Paris Saint-Germain: Buying their way to glory
A look at the financial fairy tale of Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain
To the average football supporter, Paris Saint-Germain will be remembered as a side that have risen and fallen on the European stage.
Since forming in 1970, the club has experienced remarkable domestic success, for example lifting the French Cup eight times, finishing first in Ligue 1 twice, and coming top in the UEFA Team Ranking in 1998.
In more recent seasons however, "Les Rouge-et-Bleu" have failed to meet their fans high expectations, falling as low as 16th in the top tier of French football in the 2007/08 campaign.
The biggest landmark in the capital club’s history to date is Qatar Investment Authority becoming its major shareholder (70%) in the summer of 2011, and purchasing the entire team from Colony Capital (29%) and Butler Capital Partners (1%) in 2012.
Similar to the situation Chelsea and Anzhi Makhachkala have found themselves in, the main aim of Qatar Investment Authority injecting over €100million in the side was to achieve European glory.
These bold claims and promises have not been empty, as the world has witnessed the French club shell out €42million on AC Milan's Thiago Silva and €20million on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, just to name a couple of big names to jump on the bandwagon of wealth.
As seen with the rise of Manchester City, wealth can have an immediate effect in football. PSG currently sit at the top of Ligue 1, marginally ahead of regular division rivals Lyon and Marseille, with a significantly higher goal difference.
The fans will be hoping for a significantly less dramatic end this summer, in comparison to the 2011/12 campaign, in which Montpellier snatched the title in the final game week of the season by beating Auxerre 2-1 thanks to the cool finishing of striker John Utaka.
Looking ahead to more immediate concerns, the future seems bright at Parc des Princes. Carlo Ancelotti has established the team as a force to be reckoned with in France, and with a dominant position over Valencia going into the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie following a 2-1 win at the Mestalla, the middle-Eastern investors are within touching distance of their dream of a European final.
The French capital now boasts a formidable side, that with the backing of seemingly endless wealth and the tactical genius of Ancelotti, seem a certainty for a major European trophy in the coming years, to help reassert themselves as one of the best clubs on the continent.
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