The 2022-23 season is well underway, but it’s unlike any campaign in recent memory. The reason for that is the FIFA World Cup in Qatar that will take place this winter instead of during the offseason in the summer. What happens after the tournament could have an impact on things at Paris Saint-Germain.
Qatar Sports Investments took over at PSG in 2011 and since then, the club has seen unprecedented success. It’s no secret that one of Qatar’s primary reasons for investing in PSG is to raise the profile of the country ahead of the World Cup. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Qatar explored creating a cricket team after learning how IPL teams make money.
At the upcoming World Cup, there will be numerous star players, but perhaps none bigger than PSG’s Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi, and Neymar Jr. Everyone will tune in to see how they perform for their respective nations and new fans of the game will inevitably want to follow the players once the club season kicks off again, meaning they’ll likely become PSG fans.
PSG is easily one of the biggest clubs in Europe and every season, everyone wants to see if the superstar squad that’s been assembled can win a UEFA Champions League. But, how long will QSI continue to invest in the club with no World Cup on the horizon? What is the return on investment?
Messi is only under contract for this season with an option for an additional year, and Mbappé and Neymar are locked up until 2025. Could this be the year QSI looks for a buyer for the club they’ve helped to build up? If so, what does the future of PSG look like?
Assuming another wealthy nation-state like Qatar doesn’t invest in PSG, the future will likely look a lot different than it does now. Sure, the new owner will have money and perhaps be willing to spend for one superstar, but PSG’s payroll currently is unsustainable for pretty much any other prospective buyer. This would lead to more of a reliance on the youth academy and buying promising players in Ligue 1 before they’re discovered by other European clubs.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many supporters would welcome this strategy with open arms. What it would mean, though, is that PSG may not be in a title race every season in France. It could potentially mean they don’t qualify for the Champions League occasionally. That might be a small price to pay to say so long to Hollywood FC and welcome a new era at the Parc des Princes full of homegrown players.