After what can only be called a thrashing this weekend over Troyes in a 9-0 victory away, PSG are the champions of France! Victories like this (PSG winning by enormous amounts) have become the new normal in Ligue 1. PSG has done the unthinkable and won the league with 8 matches remaining. With the league wrapped up, it is obvious that the club will now take the Champions League more seriously with hardly anything else to play for.
While watching PSG destroy people is entertaining, it’s also ruining the league as a whole. I know it’s not as simple to just say they are ruining the league but with their sheer dominance the club is taking French soccer to a lower level than that of the Premier League, Liga BBVA, and even the Bundesliga and Serie A. There is a number of reasons to this and I will try to shed some light as to why PSG are single-handedly running Ligue 1 into the ground.
Let’s just go ahead and get the elephant in the room out of the way, Money. PSG have money, and lots of it. PSG are widely regarded as one of the richest clubs in the world and depending on where you look, but according to Forbes, PSG sit in 12th place with a value of $634 million. You may know Ligue 1 stars like David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Lacazette, and Lucas. Crazy thing is, only one of those players does not play for PSG with Lacazette playing for Lyon. It is common to see some of the world’s biggest stars being linked with PSG. However, you almost never see the same with any other club in the league. That’s not to say there isn’t any talent in other clubs, but with PSG able to reload at any moment, the league becomes not just top heavy, but over before it even starts. There is another part to this money thing that I will get into, this is where it all gets a little shadier.
The CEO and Chairman of PSG is Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaïfi. He is a former professional tennis player and a Qatari businessman. An interesting thing to note about Al-Khelaïfi is he is the chairman and CEO of beIN Media Group. That means many of the televised matches from Ligue 1 will go back into investment for PSG. Oh yeah I almost forgot, he is the CEO for Qatar Sports Investments, who owns the club. Talk about having absolute power in French soccer. I am not saying that there is corruption going on but with someone who controls so much money in the media and ownership of the club, it seems like another advantage that the other clubs in France don’t have. This man holds the key to success in France. Did I mention he is worth over a billion dollars? That certainly does not hurt the money argument either.
Finally, the lack of depth and widespread talent that the rest of the league has is significantly lower than PSG. Many clubs seem to have bright futures ahead of them with young talent or players who could truly help them compete for a league title, then those said players’ leave for other leagues and bigger clubs. In some instances, PSG snaps up the best players in the league to strengthen their own squad. One example is right back Serge Aurier was an upcoming star for Toulouse before PSG brought him in on loan last season, only to make it permanent this season. Aurier is still only 23 and has a long time ahead of him in Paris, that is if he stays out of trouble. Layvin Kurzawa is a left back that joined last season for 23 million from Monaco to add more youth to the defense. And with players like Eden Hazard looking increasingly likely to join PSG in the summer, the gap may become even wider next season.
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