How is it that a team that has already spent €146 million this summer alone isn’t feeling the wrath of UEFA? Paris Saint-Germain aren’t one of the more profitable or valuable sides in Europe, playing in a stadium that holds only 45,000 fans and being part of the not so globally popular French Ligue 1.
But, having rich owners, the Qatar Investment Authority, which manages the oil and natural gas surpluses in Qatar, which is run by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad Al Thani, the prime minister of Qatar, while Nasser Al-Khelaifi is the club president and the man running the show.
So far, the team has spent €257 over the last couple of seasons in a quick attempt to turn the French side, that hasn’t won a league title since 1994, into a member of the European elite. Despite missing out on the title in 2012, they’re back in the Champions League, which should provide a substantial improvement to their revenues, although not nearly enough to cover up the expenses and wage bill without the owners using their own money to cover for losses.
And UEFA don’t want that to happen, especially not with sums at this magnitude. All around the continent, but especially in Spain and Italy, you see clubs tightening their belts and cutting the spending. England is a different matter, while Germany have always run things quite sensibly and responsibly. PSG, in order to keep this wild ride going, need more sources of revenue.
So you make a deal. PSG’s current sponsorship deal with the United Arab Emirates-based airline Emirates is worth 3.5-million-euro a year deal that runs out in 2014.According to AFP, a new deal, with the Qatar National Bank, might be worth somewhere between $100 million to $130 million a season.
Instead of doing what UEFA said they’d watch very closely, which is the transfer of funds via financial “trickery”, say, the owners buying something from the club at much higher than its actual worth (a pen for a million), the Qatari owners used their biggest power – political and financial influence in their own country, with the royal family owning pretty much everything anyway. This way, they keep throwing in tons of money, only it counts as revenue for the club.