Today is a big day for PSG and in extenso for french football. After signing Marco Verratti, Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris St Germain set themselves for success in France and Europe.
PSG owned by Nasser al Khelafi President of QSI (Qatar Sports Investments), wants his club to be competitive against the best clubs in Europe. There is no secret, he had to sign top players, and convince them to join a league that is not yet part of the most competitive ones.
QSI spent $80 million transfer fee plus a $14 million salary a year, to add Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the Paris St Germain squad.
PSG will be the team to beat this season. Title they already had regardless the presence of top players, but it’s important to notice that PSG’s success will also trigger L1 image locally and internationally.
In New York, where I spend most of my time, it is a mission to follow the Ligue 1. Zero french game on mainstream TV. With star players, broadcasters might look into Ligue 1 TV rights. Also, Paris St Germain have strong chances to be successful in Champions League, -with this team, they have no other choice- which will enhance the appeal for the league.
Also, in France, every single stadium PSG will play at will be full. The 19 other clubs’ supporters have every right to be upset or say jealous at Paris St Germain new investments, but they will be at the front rows to see Zlatan and co. An interesting cashing-in evening perspective for PSG opponent.
In addition, licensing, merchandising, business development, sponsorship etc are a few segment of the business PSG will thrive from this point forward, and will drag other brands along the way.
Finally, I read comments from french politicians about Ibrahimovic’s salary. They are -or should I say play- offended at the ginormous sum the Swed will cash in every 12 months. Well, that’s interesting. When Sarkozy came into power in 2007 and raised his own salary by 170%, I didn’t hear the same politicians being offended or shocked!
Such an hypocritical attitude, and from this standpoint, welcome to France where money is taboo. Zlatan wil pay taxes by the way (75% on his income) and therefore will enrich the state! So they should be thankful, not disgraceful.
Anyway, in modern football the recipe is very simple. To win titles, you need great players, and they are not cheap. I recall some Manchester City fans being angry at Scheik Mansour owning their club. Well, I bet these guys were crying happy tears when Aguero scored the 3rd goal against QPR and won the League putting and end to a 44 years title diet!