PSG Should Use Financial Crisis to Scoop Up Top Ligue 1 Talent

Everyone knows that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put football clubs around Europe under tremendous financial constraints. In France, though, the situation is dire.

Right now in Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain sits in second place, just one point behind Olympique Lyonnais, and level on points with Lille OSC in third place. This is far from what some betting exchanges predicted at the start of the season as PSG was the overwhelming favorite to win their eighth championship in nine seasons.

For those who haven’t been paying attention, The Guardian did a great job explaining how Mediapro’s promise of a lucrative television rights deal to broadcast Ligue 1 matches over four years evaporated overnight.

“…French clubs hoped they would be revitalized by an unprecedented TV rights deal worth more than €1.15 billion per year (€814 million a year from Media Pro and €330 million from beIN Sports).”

Unfortunately, the Ligue de Football Professionnel didn’t do their homework and were blinded by the numbers instead of investigating whether or not Mediapro would be able to pay the fee they agreed to.

The pandemic, combined with Mediapro’s ambitious business plan, backfired and in October of 2020, they were unable to make their scheduled payment to the LFP and are now bankrupt. As The Guardian reports, Mediapro originally agreed to pay €3.25 billion over four years and will end up paying less than 10 percent f that figure over four months. Canal+ has stepped in to pick up the rights from Mediapro but they’re unwilling to pay the same fee and are negotiating a rock-bottom price to broadcast French football matches. Those who cover French football aren’t mincing words when it comes to how serious this is.

So, what does this mean for PSG? Well, they will obviously take a hit financially but the reigning French champions are fortunate enough to be backed by Qatar Sports Investments and can dig themselves out of a financial hole if need be. Most other French clubs cannot and this is where PSG can be predatory.

There’s no question that Ligue 1 is full of incredible talent but for some reason, PSG rarely pillages their domestic league. Instead, they look elsewhere and typically pay a hefty transfer fee to do so.

With revenue down and standards remaining high, PSG would be wise to look at their competitors in Ligue 1 and try to fill the holes in their squad in the January transfer market. This would obviously help PSG in their quest to win the UEFA Champions League while less fortunate French teams would receive an influx of cash from player sales.

Eduardo Camavinga from Stade Rennais is a player most PSG supporters want to see playing alongside Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappé. He would solve a lot of the midfield issues plaguing the club at the moment. OGC Nice’s Youcef Atal would add some speed to the full-back position for PSG and his injury history may make him more affordable. Should PSG need some attacking backup, perhaps Lyon forward Memphis Depay would be up for joining his buddy Neymar at the Parc des Princes. Lyon’s Houssem Aouar is another player who could be up for grabs this transfer window.

If this is a strategy that PSG wants to pursue, they’ll need to act quickly. Atlético Madrid has already signed one of Ligue 1’s best strikers in Moussa Dembélé and you can bet other top teams will swoop in before the end of the month.

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Tags Eduardo Camavinga Kylian Mbappé Ligue 1 Mediapro Memphis Depay Moussa Dembélé Neymar Youcef Atal