Paris Saint Germain may have only existed for a mere 42 years, but the clubs fans could not be blamed for being so disenchanted with the state of affairs at the club in the last 10 years. It’s fair to say that the Kop of Boulogne have been forced into hibernation mode in recent years, but it would appear that their many years in the wilderness have come to an abrupt end thanks to the new Qatari owners and the billions they brought with them to the French capital.
With a renewed impetus to add to the clubs two league titles, the new owners have invested over 100 million euros this summer, with some of Europe’s hottest property rejecting the Premier League and La Liga to instead be housed at the Parc de Princes. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi are amongst the most reputable names to have joined the club who have all bought into the owners ambition.
Enough to raise Carlo Ancelloti’s eyebrows to towering heights, the Italian faces a challenge to restore the club to it’s previous prestige whilst transforming the French side into a European force to be reckoned with. When you peel away the veneer of the Italian’s task, it poses one similar to that of Italian contingent Roberto Mancini who himself had the challenge of rising Manchester City out of the ashes and to reinstating it as a force within Europe. Ancelotti may have hundreds of millions at his disposal, but after suffering a less than satisfactory first season in charge, the Qatari owners will fully expect a league title come the end of the Ligue 1 season, at the very least.
French football itself has struggled to compete with the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and even the Bundesliga in recent years. Despite containing significantly sized clubs such as PSG, Lyon, Marseille and Montpellier to name but a few, it is certainly an enigma as to how French football hasn’t previously been able to obtain a higher status within Football. A lack of investment is of course the root of the problem but it stems further than that. It would appear that these bigger clubs can be accused of submitting to defeat with respect to the fact that they cannot afford to keep their most prized possessions. Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane, Nicolas Anelka, Patrick Viera and Ronaldinho are all amongst an exclusive list of players who all slipped through the grasp of clubs in France as youngsters. The state of French football couldn’t dream of a scenario where they could reject the masses of money offered by the leading clubs in Europe.
It has become an all too familiar trend in France where by they relentlessly produce starlets most recently in the shape of Samir Nasri and Karim Benzema, but are forced to sell them on after breaking onto the main stage.
But could the resurgence of Paris Saint Germain prove as a cataclysmic transformation in French football. It can’t be disputed that PSG have become nothing short than one of the richest, most powerful clubs in the game, but could their rise in stature prove to benefit the league as a whole. If PSG reach their ambition, becoming a force in Europe then we could see further investment into French football by determined investors who fancy a go at what the Parisians have started.
It’s just as much of an enigma as to how despite previously lacking investment, why PSG have endured such a devastating capitulation despite being the only football club of note in the entirety of the French capital. Second only to London which is the largest city in Europe, PSG enjoy a huge fan base that other French clubs can only but dream of.
Consider if you will the prospect of there being a London FC. Imagine, a club which of unlimited resource, a scouting network stretching across the whole capital with a potential fan base of millions. It seems unthinkable and you can only but speculate that if this was the case in England, that ‘London FC’ would quite possibly be quite considerably the best team in the Premier League if not the whole the Europe. But enough of that drooling prospect, it is for Paris Saint Germain a reality and they indeed have the entire city at their disposal. But with great power comes great responsibility (shameless Spiderman quote) and somewhere along the line the running of the club has certainly hampered the club and prevented the club from being the force it should.