Paris Saint-Germain F.C.
|Full name||Paris Saint-Germain Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||Les Rouge-et-Bleu (The Red and Blue) Les Parisiens (The Parisians)|
|Founded||12 August 1970|
|Ground||Parc des Princes|
|Owner||Qatar Sports Investments|
|2013–14||Ligue 1, 1st|
|Website||Club home page|
Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, also known simply as Paris Saint-Germain (French pronunciation: [paʁi sɛ̃ ʒɛʁmɛ̃]) and familiarly as Paris SG or PSG (IPA: [peɛsʒe]), is a professional association football club based in Paris, France. It was founded on 12 August 1970 following the merger of Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain. PSG has competed in Ligue 1 since 1974. Les Rouge-et-Bleu have won the Ligue 1 title four times, the Ligue 2 once, the Coupe de France eight times, the Coupe de la Ligue four times, the Trophée des Champions four times, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup once and the UEFA Intertoto Cup once. PSG is the third most successful club in France and one of only two French clubs (with Olympique de Marseille) to win a major European club competition.
The Parc des Princes has been the home stadium of PSG since 1974. The Camp des Loges has served as the club's training centre since 1970. The Tournoi de Paris has been hosted by the capital club at the Parc des Princes since 1975. The crest and shirt of Les Parisiens were mainly designed by Daniel Hechter. The crest represents Paris through the Eiffel Tower and Saint-Germain-en-Laye through the fleur-de-lys between the legs of the tower. The traditional shirt is blue with a red central vertical bar framed by white edgings.
Allez Paris Saint-Germain, to the tune of "Go West" by Pet Shop Boys, is the official anthem of PSG. Germain the lynx is the club's mascot. PSG shares an intense rivalry with Olympique de Marseille and contest the most notorious football match in France, known as Le Classique. PSG is the second best-supported football club in France after arch-rivals Marseille. "Ici c'est Paris" (This is Paris) is one of the club's most popular mottos. Qatar Sports Investments became the club's majority owner in 2011 and sole shareholder in 2012. The takeover made PSG the richest club in France and one of the richest in the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Crest
- 3 Shirt
- 4 Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
- 5 Stadiums
- 6 Support
- 7 Club rivalries
- 8 Ownership and finances
- 9 Players
- 10 Honours
- 11 Club officials
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
Towards the end of the 1960s, an ambitious group of businessmen decided to create a major club in the French capital. They chose to merge their virtual side, Paris FC, with Stade Saint-Germain after the team from Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 15km west of Paris, won promotion to Ligue 2. The merger was ratified by the French Football Federation and the new outfit, Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, came into being in 1970.
PSG made an immediate impact both on and off the pitch, building a substantial fanbase and winning promotion in their first season. Their momentum was soon checked, however, and the club split in 1972, Paris FC remaining in the top-flight and PSG demoted to Division 3. Two seasons later PSG returned to Ligue 1, moving into the Parc des Princes in 1974.
The club's trophy cabinet welcomed its first major silverware in the shape of the Coupe de France in 1981–82 as PSG defeated Saint-Étienne on penalties in the final. Four years later coach Gérard Houllier led the team to their maiden league success, Safet Sušić pulling the strings in midfield.
An even brighter era then dawned when broadcasters Canal+ took over in 1991. Although just one more Ligue 1 crown was added in the following decade, PSG's crowning glory came with triumph in the 1996 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final, Bruno N'Gotty hitting the only goal as Rapid Vienna were defeated 1-0. A year later, Les Rouge-et-Bleu finished runners-up to Barcelona in the same competition.
Cup successes notwithstanding, the early 2000s were tough for PSG, who flirted with relegation on occasion as a combination of high expectations and intense media pressure took their toll. It wasn't until the club was purchased by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011 that PSG finally restored a sense of balance. The appointment of Carlo Ancelotti later that year and a flurry of big-money signings brought about the Ligue 1 title in 2012–13.
