It is a file which, for years, has crystallized tensions between the City of Paris and PSG. The saga of the sale of the Parc des Princes, the stadium in which the capital club plays, experienced a new episode, through the media, at the beginning of January.

The first to light the fuse was David Belliard, deputy at Paris City Hall responsible for the transformation of public space. On January 5, the elected environmentalist declared on Sud Radio that he “did not [want] the sale of the Parc des Princes to Qatar.”

Tuesday on RMC Sport, the president of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, then wondered if the City was refusing the sale “because [the owner of the club] is Qatar, because we are Arab? “. A few hours later, Mr. Belliard issued a scathing response to Agence France-Presse: “I will oppose the sale of this Parisian heritage to private interests, whatever their nationality. Calling me racist is defamation and is not relevant to the issues of this important debate. »

Home of the capital’s club since 1974, the Parc des Princes belongs to the City, which rents it to PSG for 2 million euros per year. Qatar Sports Investment (QSI), the fund that owns the club, wants to undertake major expansion work, estimated at 500 million euros, but on the sole condition that it becomes the owner of the premises. A choice that Paris City Hall has refused to this day, and has been doing so for several years now.

A sensitive issue since 2011

The sale of the Parc des Princes has actually been a sensitive issue since the arrival of Qatar at the management of Paris Saint-Germain in 2011. Nasser Al-Khelaïfi already proposed to the mayor at the time, Bertrand Delanoë, to raze the stadium to build a new one, at QSI’s expense. The councilor then pronounced a categorical refusal. However, during her election to Paris City Hall in 2014, Anne Hidalgo was not open to a sale of the Park to PSG.

In October 2015, according to Le Parisien, “exchanges were carried out in the greatest secrecy” between the two parties. But the management of PSG then fears a double game from Anne Hidalgo. The years go by, and the club loses patience. On December 3, 2022, in an interview with L’Equipe, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi was virulent towards the Paris town hall: “They are putting pressure on us to leave. The mayor is forcing PSG to leave her house,” he said in the middle of the World Cup. The following month, Anne Hidalgo put a stop to negotiations by declaring: “The Parc des Princes is no longer for sale. »

PSG, which has never stopped dreaming bigger and propelling itself among the all-powerful clubs on the continent, is not giving up on this issue, and has even found a plan B. March 13, 2023, Paris Saint-Germain announces that it will submit an application to buy the Stade de France in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis). By decision of the State, the 80,000-seat venue is possibly for sale by 2025. An interest which was intended, in reality, to put pressure on Paris City Hall: the club ultimately did not not a candidate for this takeover.

Since then, Paris City Hall has been navigating between two sides, not considering PSG playing anywhere other than the Parc des Princes, but refusing its sale. Recent statements from both sides prove that the time has not yet come for peaceful negotiations.