The Curious Case of A French Powerhouse

Neymar 2

Paris Saint-Germain won a major victory on March 19, 2019,  when the world’s top sports court backed the club against European football’s governing body UEFA over allegations of financial wrongdoing.

PSG had appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in October last year after a UEFA panel decided in September to reopen the probe into the club’s compliance with Financial Fair Play regulations.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport released a statement saying that it had upheld PSG’s appeal against UEFA on the grounds that the body took too long to review its own decision to clear the French champions of breaking Financial Fair Play rules.

Paris Saint-Germain had landed themselves in some hot water after splurging a ridiculous amount of money on the combined purchase of the Brazilian wizard Neymar and the French wonder-kid Mbappe, from F.C Barcelona and A.S Monaco respectively. The Brazilian playmaker’s transfer fee shattered the record of the most expensive transfer, at the time, of Paul Pogba by a whopping 133 million Euros!


Neymar poses for the cameras after switching the Blaugrana colours for the Parisian ones.

A couple of months on from this the Parisians hit another snag in the road, this time, with the player they spent millions on trying to take them to new heights with their “project”. With an overhaul within the club, the club decided to re-hire the ex A.C Milan sporting director, Leonardo Araújo after relieving Antonio Henrique of his duties. His arrival had an instant impact as the president of the club, Mr Nasser Al Khelaifi released a strong statement on how the club was not going to tolerate “superstar behaviour”. This was assumed to be a warning shot for the likes of Neymar, as the latter further aggravated the situation by skipping training without prior notice.

Neymar Sr. , the player’s agent immediately put out a statement saying that his entourage had informed the Parisian camp weeks in advance, a statement that came under instant scrutiny as it was later discovered that Neymar had been given permission for a late return to the camp, due to his responsibilities with Brazil at Copa America. But another plot twist seemingly writhes itself into the picture. Wasn’t he injured? He was indeed, and this was duly noted by the PSG hierarchy. All of this has frustrated not only the PSG hierarchy but also the Paris faithful, and the club released a statement. “This Monday, July 8, Neymar da Silva Santos Junior was summoned for the resumption of activities of the professional group of Paris Saint-Germain,” reads the club’s statement.

“Paris Saint-Germain found that the player Neymar Jr did not show up at the agreed time and place, without having been authorised by the club in advance.

“Paris Saint-Germain deplores this situation and will take the appropriate measures resulting from it.”


Despite all the drama unfolding at the Parisian camp, due to the mismanagement of players in their recent past, their business model and marketing have been, without a doubt, on point, this past couple of seasons.

Their experimental collaborations and proactive marketing strategies have created an international brand that competes with the biggest in the world. One of the best examples of PSG’s railroading approach came in the previously unprecedented cross-sport collab with the hugely popular basketball brand, Jordan.

Nike, their duly contracted sponsors, provided the team with its Champions League third kit;

The PSG x Jordan collection

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Neymar copping the NBA inspired jerseys

Since then it has expanded to a full lifestyle collection that sits brilliantly with the performance clothing, resonating worldwide attention to the club. PSG shirt sales in the North American region alone have increased by whopping 470% since the Jordan release, with artists such as J. Cole, Travis Scott, 6ix9ine along with highly celebrated basketball stars – Nicolas Batum, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green, and Tony Parker copping the gorgeous PSG Jumpman collection.

In the weekend following the release of the PSG x Jordan collection, over 40,000 shirts were sold, putting an enormous appeal of the brands combining, in perspective. To further highlight their incredible growth, when the club was taken over in the 2011/12 season by Qatar Sports Investments, only 250,000 shirts were sold, across the duration of the entire season! Compare that to the 40,000+ shirts sold and a direct impact of the Qatari influence is visible. Last season, PSG’s shirt sales had already increased drastically to around 800,000 thanks to the signing of Neymar and the emergence of Paris’s very own Kylian Mbappe, but that number was eclipsed the following season in partnership with the Jordan crossover, bringing in a huge fortune to the club [1].

psg jordan 2

French wonder-kid Kylian Mbappe modelling the NBA inspired jersey

Along with the increased revenue, the sales of merchandise and stadium tickets are also set to see PSG enter the top five clubs that sell the most shirts globally, behind only Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United [2]. Instead of inviting former players to attend their highly anticipated European matches, they’ve formed a culture of inviting celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, and DJ Snake. All of the cult-like following these celebrities brought in also introduced their fans to a brand that’s become quite synonymous with pop culture.

Offering a hugely popular cross-sport appeal on an international scale, PSG has fought their way to the top of the table and they’re not looking to be departing anytime soon. If only their success came on the field as off of it, we’d be talking about a new superclub redefining the football landscape, for good.


Yash Joshi

Categories: FootballTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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