Qatar bid for Manchester United raises questions over PSG’s future
The announcement that a consortium led by a Qatari banker is making a bid to buy Manchester United has raised questions about the potential implications for Paris Saint-Germain, which has been owned by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) for more than a decade. was taken earlier.
QSI, a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the Gulf state, gained control of the French club in 2011 for only 70 million euros ($74.7m at the current exchange rate).
PSG has since become a vehicle through which Qatar can project soft power – under QSI’s ownership, they are now not only France’s premier club but a major name on the European stage and a global brand.
More than 1.5 billion euros have been spent on transfers over the past dozen years, including two of the biggest fees in the history of the game for Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in 2017, although all that money has yet to deliver Champions League glory. Found, in which Qatar could have done. Bask.
But now the small, gas-rich state is aiming even higher with its sights on United, the most successful club in the history of the most powerful league in the world, generating far more commercial and broadcasting income than it can. French top flight.
The bid, led by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, president of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), is believed to be between four and six billion euros, according to multiple sources.
QIB is owned by the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Qatar.
“When you have an offer from someone who is a member of the wider al-Thani family, it essentially means it is an offer from the state,” said Jean-Baptiste Guégnon, a lecturer and geographer in sport. -politics expert, told AFP.
“This means that nothing is done without the approval of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.”
However, there is no suggestion of the Qataris abandoning PSG in the short or medium term.
– New strategy? ,
If Qatar’s bid for Manchester United is successful, “PSG’s plans will not change at all. The two clubs will be completely different on and off the field. QIB is completely different from QSI,” said a source close to the PSG owners. the source insisted. to AFP.
Last December, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelafi also shrugged off any suggestion of a possible exit when he said in an interview with the Financial Times “we have a long-term project here”.
At the same time, Khelafi admitted that the French champions were in discussions with a number of investors about potentially selling a 15 per cent stake.
“Qatar has been able to remain with two clubs. It does not mean that it is finished with PSG. It is above all a demonstration of Qatar’s power that it has been able to show interest in a club like Manchester United,” Magoric, who specializes in Gulf and sports at Tours University in Raphael Le France, told AFP.
“It is unlikely they will withdraw from Paris as it would be seen as a failure.”
Yet a dispute with the Paris city council over PSG’s attempts to buy its Parc des Princes stadium from the local authority has left a bitter taste with the club’s owners.
According to Le Magoriac, Qatar “has invested a lot and thinks its generosity is not being respected”.
Despite this, ties between France and Qatar, which hold stakes in several French multinational corporations, make it unlikely that the country will divert its capital away from a club such as PSG.
“Paris is a kind of platform that makes Qatar stand out in the world,” says Le Magoric.
Yet it is possible that there is a slight change of strategy at PSG, given that the club is being closely monitored by UEFA to ensure that they comply with European football’s governing body’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. are in line with.
The club made a huge €370 million loss last season and has a huge wage bill weighed down by the salaries of superstars Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
“There is probably less investment. They have already tightened their belts because of FFP constraints,” Guégnon said.
“But they are going to open up to foreign investors, and depending on the identity of these investors we will see if the club remains an asset in Qatar’s visibility strategy or if they move into a different phase.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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