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 Investment Authority|
|2012–13||Ligue 1, 1st|
|Website||Club home page|
Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, also known simply as Paris Saint-Germain (familiarly as Paris SG or PSG), is a professional association football club based in Paris, France. The capital club was founded on 12 August 1970, thanks to the merger of Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain. PSG has been playing in Ligue 1 since 1974. Les Rouge-et-Bleu have won 3 Ligue 1, 1 Ligue 2, 8 Coupe de France, 3 Coupe de la Ligue, 3 Trophée des Champions, 1 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and 1 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Having won 20 titles, Paris Saint-Germain is the fourth 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 Paris Saint-Germain since 1974. The Camp des Loges has been operating as a training centre for the club 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 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. The lyrics of "Go West" were rewritten following fan suggestions. 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 Investment Authority 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
Paris Saint-Germain Football Club was established on 12 August 1970 after the merger between Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain. Presided over by a group of wealthy businessmen, the club grew at an astounding pace early on. Les Rouge-et-Bleu were Ligue 2 winners in their first year of existence and thus achieved promotion to Ligue 1. Their momentum was soon checked as the club split in 1972, Paris FC remaining in the top-flight and PSG demoted to Division 3. PSG returned to Ligue 1 in 1974, ironically at the same time that Paris FC was relegated. The capital club moved into the Parc des Princes that year. The club's trophy cabinet welcomed its first major silverware with the 1982 Coupe de France. Dominique Rocheteau and company guided PSG to victory against Michel Platini's Saint-Étienne on penalties in the final. Jean-Marc Pilorget’s match-winning penalty gave PSG a 6-5 shootout win after it had finished 2-2 in normal time. Les Parisiens successfully defended their trophy in 1983, overcoming recently crowned French champions Nantes in the final. PSG then was crowned champion of France for the first time in 1986, setting a new record of 26 matches without defeat along the way. Manager Gérard Houllier led a team in which Rocheteau, Safet Sušić and Luis Fernández were the driving forces as Paris climbed to the top of the standings.
It was not until the 1990s that Paris Saint-Germain became a giant of French football. The capital club entered their 'Golden Era' following their takeover by big-money television giants Canal+. Manager Artur Jorge led the club to its second national league title after the 1993 Coupe de France. A new unbeaten record of 27 matches laid the foundations for the Ligue 1 triumph in 1994 and saw the 'Dream Team' of Raí, George Weah, David Ginola and Valdo, which the very next year conquered an unprecedented treble of cup wins: the first ever Coupe de la Ligue, the Coupe de France a few weeks later and the Trophée des Champions. Having enjoyed semi-final appearances in the 1993 UEFA Cup, 1994 Cup Winners' Cup and 1995 Champions League, the next challenge was continental glory. The club contested two UEFA Cup Winners' Cup finals in 1996 and 1997. Under former player Luis Fernández as manager, PSG won the first one against Rapid Vienna, courtesy of Bruno N'Gotty's stunning free-kick that sent Les Rouge-et-Bleu to seventh heaven, but lost the second to Ronaldo's Barcelona with Ricardo in the bench. Between these finals, a dazzling Juventus proved too strong for Paris Saint-Germain in the 1996 UEFA Super Cup, winning 9-2 on aggregate. During the 1997–98 season, however, Captain Raí and his teammates achieved another Coupe de la Ligue - Coupe de France double in the emblematic Brazilian playmaker's final season at the club, before PSG completed a second cup treble with the Trophée des Champions.
1998 signalled the end of PSG’s golden age. Cup successes notwithstanding, the 2000s were tough for Paris Saint-Germain. Three more trophies landed in the shape of the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup, the 2004 Coupe de France and the 2006 Coupe de France - that memorable final triumph over deadly rivals Olympique de Marseille - thanks to the likes of Marco Simone, Jay-Jay Okocha, Nicolas Anelka, Ronaldinho and Pauleta. However, Les Parisiens slipped further down the table and Canal+ sold the club to Colony Capital in 2006 after years of underachievement. PSG won the Coupe de la Ligue, but slumped to a miserable 16th place, narrowly avoiding relegation in 2008. The club then launched a brief comeback as they tussled for the title in 2009, eventually finishing in sixth place. PSG later claimed their eighth Coupe de France crown in 2010. But it wasn't until 2011 that PSG finally restored a sense of balance, when PSG was purchased by Qatar Investment Authority. The appointment of Carlo Ancelotti later that year and a flurry of big-money signings brought about the Ligue 1 title in 2013. Led by Zlatan Ibrahimović’s 30-goal haul, PSG ended a 19-year wait after securing their first league since 1994.
