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|
|2014–15||Ligue 1, 1st|
|Website||Club home page|
Paris Saint-Germain (French pronunciation: [paʁi sɛ̃ ʒɛʁmɛ̃]) is a professional football club in Paris, France, formed in 1970 by 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 five times, the Ligue 2 once, the Coupe de France nine times, the Coupe de la Ligue five times, the Trophée des Champions four times, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup once and the UEFA Intertoto Cup once. PSG is the second 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. However, "Ville Lumière" is considered by the fans to be one of PSG's most emblematic songs. 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 amongst the richest in the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Crest and colours
- 3 Grounds
- 4 Support
- 5 Rivalries
- 6 Ownership and finances
- 7 Players
- 8 Honours
- 9 Club officials
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 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 was not 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 with two matches to spare. The club also reached the quarter-final of the Champions League, where they lost to Barcelona on the away goals rule (3–3 on aggregate). On 19 May 2013, Ancelotti left the club to manage Real Madrid.
Laurent Blanc was appointed manager of Paris Saint-Germain on 25 June 2013. On 3 August, he won his first trophy with the club, the 2013 Trophée des Champions, defeating Bordeaux 2–1 in the Stade d'Angondjé in Libreville, Gabon, coming from behind with late goals from Hervin Ongenda and Alex. A second item of silverware was won on 19 April 2014, as two goals from Edinson Cavani defeated Lyon 2–1 in the 2014 Coupe de la Ligue Final. On 7 May, after nearest rivals AS Monaco drew with Guingamp, PSG won the league, despite losing to Rennes later that day in the match in which they celebrated their fourth Ligue 1 Title. The following day, Blanc was given a one-year contract extension to 2016.
Crest and colours
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt partner|
|1970–1972||Le Coq Sportif||None|
|1976–1977||Le Coq Sportif|
|1978–1986||Le Coq Sportif|
Following its foundation in 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. Upon the arrival of fashion designer Daniel Hechter as PSG president in 1973, he conceived the club's traditional shirt. The so-called Hechter shirt was blue with a red central and vertical band framed by white edgings. Daniel Hechter draw inspiration from his own 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 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. It stood as home shirt during nine seasons. The Hechter home design, meanwhile, remained as the away outfit.
The 1990s began with a few fantasies from new supplier Nike. 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. It stood until 1999–2000, when the away shirt became grey.
Nike continued its attempts to drift PSG away from its traditional shirt during the 2000s. It all began with the disappearance of the white edgings in 2000–01. A season later, the red band of the home shirt was reduced and moved to the heart. The away shirt, meanwhile, went from grey to the 1980s white home shirt, then changed to an American baseball shirt lookalike and later was chocolate brown. Anecdotally, a third black jersey was used just once in a defeat away to Olympique de Marseille. Five seasons of experiments later, the Hechter shirt briefly returned in 2005–06, only to reappear 2008–09 thanks to the protests of fans. However, during 2009–10, a blue shirt with red pinstripes surfaced, 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.
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.
Paris Saint-Germain played its 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. The club's 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.
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 Paris Saint-Germain Youth Academy. It was renovated in 2008.
The Stade Municipal Georges Lefèvre is a sports complex located just across the street from the Camp des Loges, the training centre of PSG. The artificial turf and grass football fields of the facility currently host training sessions and home matches for the PSG Youth Academy. Formerly it was the home of now-defunct Stade Saint-Germain from 1904 until its merger with fellow local club Paris FC to form Paris Saint-Germain Football Club in 1970. The new club "inherited" the Stade Georges Lefèvre as its home stadia. PSG moved to the Parc des Princes in 1974.
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.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Coupe de France: (9)
|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
- Paris Saint-Germain at LFP
- Paris Saint-Germain at UEFA
- Paris Saint-Germain at FIFA