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Paris closes door on Parc des Princes sale

Featured image credit: Zakarie Faibis/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

The City of Paris has moved to definitively end the prospect of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) acquiring the Parc des Princes, with Mayor Anne Hidalgo stating “the subject is closed”.

The Council of Paris yesterday (Tuesday) voted in favour of ensuring that PSG’s current home will remain the property of the City and will not be made available for sale, as the Ligue 1 football club has been hoping.

Relations between the City and PSG over the future of the Parc des Princes have been at a standstill for over a year, with the situation becoming increasingly fractious. Ahead of yesterday’s vote, Hidalgo told Ouest-France: “I love football, I love my team. I repeat – we are ready to study and support transformation of the Parc. 

“I also say it again today and once and for all – there will be no sale of the Parc des Princes, it is the heritage of Parisians. The subject is closed.”

The Council yesterday ruled that any redevelopment of the Parc “be carried out within the framework of an arrangement satisfactory to all parties but not involving its transfer”. Deputy for Sport, Pierre Rabadan, highlighted that the City had spent four years working on an expansion project between 2018 and 2022.

“We have wanted from the start for PSG to stay at the Parc des Princes, but we do not wish to cede Parisian heritage,” he said, according to Le Parisien.

PSG is currently engaged in a 30-year lease deal for the Parc with the City, which is due to expire at the end of 2043. PSG is owned by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) and the club has been forthright in its belief that the acquisition of the stadium is essential to it conducting a proposed expansion from the current capacity of around 48,000 to 60,000.

Rabadan stated yesterday that “the discussion stopped the day they (PSG) conditioned this expansion work on a pure and simple buyout”. He added that the City has “continuously asked for a return to dialogue, which we still do not have today”.

PSG last month opted against submitting a bid to buy the Stade de France in favour of turning its attention to renovating its current home or building a new stadium. PSG had until January 3 to submit a bid for the Stade de France, the 81,000-capacity stadium which serves as the home of France’s national football and rugby union teams.

It emerged in April last year that PSG was ready to bid for the Stade de France amid uncertainty over its future at the Parc des Princes, its home since 1974. Fin Infra, which advises public entities on the conduct of their investment projects, is currently operating a tender process to either secure a new operator for the Stade de France, or a buyer.

In December, private investment firm Arctos Partners acquired a minority stake in PSG. The deal includes support for the club’s real estate initiatives, and it is believed that the arrival of Arctos played a significant role in PSG’s decision to divert its attention away from the Stade de France.

In November, it emerged that PSG was continuing to explore plans for a major renovation of the Parc des Princes despite uncertainty over its future at the venue. The club in March launched a consultation with its fans over its stadium options.

Hidalgo in January 2023 ramped up the rhetoric surrounding PSG’s long-term future at the Parc des Princes, whilst rubbishing suggestions that the Stade de France could be an alternative home for the club.

PSG has spent €85m (£72.5m/$91.5m) 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.