The first crest of Paris Saint-Germain (or Paris FC logo), surfaced in 1970 and was used during the following two seasons. It consisted of a ball and a vessel, two powerful symbols of Paris. Starting over in Division 3 after the split from Paris FC, PSG created its historical crest, known as the Eiffel Tower logo, in 1972. It consisted of a red silhouette of the Eiffel Tower with the cradle of French King Louis XIV and the fleur de lys in white between its legs on a blue background with white edging. The red of the Eiffel Tower and the blue of the background are the two colours of Paris, a reference to La Fayette and Jean Sylvain Bailly, two key figures of the French Revolution in 1789. The white is a hint to the coat of arms of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and it is also the color of royalty. The cradle and the fleur-de-lis recall that Louis XIV was born in Saint Germain-en-Laye in 1638. The colours of PSG are the traces of the union between Paris and Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
According to former PSG coach Robert Vicot, fashion designer Daniel Hechter introduced the Eiffel Tower in the crest before a certain Mr. Vallot had the ingenious idea of placing the birthplace of Louis XIV underneath the tower. Former PSG major shareholder Canal+ was the first to try to replace the historical crest in 1994. The new model had the acronym 'PSG' and underneath it 'Paris Saint-Germain'. This caused the supporters' anger and the historical crest returned in 1995. The historical crest received a makeover in 2013 under PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi's approval with a renovated and modern design. PSG shareholder Qatar Sports Investments wanted to take full advantage of the city's global appeal and the new crest clearly brought to the fore the name 'PARIS' which is written in big bold letters. On top of that, the cradle which marked the birth of Louis XIV was discarded and in place the fleur-de-lis sits solely under the Eiffel Tower. Also, the founding year 1970 made way with 'Saint-Germain' taking its place at the bottom.
During 1970, Paris Saint-Germain adopted a red shirt with white shorts and blue socks to meet the three club colours: the red and the blue of Paris and the white of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The red shirt remained for the following three seasons. Upon his arrival as PSG president in 1973, fashion designer Daniel Hechter conceived an unprecedented shirt, which was used throughout the 1970s and became a strong symbol of the capital club. The so-called Hechter shirt was blue with a red central and vertical band framed by white edgings. Daniel Hechter inspired himself in his design of the Eiffel Tower logo to create the famous shirt that premiered in the 1973–74 season. Hechter also designed the away shirt: it was white with a fine blue band on the heart framed by red and white edgings. The Hechter home design, however, was demoted to away shirt in 1974–75. The home shirt inverted Hechter's colours (red-white-blue-white-red). Also, a blue-gray shirt was used as third kit. After only one season, the Hechter design returned as home shirt until 1981.
The 1980s were characterised by the establishment of the white home shirt decorated with a fine red and blue vertical band on the heart from the 1981–82 season onwards. This shirt had been already worn for away matches since 1977 and recalled the Hechter away design from the 1973–74 term. It stood as home shirt during nine seasons. The Hechter home design, meanwhile, remained the away outfit of Les Parisiens until 1988–89, when it was supplanted with a blue shirt, very different from the colours of PSG, which was the third kit of the previous season. During the 1982–83 and 1986–87 campaigns, PSG used a red shirt as third outfit, which was the home shirt in the early 1970s.
The 1990s began with a few fantasies from new supplier Nike. After two seasons with a blue away shirt, Nike revived the Hechter home shirt as the away outfit in 1990–91. At home, the white shirt of the last nine seasons was modified: the red and blue vertical band was shaped to form a representation of the Eiffel Tower. PSG outfitter Nike innovated again in 1992–93 and the outfits slipped further away from the Hechter shirts: a white home shirt and a blue away shirt. Nike continued its experiments in 1993–94: a dominant red shirt with blue-purple stripes at home and a blue-purple with white stripes as away shirt. However, under pressure from supporters, the Hechter home shirt returned in 1994 and stayed until 2000. The away shirt was white with a red central and vertical band framed by blue edgings (white and black edgings in 1997–98). It stood until 1999–2000, when it became the third shirt and the away shirt was grey with a broad white central and horizontal band. During the 1996–97 and 1997–98 campaigns, PSG also worn a red shirt as third colours.
