The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has ramped up the rhetoric surrounding Paris Saint-Germain’s long-term future at the Parc des Princes, whilst rubbishing suggestions that the Stade de France could be an alternative home for the Ligue 1 football club.
Hidalgo’s latest comments come after PSG threatened to leave the Parc des Princes after the Mayor this month insisted that the stadium is not for sale. PSG has played at Parc des Princes since 1974 but the club is currently restricted by its 48,000 capacity.
PSG has spent €85m (£74.7m/$92.4m) in renovation work on Parc des Princes in recent years, and has further committed €500m to improve and expand the stadium, increasing capacity from 48,000 to in excess of 60,000. However, PSG will only provide this funding if it owns the stadium.
Hidalgo has said the city would prefer to discuss a potential renegotiation of PSG’s lease deal. The current 30-year agreement commenced in 2014. In an interview with the France 2 television channel yesterday (Thursday), Hidalgo stated: “I understand of course the economy of a club of this level in which the ownership of the stadium is part of the economic equation. I hear it, but the Parc des Princes is not for sale.”
Pushed further on the matter, Hidalgo added: “Definitely. On the other hand, of course with my club, because PSG is my club, ourselves and (PSG) president (Nasser Al-Khelaïfi), we have to talk to each other.”
PSG has long been exploring its options and the matter returned to the headlines in November as it emerged that the club may look to acquire the Stade de France or switch to one of two new sites in the city if it is unable to complete a deal to purchase the Parc des Princes.
Al-Khelaïfi later said that demands made by the City of Paris are pushing the club out of the stadium. The venue is owned by the City Council of Paris and Al-Khelaïfi has grown frustrated over the lack of movement regarding talks over the stadium.
The Stade de France is currently owned by the French Government through the Consortium Stade de France. Under an agreement with the consortium formed by construction firms Vinci and Bouygues, the state placed the management of the stadium in the hands of the two companies in 1995.
Hidalgo said she is confident PSG will remain at the Parc, adding that she doesn’t believe there are a lot of “B plans” for the club. A sale of the Stade de France has also been mentioned by President Emmanuel Macron, but Hidalgo retorted: “I wish him good luck in selling the Stade de France. This is an assumption often mentioned in the media but I think it is not a reasonable assumption. The Stade de France must host more than competitions linked to a single club.”
Regarding the path forward, the Mayor added: “I think we have to get out of this situation. I like this club, I want PSG to be able to prosper. If there is work to be done, it must be done. I will accompany this work as best as I can because I care about this team and its performance. For the rest, it’s discussion that we must have in a reasonable way between reasonable people.”