organisation called DNCG (National Directorate for Control and Management) which monitors the professional clubs financials.
QIA met twice with the DNCG to convince them about the serious of their committment, that their money is not from drug cartels or prostitution and what not. Basically, clearing up the fact that Paris St Germain the ONLY capital in Europe with no major european title and they are ready to change that.
France is about to lose its 3rd Champions League qualifying spot. With ZERO team in the Champions League final since Monaco in 2004, the french league is about to be overtaken by the Portuguese League who had two teams in the Europa League final last year.
So I agree that there must be some financial regulations in football, in order to prevent clubs from having millions of debts. However, the way the french league (ant the french authorities) look at the problem is plain wrong and hypocritical. Stopping clubs from generating money and ultimately buying top players will simply lead to a non competitive league at a european level.
Al Jazeera buys Ligue 1 TV rights
Speaking of hypocrisy, the same Ligue 1 executives who were criticising Qatar 2022 World Cup are the same praising Al Jazeera for investing in the Ligue 1 TV rights.
Indeed the UAE TV Channel invested more than €90 million to broadcast the Friday evening and Sunday afternoon game in addition to the Ligue 1 TV rights abroad for 2012-2016.
Al Jazeera will compete with Canal+ who will invest €420 million.
Frederic Thiriez President of the Professional Football League said: «Al-Jazeera is a respectable worlwide partner, with a long term committment».
So in 5 years, the Qatar money jumped from being unclean to respectable….wow! Some sarcasm here, but you get my point.
With the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, the UAE invest heavily in european football. Manchester City was the first milestone. PSG and the Ligue 1 TV rights are milestone 2 and 3. The construction is in work in progress, and it will be interested to see what will be milestone 4.