How Paris Saint-Germain Are Becoming the Next Manchester City

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IDecember 30, 2011

PARIS - MAY 01:  Striker Mevlut Erding of Paris Saint Germain football club (L) and midfielder Christophe Jallet (R) hold the trophy after winning the French Cup Football Final at Stade de France on May 1, 2010 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

On Dec. 28, it was reported that Paris St Germain and former AC Milan and Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti are on the verge of completing a deal to make the Italian the manager of the club.

A major reason why the club have decided on Ancelotti was due to PSG's failure's to advance in the Europa League.

It also appears that they don't think that current manager Antoine Kombouare is the right man to manage the players that were bought over the summer.

Even though PSG are on top of Ligue 1 at the moment, that is not enough for the Qatari owners, who want their club to become one of the top clubs in Europe.

This transformation officially started when the Qatar Investment Authority took 70 percent of the shares of PSG from then-owners Colony Capital last May.

Once the investment group bought the club, they absorbed the losses from the previous season, estimated at 19 million euros, and the club's debt, which was between 15 and 20 million euros.

The Qatari group were not the first group from the Middle East that bought a club and propelled a massive amount of cash into a club.

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Of course, both Getafe and Manchester City have gotten rich owners from the Middle East in recent years.

Getafe have not achieved the heights that they expected through one season, but Manchester City have achieved more success than they would have if their old owners were still in charge.

Manchester City have acquired some of the biggest stars in football since Abu Dhabi United Group bought the club in 2008
Manchester City have acquired some of the biggest stars in football since Abu Dhabi United Group bought the club in 2008Michael Regan/Getty Images

Man City have won an FA Cup, advanced to the Europa League one time and were able to reach their first Champions League this season. Currently they are on top of the Premier League at Christmas for the first time since 1929.

What Man City have done has been remarkable, and has been the blueprint for what PSG are trying to accomplish.

PSG have gone a remarkable 17 years since winning Ligue 1, which is eerily similar to Manchester City's 35-year stretch between winning a competition.

In both cases, each club has used their large quantities of money to build success.

During last summer's transfer window, only Man City were ahead of PSG when it came to overall spending in the market. PSG spent a staggering £75.3 million in the transfer market, while City spent £76 million.

Javier Pastore went from Palermo to PSG for 42 million euros in what was the most expensive fee ever paid by a French club.

Some of the other stars acquired by PSG included Kevin Gameiro, Blaise Matuidi, Jeremy Menez, Mohamed Sissoko and Uruguay captain Diego Lugano.

None of these signings will be bigger than the potential move for David Beckham in this winter transfer window that has the football world buzzing.

One of the biggest problems that is in French football is that there is no true global superstar in their professional ranks. Sure, there are stars such as stars such as a Hugo Lloris or a Loic Remy who are playing in Ligue 1 right now, but they are not global superstars.

David Beckham has been a star at some of the world's biggest clubs
David Beckham has been a star at some of the world's biggest clubsToby Canham/Getty Images

This allows PSG to exploit a market for jersey sales internationally, which will allow for a large amount of money to come to the club.

Along with this, more international attention will be put on PSG and Ligue 1 in general, which will only enhance the club's image.

Throughout the last decade, Olympique Lyonnais have dominated Ligue 1, and consequently they gained popularity. In a 2008 survey, Lyon were above Olympique de Marseille in a Ligue 1 popularity survey, mainly due to their seven consecutive championships in their domestic league.

However, PSG will in all likelihood become the most popular club with their increase in capital, which will result in multiple titles and a likely spot in the Champions League.

That was the goal of new owner Nasser Al-Khelaïfi when he was discussing his plans for the club several months ago.

PSG has an enormous potential - they are the only big football club in a city of 12 million inhabitants! That's unique in Europe. Our aim is to qualify for the Champions League every year as of 2012. Then, from 2015, we want to play a major role in Le Championnat [the Championship]. We don't want to sign Lionel Messi, but we want to invest in the big stars of tomorrow from all over the world, including France.

This quote brings up another interesting point that ownership understands. PSG's potential is enormous considering they are the only mega club in the Paris area.

No one is going to contest PSG in popularity in their own city and considering they play in the Parc des Princes (with a capacity of 48,712), they will be able to draw big crowds and a large amount of cash in the process.

The Parc des Princes has hosted many important sporting events. When will PSG play a truly important match there?
The Parc des Princes has hosted many important sporting events. When will PSG play a truly important match there?David Rogers/Getty Images

Paris can also become the first European city that will be able to win a Champions League title since Real Madrid did in 2002, assuming that their owners are truly intent on heavily competing in the Champions League, something that they appear to want to win.

PSG will also become the first club from a European capital city that hosts most important governmental buildings to win the Champions League that is free from either fascist or dictatorial rule.

Real Madrid won their first six European Cups with Francisco Franco in charge of Spain. The legacy of the club is still strong due in large part to the influence that Franco had on the club.

Consequentially, Real Madrid's Champions League titles in 1998, 2000 and 2002 are due in large part to fascism's role in Spain from a generation before.

Benfica won both European Cups with Dictator António de Oliveira Salazar running Portugal. Steaua Bucureşti won the European Cup in 1986 with Communist leader Nicolae Ceauşescu running Romania.

And Red Star Belgrade won their title in 1991 with Sejdo Bajramović temporarily running Yugoslavia as the head of state. Shortly afterward, Yugoslavia broke up into several nations.

Ajax have also won four European Cups in their history. Amsterdam may be the capital of the Netherlands, but it doesn't host where the important government buildings are located.

Instead, it is The Hague that hosts those buildings. However, the only football club located in The Hague is ADO Den Haag, a club that has had very little footballing success in its history.

Much of Real Madrid's success is due to their illustrious history
Much of Real Madrid's success is due to their illustrious historyShaun Botterill/Getty Images

If PSG were to win a Champions League within the next several years, it would help change French and European football forever. France has not won a Champions League since 1993 and PSG were the last French club to win a European championship when they won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1996.

In those terms, winning a Champions League would be much bigger for both PSG and for French football.

That would allow for PSG to become a European giant and for a new era in European football.

Follow me on Twitter @Andrew_Jordan


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