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Football News: A To Z: Paris Saint-Germain

A To Z: Paris Saint-Germain
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A To Z - Paris Saint-Germain


A is for Auteuil

When Canal+ owned PSG they tried to encourage, and indeed helped to finance, non-violent ultra groups in the Auteuil stand at the Parc des Princes, to try and calm down the violence from the Boulogne stand. Virage Auteuil and Supras Auteuil were born in the early 1990s thanks to these measures. Unfortunately a rivalry between the two stands arose and gradually became violent, until just before a 2010 match against Marseille clashes between rival PSG fan groups saw a Boulogne stand fan Yann Lorence killed. Both sets of fans were banned by then-president of the club Robin Leproux. The Virage Auteuil reformed as Collectif Ultras Paris (CUP) and were eventually admitted back in 2016. They are still the only ultras group officially recognised by the club.


B is for Blanc

Despite having played for bitter rivals Marseille, Laurent Blanc had three trophy-filled years in charge of PSG, early in the Qatari era. Despite winning 3 Ligue 1 titles, 2 French Cups, 3 French League Cups and 3 Trophee des Champions (the French equivalent of the Community Shield), Blanc has not held a management role since leaving PSG.


C is for Camp

Camp des Loges has been the training ground since PSG was formed in 1970, though it is to be replaced by the imaginatively name Paris Saint-Germain Training Center (which is searching for a title sponsor) when it is completed. It is scheduled to be finished in 2022.


D is for Daniel

French fashion designed Daniel Hechter became club president in 1973 and designed their now traditional kit. He based it on the shirt of the Ajax team then dominating Europe, but made the main colour blue, with a red vertical stripe bordered by white, the colours of the French flag. It is still known as the "Hechter shirt".


E is for Eiffel Tower

The club's crest features the Eiffel Tower in red on a blue background. Red and blue being the traditional colours of the city of Paris. The fleur de lys is to represent Saint-Germain-en-laye, the royal town that provides the rest of the club's name. It is white as white is the symbol of French royalty and that is how the club came by its three traditional kit colours of red, white and blue.


F is for Flag

The classic PSG shirt design that featured a vertical red stripe bordered by white on a blue shirt was based on the Ajax shirt, but with colours intended to evoke the French flag. It was designed by French fashion designer Daniel Hechter, who had become club president in 1973. That design replaced PSG's original kit of red shirt, white shorts and blue socks.


G is for Germain

Saint Germain is a legendary figure that historians still argue over to this day. To some he is responsible for the 'New Age' culture of the 'Age of Aquarius'. Others believe his name was an invention of the Latin name 'Sanctus Germanus' or 'Holy Brother'. Some groups even believe he was a supernatural being. Whatever the truth, his name was given to an town near to Paris that PSG also represent.


H is for Home

Since 1974 PSG have called Parc des Princes home, though they first played there in November 1973, when they faced French side Red Star (not to be confused with Red Star Belgrade). It had been the home of Paris FC, who were relegated and PSG promoted past them in 1974.


I is for Intertoto

PSG 'boast' one Intertoto Cup in their trophy cabinet. They won it in 2001 during a difficult period for the club.


J is for Jordan

PSG released a special European kit and training wear range through kit supplier Nike's Jordan brand last season. Something which seems to put more focus on their failings at that level, as they have so far only a Cup Winners' Cup and Intertoto Cup in their trophy cabinet, despite domestic dominance.


K is for Khelaifi

Nasser bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi is the president and CEO of PSG and chairman of Qatar Sports Investments (who own PSG), the beIN Media Group and Qatar Tennis Federation. He is also on the UEFA Executive Committee and organising committee of the FIFA Club World Cup. In his younger days he was also a tennis professional, reaching a highest rank of 995 on the ATP Tour. Al-Khelaifi is under current investigation in Switzerland over private corruption related to TV rights for the FIFA World Cup. He has also been indicted in a bribery investigation over the World Athletics Championships, which were staged in Doha, Qatar in 2017 and 2019.


L is for Ligue 1

PSG are the only club never to have been relegated from Ligue 1. Not quite as impressive as it might sound, considering they were only created in 1970!


