PSG chief justifies controversial new Qatari deal

07 Jan 2013

Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) controversial new commercial partnership with the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) is justified by the Ligue 1 giant’s growing influence in the Arabic region, according to club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

Details of the deal were first revealed last month and Al-Khelaifi told French newspaper L’Equipe that the partnership is set to be formally announced in the next few weeks. QTA is expected to invest up to Eur200 million a year into PSG until 2016. The agreement has been questioned as to its implications regarding UEFA’s financial fair play regulations. The deal is worth twice the club’s revenues for the 2010-11 season and PSG is expected to submit the contract to the UEFA in the coming months.

“The contract with QTA is justified because PSG’s influence in the whole region, not only in Qatar, has been important,” Al-Khelaifi said in his first public comments on the issue. “We have been building an international brand. This deal is a strong symbol. Qatar have benefited a lot from their investments in PSG.”

The agreement does not relate to a shirt sponsorship contract or naming rights partnership for the Parc des Princes. QTA’s reported remit is to promote Qatar as a “unique destination on the global platform” with Le Parisien last month reporting that its partnership with the club is intended as a “vast publicity campaign intended to promote the image of Qatar”. QTA, like PSG’s owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), is tied to the state of Qatar. PSG this week continued its heavy investment in the transfer market by completing the Eur40 million move for Sao Paulo star Lucas Moura. The QTA deal will aid the club’s investment plans and will be retroactive meaning it will also help cover the huge transfer fees commanded by summer signings like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva. “We will keep on investing,” added Al-Khelaifi. “It’s necessary to become one of the great European clubs. Other clubs have invested for 20 years. We have been there for a year and a half and now we must stop pouring money? It would be unfair.”