The 2000s was marked by Nike's attempts to drift PSG away from its traditional shirt. Conversely, the club multiplied the away jerseys. All began with the disappearance of the white edgings in 2000–01. The grey away shirt remained. Contrary to fans' wishes, Nike and PSG continued to play with the home jersey: this time it was almost black and the red band was reduced and moved to the heart. The away shirt was completely grey and a third black jersey was used just once in a defeat away to Olympique de Marseille. With the arrival of a new campaign, the home shirt saw the return of the white edgings. The away shirt, meanwhile, played the retro card with the famous white tunic of the 1980s. If the home shirt remained unchanged until 2005, the away jersey went from not representing PSG (beige with red sleeves) to the inverted Hechter model worn between 1974 and 1976. Five seasons of experiments later, the Hechter shirt returned in 2005–06. Inversely, the away shirt was reminiscent of American baseball teams: white with red and blue pinstripes. The season that followed, the red band was reduced once again, while the away jersey was chocolate brown and the baseball shirt was demoted to third. Both PSG shirts went back to the design of the mid-1990s in 2007–08. A season later, thanks to the protests of fans, the Hechter shirt made its umpteenth return. The away jersey went back to grey but with a red band instead. During 2009–10, a blue shirt with red pinstripes became the least traditional PSG home shirt since 1993, accompanied by a white away shirt featuring blue and red dotts.
The current decade began with a nod to the past. PSG was celebrating its 40th anniversary in the summer of 2010 and presented a red shirt reminiscent to the one worn in the 1970–71 season. Away matches were played with the Hecther design. The latter took its rightful place as home shirt in 2011–12, while the away jersey was white with a horizontal red band on the chest.
Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
The shirts of Paris Saint-Germain remained sponsorless during its first two years of existence. A sponsor first appeared on the shirts in the 1972–73 season: Montreal. Canada Dry then took its place for one season. The 1974–75 term was marked by the appearance of RTL, which remained on the PSG shirts until 1991. Canal+ would later arrive alongside RTL in 1986, before La Cinq replaced Canal+ for the 1988–89 campaign. A season later, TDK took the place of La Cinq. During the 1990–91 term, PSG welcomed a new sponsor alongside RTL: Alain Afflelou. However, in the ensuing season, both Alain Afflelou and RTL, after 17 years, were replaced with Commodore and Müller. Tourtel beer then joined Commodore and Müller on the Parisian shirts for the 1992–93 season. Alongside Tourtel and SEAT, Commodore occasionally gave away its place to Amiga, its brand of personal computers, but always with the Commodore logo during the 1993–94 campaign. Liptonic then took Commodore's place alongside SEAT and Tourtel in the 1994–95 term. The season afterwards, PSG was finally home of only one sponsor: Opel, which remained on the shirts for 7 years. During the 2000–01 campaign, at Munich and Milan, in the Champions League, PSG played in a shirt flocked Corsa, an Opel car model, because of Bayern Munich and A.C. Milan being also sponsored by Opel. Two seasons later, Thomson replaced Opel, before Fly Emirates took over sponsorship duties in the 2006–07 term. Fly Emirates remain the shirt sponsor of PSG to the present day.
The first shirts of PSG were supplied by kit manufacturer Le Coq Sportif, which remained until 1975, when Adidas and Kopa arrived, before a return to the first brand for the 1976–77 season. After Le Coq Sportif, Adidas and Kopa, it was the turn of Pony to join the PSG shirts in the 1977–1978 campaign. Kopa also supplied shirts to the capital club throughout that season. Once again, Le Coq Sportif returned in 1978 and continued until 1986. During the 1986–87 term, Adidas came back for the next three seasons. Later, Nike took over supply duties in the 1989–90 campaign. Nike remain the kit manufacturer of PSG to the present day.
The Stade Georges Lefèvre of the Camp des Loges was the main stadium of Paris Saint-Germain from 1970 to 1974. The Camp des Loges has been the training centre of PSG since its foundation in 1970. Since 1974, it has also served as the home facility for the PSG Youth Academy, which train and play their home matches at the Stade Georges Lefèvre. The Camp des Loges was renovated in 2008.
Officially opened on 4 June 1972, the Parc des Princes has a seating capacity of 48,712 spectators and also used to host concerts. Conceived by architect Roger Taillibert and built all in own piece from concrete, the Parc has been said to resemble a washbowl, with its capacity for resonating supporters' chants making it such an atmospheric venue. On particularly electric nights, it is even possible to feel the stadium ripple beneath your feet as thousands of fans jump up and down. The ground based in Porte de Saint-Cloud was also home to the France national football team until the Stade de France arrived on the scene.
PSG played their first match at the Parc des Princes against Red Star Paris on 10 November 1973. PSG became the sole tenant of the Parc des Princes in July 1974. PSG shareholders Canal+ took control of the SESE, the company which holds the concession of the Parc des Princes, in 1992. The City of Paris extended the concession of the stadium for another 15 years in 1999. PSG completely took over the Parc des Princes and the capital club's headquarters were moved to a new edifice within the stadium in 2002. PSG's highest average home attendance was registered during the 2013–14 season with 45,420 spectators per match. PSG's record home attendance is 49,407 spectators and was registered in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals match against Waterschei in 1983.