M is for Marseille

PSG's arch-rivals are Olympique Marseille. The games between the two are often accompanied by violence in the streets and stadiums. Matches between them have become referred to as 'Le Classique' by the media.


N is for Neymar

The Brazilian is the most expensive transfer in football history at over £200m. He was a sign of intent from the Qatari owners, a sign that they will buy their way into becoming a top tier European power, no matter what it takes. So far it has not really worked out the way they intended but they have managed to hang on to him, despite Barcelona's desperation to re-sign him.


O is for O Ville Lumiere

The song 'O Ville Lumiere' (Oh City of Light), to the tune of 'Flower of Scotland' is played as the players enter the field. Entry music only began to be played as recently as 1992, when the Phil Collins song, 'Who Said I Would' was chosen and continued to be used until 2015.


P is for Pauleta

Ronaldinho and Neymar are not the only superstar Brazilians to play for PSG, there were also Rai, Pauleta and Thiago Silva. They have been closely linked to Brazil for pretty much the entirety of their existence.


Q is for Qatar

PSG are owned by Qatari-state investment vehicle Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), who bought the club in 2011. It has turned them into a major European power, with more money to spend than almost any other club in world football.


R is for Ronaldinho

The legendary Brazilian turned out for PSG for a while but it was a trough between 'golden eras' while there. He signed for PSG in 2001 from Gremio, while still a youngster, playing alongside the likes of Nicolas Anelka and Jay-Jay Okocha. His time there was marred badly by disputes with the manager of the time Luis Fernandez, who was fed up of his party lifestyle and failure to return to training on time from holidays.


S is for Split

Modern PSG was founded in 1970 when Stade Saint Germain and Paris Football Club merged but it was only to last until 1972, when the two split against and PSG kept the name but were administratively demoted to Division 3, while Paris FC remained in Ligue 1. By 1974 they were back into Ligue 1, while Paris FC slipped into Ligue 2 the same season.


T is for This Is Paris

The most famous chants by PSG fans are the ones that tend to get chanted at each other by the two main stands for home fans, the Boulogne and Auteuil stands. They are 'Paris est magique!' (Paris is magical) and 'Ici, c'est Paris!' (this is Paris), along with 'Le Parc est a nous' (The Parc is ours). This is Paris has become particularly associated with PSG.


U is for Unprofitable

Even before Qatar bought PSG, it rarely made a profit. In fact between 1998 and 2010 the club lost a total of 300m euros. Since the Qatari takeover, PSG have spent immense amounts of money.


V is for Valuable

The huge spend has moved the Parisian club right up towards the top of Deloitte's Football Money League. The latest list placed PSG in 5th with a revenue of 635.9m euros, just ahead of Manchester City. In Forbes Football Rich List they do not do so well, figuring in 11th place, just behind Juventus. According to Forbes latest list they are valued at $1.092bn.


W is for Wealth

Being bought by Qatar has given so much money to spend, their investment has been huge and given them the 6th-highest revenue in football (in 2017-18) and made them the 11th most valuable football club in the world according to Deloitte. That enabled them to spend over half a billion pounds in the 3 seasons leading up to the current one.


X is for Xuereb

Former PSG forward Daniel Xuereb became the first player in World Cup history whose last name began with X when he represented France in the 1986 edition. His games there meant that every single letter in the alphabet had been used to begin players' last names. He joined PSG in 1986 and left in 1989.


Y is for Yakin

Hakan Yekin, the former Swiss international, joined PSG in 2003 from FC Basel. He never made a single appearance before returning to Basel the following year.


Z is for Zealous

PSG, to build up a fanbase, began offering cheap season tickets in 1976 and soon built up a passionate and large following, the biggest in France. Unfortunately they have a massive problem with hooliganism, in large part because fan groups used British hooligans as 'role models' and there are major issues with violence connected with PSG fans. There were even internal rivalries between rival PSG fan groups which led to violent clashes and one PSG fan was killed in 2010 in a battle between two sets of PSG ultras.


To read the previous A To Z: AFC Bournemouth click here.

Written by Tris Burke March 21 2020 19:31:08


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