PSG have branded a Spanish television show ‘cheap’ following reports that the club’s owner, Qatari Sports Investments, is ‘throwing in the towel’ and putting Les Parisiens up for sale.
QSI has controlled the Ligue 1 club since 2011, but president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is said to be irritated with the club’s repeated failures in the Champions League.
Since their takeover a decade ago, QSI, a subsidiary of Qatar’s state-run sovereign wealth fund, has invested almost £1.3 billion in the club to spend on big-name players. The most recent being the signing of Lionel Messi in the summer after his contract with Barcelona expired.
However, despite the massive spending, the club has yet to win the Champions League. PSG came close to winning the Champions League in 2020, reaching the final before losing to Bayern Munich.
PSG’s managers were particularly irritated by a 3-2 aggregate loss to Real Madrid in this year’s last-16. In the second leg, the Parisians led 2-0 on aggregate at halftime, but a Karim Benzema hat-trick completed a stunning comeback.
After that game, President Al-Khelaifi was said to be furious, and manager Mauricio Pochettino’s job was said to be on the line. When PSG clinches the Ligue 1 title in the next weeks, the Argentine could still go.
The flamboyant Spanish television show El Chiringuito reported on Monday that Al-Khelaifi and his business partners were ‘throwing in the towel.’ They said that the 48-year-old former tennis star will not be in place after the World Cup, which will be held in December.
Because it is being held in Qatar, the World Cup would be a historic landmark in the context of the station’s report. Despite various human rights groups pushing to have its hosting rights removed, the Gulf nation secured the rights to host the event in 2010 and has been backed by FIFA.
According to Get French Football News, PSG has now disputed the reports to French radio station RMC Sport. According to a statement put out by the radio, the club “categorically and utterly denies this phony news.” El Chiringuito was then slammed by PSG as a “cheap Spanish source.”
The dramatic staging of El Chiringuito has earned it a reputation. Last year, a section of the show went viral as host Josep Pedrerol slammed Eden Hazard for laughing with his old Chelsea teammates after the Blues knocked Real Madrid out of the Champions League.
Despite ruling out a sale, PSG is nevertheless mired in a number of problems. Pochettino’s future is uncertain; the former Tottenham manager has them 15 points clear in the French Premier League, but his connections with important players, as well as the Champions League humiliation, go against his track record.
Kylian Mbappe, the club’s star attacker, might possibly leave in the summer if a contract extension beyond the summer isn’t reached. After having two bids rejected last summer, Madrid is thought to be intrigued.