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 colors 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 lys recall that Louis XIV was born in Saint Germain-en-Laye in 1638. The colors 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 Investment Authority 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-lys 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 home 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 characterized 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 to 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 gray 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.
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 Paris Saint-Germain to the present day.
The first shirts of Paris Saint-Germain 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 Paris Saint-Germain 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. 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 1999–2000 season with 43,185 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. The capital club 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 all of 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 subsidizing 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 stylized 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. However, 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 reemerged 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. Paris Saint-Germain had lost its two major supporters groups in the space of two years. Additionally, the capital club launched "Tous PSG", an anti-violence plan that annihilated 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 casuals and ultras didn't, alleging the club had "lost its soul". Consequently, where there used to be a raucous and even threatening atmosphere behind each goal, now there is a largely dispirited crowd.
Le Classique, also known as Derby de France, is a football match contested between French top-flight clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille. These meetings became important during the late 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. Canal + and Bernard Tapie promoted the rivalry, making these matches of interest for all French football fans. The tension between OM and PSG fans is legendary, and both clubs' world-class stadia, the Stade Vélodrome and the Parc des Princes, respectively, are renowned for the white-hot atmosphere and fervent fans. More and more, the 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 every time the duo meet.
Like all major rivalries, the antipathy between Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille extends outside the pitch as Paris and Marseille are the two largest cities in France, while the duo are the country's two best-supported clubs and were the dominant forces before the appearance of Olympique Lyonnais during the 21st century. The arch-rivals are also the only two French clubs to have won a major European club competition. Despite their recent ups and downs, PSG and OM remain, along with Saint-Étienne, the only French clubs with a truly nationwide, faithful and passionate fan base, giving the country's biggest match a special atmosphere.
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 had some difficulties in the economic field. 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 launched an investment offer to help PSG palliate its financial crisis: 10,000 francs for one lifetime subscription at the Parc des Princes. Famous French singer and PSG fan Henri Salvador took four. Hechter was then 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 and PSG became the leading club in Paris, despite competition from Paris FC and Matra Racing, while capturing its first trophies. Nevertheless, his old-style management didn't allowed the club to properly handle the emergent football business during the 1980s and by the early-1990s PSG was in financial agony with an immense 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 the club in 1991. PSG received a whopping 40% of their income from televised games and became one of the richest clubs in France. Thanks to this money, PSG embarked on a spending spree, buying the best talent in France and the world, and entered a golden age, winning nine trophies. 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 recapitalizing 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 Paris Saint-Germain 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. Colony Capital revealed in 2010 that they were looking for new investors to make PSG a true title contender for years to come.
The following year, in 2011, Qatar Investment Authority 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. QIA bought the club in a deal worth €50m, which covered an estimated €15-20m in debt and losses of €19m from the 2010–11 season. Consequently, PSG became the richest club in France and one of the richest clubs in the world. QIA later purchased the remaining 30% stake held by Colony Capital and Butler Capital Partners and became the sole shareholder of PSG in 2012. The transaction valued the entire club at €100m. PSG then splashed €147m on signings and were the biggest spenders in the world for the 2012–13 season. Since QIA's arrival, PSG has spent a world record €364m for the 2011–2014 period.
French teams are limited to four players without EU citizenship. The squad list includes only the principal nationality of each player; several non-European players on the squad have dual citizenship with an EU country. Also, players from the ACP countries—countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific that are signatories to the Cotonou Agreement—are not counted against non-EU quotas due to the Kolpak ruling.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Assistant Coaches||Jean-Louis Gasset, Claude Makélélé, Angelo Castellazzi|
|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|
|Assistant Sporting Director||Olivier Létang|
|Administration and Finances||Philippe Boindreux|
|Commercial Activities||Frédéric Longuépée|
|PSG Association President||Benoît Rousseau|
|Foreign Relations||Guillaume Le Roy|
|Public Relations||Katia Krzekowiak|
|Press Officer||Yann Guérin|
|Youth Academy Director||Bertrand Reuzeau|
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- Grimault, Dominique; Luis Fernández (1995). Le Parc de mes passions. Albin Michel. ISBN 2-226-07790-1.
- Balédant, Fabrice; Alain Leiblanc (1986). Paris S.G. champion !. RTL Éditions. ISBN 2-87951-157-7.
- Hechter, Daniel (1979). Le football business. Ramsay. ISBN 2-85956-118-8.
- Chevit, Frédéric; Olivier Rey (1977). Le roman vrai du Paris SG. Fayard. ISBN 2-213-00520-6.
- Pérès, Jean-François; Daniel Riolo, David Aiello (2003). OM-PSG, PSG-OM. Les meilleurs ennemis, enquête sur une rivalité. Mango Sport. ISBN 2-84270-434-7.
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