Paris Saint-Germain is the second most popular football club in France after Olympique de Marseille. PSG is also one of the most widely supported French clubs in the world. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is one of the club's most prominent supporters. PSG is known to draw their support from both far-right white nationalists and Île de France's multi-ethnic population. During the 1970s, PSG were struggling to attract a fervent fan-base to the Parc des Princes and so decided to offer cheap tickets in the Boulogne to young people. The offer was a big hit and the new fans, influenced by Liverpool's famous Spion Kop stand in Anfield, created the Kop of Boulogne stand (KoB), which immersed in casual hooligan culture. The dubious English role model was the inspiration behind France's most infamous fans, the kobistes. These fans shaped the most notorious stand in French football. The home of French hooliganism, the KoB has been synonymous with violence, racism and fascism since the 1980s, when skinheads took over part of the stand, lending the name far‑right connotations. Separate gangs were formed in the KoB, united under an English inspirated logo: a bulldog's head on a tricolor map of France. The Boulogne Boys, the most high-profile of these groups, was formed in 1985. The KoB became the core not only of the most loyal PSG fans, but also of the most extremist. The Parc des Princes became known as the most hostile stadium in France.
Despite PSG winning Ligue 1 in 1986, the team enjoyed its worst top flight attendance record in 1991. The press considered the violence at the stadium to be the culprit and the PSG board started subsidising supporters who, sick of the chaos in the KoB, were willing to move across the field. Concerned by the behaviour of racist fans at the KoB, PSG encouraged the creation of a rival kop at the other end, the Auteuil, presumably to marginalise the troublemakers. And so the Supras Auteuil and the Tigris Mystic, the most high-profile groups of the Auteuil, appeared in the early 1990s. However, this resulted in a new problem as the Auteuil became the home of multicultural PSG fans who were unwelcome in the predominantly white KoB. Despite tentative moves to break up the KoB, the violence escalated. Incidents occurred wherever PSG travelled and only multiplied with the emergence of rival stand Auteuil. Unlike the English-inspired KoB, Auteuil fans stylised their support on the Italian ultra model. Average attendance at the Parc des Princes soared, but the violence continued with injuries and arrests especially in Le Classique against arch-rivals Marseille. Additionally, the Boulogne Boys, one of Ligue 1's most notorious firm, fought throughout the 1990s and 2000s with fans of clubs from all over Europe.
PSG fans have been killed in the crossfire. After a 2006 UEFA Cup match against Hapoel Tel Aviv at the Parc des Princes, KoB member Julien Quemener was shot and killed by a police officer trying to protect a Hapoel supporter whom the group was attacking. The KoB also unfurled a banner which referred to Lens fans as incestuous, jobless paedophiles during the 2008 League Cup Final. The episode led to the dissolution of the Boulogne Boys, one of the oldest hooligan groups in France. Additionally, PSG fans spend more time fighting against each other, than fighting against other teams' counterparts. The KoB groups first targeted Tigris Mystic, which dissolved in 2006 due to the attacks. The violence re-emerged in 2009, when the kobistes ire was trained on the Supras Auteuil, who responded in kind. Ahead of a league match against Marseille in 2010, the Supras murdered KoB member Yann Lorence. The event led to the dissolution of the Supras Auteuil. PSG had lost its two major supporters groups in the space of two years. The club then launched "Tous PSG", an anti-violence plan that dissolved all supporters groups in the stadium. PSG allowed them back in 2011. Minor groups such as Hoolicool, Titi-Fosi and Vikings 27 returned, but the majority of the old, violence-inducing ultras did not.
Le Classique, also known as the Derby de France, is a football match contested between French top-flight clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille. Unlike most derbies, Le Classique is not a product of close proximities—it involves the two largest cities in France. It features the hub of French society and style in Paris against the port city of the working class in Marseille. North-against-south and the kingpin of the southern provinces against the political center of the capital city adds the political dimension to this rivalry.
The duo are the only two French clubs to have won European trophies and were the dominant forces in the land prior to the emergence of Olympique Lyonnais at the start of the millennium. They still remain, along with Saint-Étienne, the only French clubs with a truly national fan base, adding to the appeal of the country's biggest fixture. They are the two most popular clubs in France, and are also the most followed French clubs outside the country. Both teams are at or near the top of the attendance lists every year as well.
