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Monday, 16 July 2012

Incomplete sporting faction: what next for Qatar Investment Authority - takeover of the French football federation?

Word has it on the sporting grapevine that the so-called Beautiful Game in France is about to receive a much-needed financial boost and an overhaul to the rules.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is believed to have put forward a proposal for a multi-million buyout of the entire board of the Fédération française de football (French football federation, FFF) - the sport's governing body in this country.

It's a move which some commentators say would not only be good for the business of the sport in France, it would also raise the profile of Ligue 1 to match that of some of the other top championships around Europe.

Among the propositions believed to be on the table are the injection of cash to Ligue 1 clubs in proportion to their current expenditure on the transfer market and exclusive QIA-sponsorship of referees and linesman.

QIA is of course the majority shareholder in Paris Saint-German, a club in which it bought a controlling interest last year.

Since then it has hired big names such as former Brazil international Leonardo as director of football and Italian Carlo Ancelotti as manager.

It has also invested heavily in recruiting players,  spending millions in the process - all in the name of sport of course and to build a side capable of winning domestic and, more importantly, European trophies.

The strategy didn't quite pay off last season though as PSG only managed to finish runners-up to the much more modest spending champions Montpellier.

Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimović (screenshot YouTube video)

But that hasn't stopped QIA from dipping even further into its coffers ahead of the new season which kicks off on August 10, stumping up a miserly €46 million to sign Brazil's international defender Thiago Silva from Italy's AC Milan.

Spare a thought for the 27-year-old when you next check your bank balance, because he'll have to struggle with annual after-tax earnings of just €9 million to €12.5 million (depending on which reports you read) for the next five years - should he last that long at the club.

PSG is also reportedly in talks with another AC Milan player, the Swedish international striker,  Zlatan Ibrahimović.

"Everyone is beginning to understand that PSG is becoming a major player in the game," manager Carlo Ancelotti commented on news of Silva's signing after his team had drawn 2-2 with CSKA Moscow in in a pre-season tournament in Austria at the weekend.

"That's the message," he said.

Clearly Ancelotti, PSG and most importantly QIA ain't kidding.

1 comment:

fourmenterian said...

If they're intent on taking over the FFF they may need deep pockets. My local club Le Mans FC, sparkling new stadium, Ligue 1 status a couple of years ago, were recently 'administratively relegated' i.e. they 'did a Rangers'. Le Mans weren't the first either. Grenoble has a shiny stadium and a team in the nether regions of the FFF.

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