Finances in professional football are a hot topic at the moment, with several big European clubs in the spotlight over alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.
They include Premier League giants Manchester City and Chelsea, who are both being investigated by football authorities over alleged rule infringements.
Paris Saint-Germain has also repeatedly been under threat of FFP sanctions, although successful management of club sponsorships has helped them to largely steer clear of trouble.
Their recent deals include an agreement with online betting platform 1XBET, which will see the company serve as an official regional partner of PSG in several overseas jurisdictions.
While 1XBET doesn’t appear on this list of UK bookmakers after being banned from operating there, the firm has a strong presence in numerous international betting markets.
Lucrative agreements of this nature have helped PSG steer clear of serious FFP trouble, although it is worth noting that their record is not entirely unblemished.
UEFA handed the club a whopping €65 million fine in September 2022 for failing to comply with break-even requirements during the previous season.
However, €55m of the fine was suspended until the end of the 2025/26 season, giving the Ligue 1 giants ample time to ensure they are fully compliant with UEFA rules.
If they fail to hit the specified targets, the club can be held liable for the full amount of the fine, banned from European competitions, and barred from registering new players in the 2026/27 season.
PSG lost €370m last season, with a 45 percent increase in wages in the previous two financial years a primary factor in their failing to break even.
The club got several high earners off the wage bill during the summer, including Lionel Messi and Neymar, which will boost their chances of meeting FFP requirements.
A burgeoning portfolio of sponsorship deals will also help to keep PSG out of trouble, with Nike’s $90.93m annual investment the largest deal they have on the books.
The club had agreements with 44 brands last season, with their top five partners accounting for 65% of the club’s total income from sponsorship.
Qatar Airways, Visit Qatar, GOAT, and Aspetar were the most lucrative deals alongside Nike, but the club has been eager to add to its sizeable list of partners.
The multi-year agreement with Qatar Airways, which saw the state-backed company become the PSG’s shirt sponsor in 2022, was a big boost to the club’s income.
The airline has been a premium partner of the Ligue 1 giants since 2020, pouring around $5-10m per year into the club’s coffers.
While the value of the new deal has not been publicized, it is reportedly in the same ballpark as the club’s previous shirt sponsorship with Accor, which was worth €70m per year.
The new agreement was another high-profile example of nation-states becoming increasingly influential in football – a factor that governing bodies are becoming increasingly concerned about.
Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) sovereign wealth fund, has owned PSG since 2011. The deal with the airline had an air of inevitability about it.
One of PSG’s most recent agreements was with global bakery brand Paris Baguette, which operates around 4,000 stores across the world.
The Paris Baguette logo and advertising video is now prominently displayed around the Parc des Princes during every game, and fans take advantage of special deals on the company’s products.
Another potential future sponsor could be German automotive manufacturer Audi, who recently approached club bosses about forging a lucrative partnership with PSG.
Very few details about the proposed deal have been made public, but the German company reportedly wants PSG to compete in an Audi Cup competition every summer.
Quite how that would fit in with PSG’s current system of embarking on world tours, but a compromise will likely be found if the price is right.
While the club’s quest to boost its revenues are strongly tied to the need to comply with FFP regulations, there are several other factors in play.
Enhancing brand visibility, driving fan engagement, and cultivating a sense of community among supporters all play a key role in PSG’s desire to forge partnerships with major brands.
These prestigious collaborations are mutually beneficial, providing PSG with the opportunity to market the club to a wider audience and the brands to tap into an already engaged audience.
This sponsorship strategy will not only serve to keep PSG on the right side of the FFP line but will also ensure the club gains the same level of global exposure as other major European teams.