OM and PSG fans have tense relations, and various groups of Marseille and Parisian supporters have hated and battled each other. Important security measures are taken to prevent confrontations between the fans, but violent episodes still often occur when the duo meet. Despite the hostilities, many players have worn the shirt of both clubs and have subsequently suffered abuses from the supporters.
Ownership and finances
Paris Saint-Germain was founded in 1970 thanks to the financial backing from local wealthy businessmen Guy Crescent, Pierre-Étienne Guyot and Henri Patrelle. However, since its inception, PSG has experienced some periodic economic difficulties. Indeed, despite a good debut during the 1970–71 season with a profit of 1.5 million francs, the trend reversed and the club's debt increased throughout the years. PSG president Henri Patrelle, searching for financial support, made way for investor Daniel Hechter in 1973 and the club attained professional status. Hechter was later banned for life from football by the French Football Federation following the scandal of double ticketing at the Parc des Princes in 1978. Francis Borelli replaced him. However, Borelli's old-style management did not allow the club to properly handle the emergent football business during the 1980s and by the early 1990s PSG was in serious financial trouble with a debt of 50 million francs. For the first time, the Paris City Council, presided by the mayor of Paris, refused to wipe the slate clean.
French TV channel Canal+ gave reprieve to the ailing Paris Saint-Germain after purchasing it in 1991. PSG received a whopping 40% of their income from televised games and became one of the richest clubs in France. Canal+ became the club's majority shareholder in 1997 and sole shareholder in 2005. Canal+ managed the club through delegated-president Michel Denisot during the 1990s. From 1991 to 1998, PSG maintained its finances healthy and the club's expenditures stood at €50m per season thanks to the rise of television rights and the increasing number of spectators at the Parc des Princes, as well as an excellent performance in national and European competitions. Following the departure of Michel Denisot in 1998, the club began to accumulate debts that reached €96m in 2002. The net debt fell to €8m in 2004 after recapitalising the club. PSG's finances, however, remained red. Between 2004 and 2006, PSG was the only French club with a large deficit, registering losses of €30m. The club's turnover, however, increased from €69m to €80m.
Canal+ sold PSG to investment firms Colony Capital, Butler Capital Partners and Morgan Stanley for €41m in 2006. The club's debt was wiped clean by Canal+. Under its new owners, PSG's turnover reached the €100m and the losses gradually decreased over the years to only €5m in 2009. Colony Capital purchased the majority of the shares of Butler Capital Partners in 2008, though they retained a 5% stake in PSG. Colony Capital acquired all the shares of Morgan Stanley in 2009, becoming owners of 95% of the club, and then revealed in 2010 that they were looking for new investors to make PSG a true title contender for years to come.
In 2011, Qatar Sports Investments became the majority shareholder of PSG after buying a controlling 70% of the shares. Colony Capital (29%) and Butler Capital Partners (1%) remained minority shareholders. QSI bought the club in a deal worth €50m, which covered an estimated €15-20m in debt and €19m in losses from the 2010–11 season. Consequently, PSG became the richest club in France and one of the richest clubs in the world. QSI later purchased the remaining 30% stake and became the sole shareholder of PSG in 2012. The transaction valued the entire club at €100m.
Out on loan
|Assistant Coaches||Jean-Louis Gasset|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Nicolas Dehon|
|Physical Trainers||Philippe Lambert, Denis Lefebve, Simon Colinet|
|Head Doctor||Éric Rolland|
|Physiotherapists||Bruno Le Natur, Jérôme Andral, Dario Fort, Gaël Pasquer, Cyril Praud|
|General Manager||Jean-Claude Blanc|
|Administration and Finances||Philippe Boindreux|
|Commercial Activities||Frédéric Longuépée|
|Assistant Sporting Director||Olivier Létang|
|PSG Association President||Benoît Rousseau|
|Foreign Relations||Guillaume Le Roy|
|Protocol and Public Relations||Katia Krzekowiak|
|Press Officer||Yann Guérin|
|Academy Director||Bertrand Reuzeau|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paris Saint-Germain Football Club.|
- Official websites
- PSG.fr – Site officiel du Paris Saint-Germain
- Paris Saint-Germain at FIFA
- Paris at UEFA
- PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN at LFP
- News sites