Bahrain buys part of Paris FC

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is no longer the only team in the French capital that the Gulf countries have set their sights on: the kingdom of Bahrain has taken 20% of Paris FC, from the second division , and has in turn become its main sponsor. The economic reinforcement that comes through a sovereign fund is, according to the president of the club, Pierre Ferracci, said this week, indispensable for the ambitions of the “poor neighbor” of the PSG, with a budget that will go from 14.5 million to 19 in 2020-2021, the media calculate. Paris FC have not played first since 1974 and are confident that this injection of money will help them move up in the next three years. Being able to finish its infrastructure in Orly, south of the capital, where its education and training center is located, is one of its immediate objectives. The Balearic kingdom had already entered professional soccer with the purchase of Córdoba FC and with this latest move it bets on a club that has skimmed its way to third, remaining seventeenth last season. Training, according to Ferracci, is the main bet of new investors. In this they distance themselves from the Qataris, who since their arrival at PSG in 2011 filled their star transfer squad and have allowed them to get seven leagues since their acquisition. Bahrain, according to Ferracci, does not seek absolute control of Paris FC, which wants to remain mainly in the hands of regional and national shareholders. But the team does not hide that its landing marks a turning point: “It is a fantastic opportunity to enter the club into a new era and allow it to achieve its sporting, educational and social goals,” he said when announcing the entry into the capital. . Through this strategic association, according to that same note, Paris FC “is now inscribed in an international dimension, in which it will accompany its new shareholder in the development of the training of coaches and young players in Bahrain”. The sports press has also given a political reading upon arrival in the French capital. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017, after accusing the small emirate of the Persian Gulf of supporting terrorism. But PSG and Paris FC do not play at least for the moment in the same league, so it is early to take the diplomatic disagreements with a confrontation between the two teams. “Soccer and sport are vectors of rapprochement and pacification between peoples. You don’t have to mix things up, “stresses the president of Paris FC, who says he maintains good relations with the formation of Nasser Al Khelaifi and is aware that between the two, in terms of status and means,” there is a whole world “of difference. Ferracci continues to be the main shareholder of Paris FC, with around 77% of the capital. Bahrain will take advantage of its minority stake to promote its own image through the sponsorship operation that accompanies the investment.