Qatari Owners Could Pull The Plug On PSG

Disappointment Over Champions League Failure

Neymar PSG
Image: Antoine Dellenbach

Paris Saint-Germain’s wealthy Qatari owners could be ready to pull the plug on the Ligue 1 side according to reports from France.

PSG have dominated French football since Qatar Sports Investments, a subsidiary of the state-owned Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), bought the club in 2012. Since then they have won the Ligue 1 title in six of the last seven seasons along with four French cups and five French league cups. Most of the club’s domestic honours in its 49-year history have come since QSI’s takeover.

But the plan was for PSG to become a powerhouse of European football and to establish the club alongside the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus. That hasn’t happened. Their performance in the Champions League has tailed off over the past three seasons. The club were eliminated at the four-quarter final stage in four successive seasons between 2013 and 2016.

Unai Emery was unable to improve on that and the club was eliminated at the round of 16 stage in each of his two seasons in charge. It has been the same story this season under Thomas Tuchel with a 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United seeing them go out on the away goals rule once again at the last 16 stage.

Now, French newspaper Le Parisien believes that this latest Champions League failure, plus PSG’s failure to land either of France’s two domestic trophies this season, has led to a change of heart amongst the Qataris. They believe these failures and the scenes following last week’s Coupe de France defeat to Rennes where record-signing Neymar was seen to punch a Rennes supporter, do nothing for Qatar’s overseas image. The chance to promote the tiny Middle Eastern state overseas was a major factor in the purchase of PSG.

Le Parisien adds that the criticism the club has received in France, particularly following the defeat to United and Rennes, have led to a change of heart among the Qataris who are now considering pulling funding.