Qatari bid for Manchester United poses questions over PSG's future
A consortium led by a Qatari banker's bid to buy Manchester United raises questions about the impact on Paris Saint-Germain.
The announcement that a consortium led by a Qatari banker are bidding to purchase Manchester United has raised questions about the possible effect on Paris Saint-Germain, who were bought by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) in 2011.
QSI, the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, gained control of PSG more than a decade ago for just 70 million euros ($74.7m at the current exchange rate).
Since then, the French club has become a vehicle through which Qatar can project soft power, under QSI's ownership. They are now not just France's dominant club, but a leading name on the European stage and a global brand.
More than 1.5 billion euros have been scattered over the last dozen years on transfers, including the two biggest fees in the game's history for Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in 2017, although the money has not yet delivered Champions League glory in which Qatar could bask.
However, Qatar is aiming even higher now with its sights set on United, with commercial and broadcasting income far greater than what can be generated in the French top flight.
The bid, led by Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of the Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), is believed to be valued at between four and six billion euros, according to several sources.
"When you have an offer from someone who is a member of the wider Al-Thani family, it inevitably means it is an offer from the state," Jean-Baptiste Guegan, a lecturer and specialist in geopolitics in sport, told AFP.
"This means nothing has been done without the approval of the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani," he added.
However, there is no suggestion that Qataris might abandon PSG in the short or medium term.