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How much have PSG spent under QSI and what have they won?

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and PSG suffered more Champions League heartbreak at the hands of Bayern Munich in the round of 16.

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and PSG suffered more Champions League heartbreak at the hands of Bayern Munich in the round of 16.

Since Qatar Sports Investments became Paris Saint-Germain’s sole owner ahead of the 2012-13 season, they have overseen countless disappointments and false dawns in Europe. Wednesday’s elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich is the latest in a long line of Champions League failures that seem to be never-ending. President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, the face of the club at management level, has tried everything, to no avail.

The key to European success eludes sporting directors, managers and players

Luis Campos, this season, and Leonardo, in previous ones, have also played high-profile roles as sporting directors, while numerous managers (Laurent Blanc, Unai Emery, Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Christophe Galtier...) have come and gone without finding the magic formula for Champions League success, which is, of course, far and away the club’s main objective.

A dejected Lionel Messi during PSG's Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.
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A dejected Lionel Messi during PSG's Champions League loss to Bayern Munich. Chris Brunskill/FantasistaGetty

And we simply can’t forget about the host of star players who have pulled on the PSG jersey without being able to lead the club to European glory. Neither Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani then, nor Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar now. Neither the most expensive signing in the history of soccer, nor the most decorated Ballon d’Or winner, nor the best young player on the planet. Not even Sergio Ramos, a Champions League ‘specialist’, who lifted the trophy on four occasions with Real Madrid.

How much have PSG spent since 2012?

ClubPlayer purchasesPlayer salesNet spendChampions League wins
PSG€1.482 billion€505.15 million€976.85 million0
Real Madrid€1.134 billion€1.008 billion€126.65 million5
Bayern Munich€885.7 million€475.1 million€410.6 million2
Barcelona€1.638 billion€973.52 million€665.16 million1
Chelsea€2.176 billion€1.120.68 billion€1.055 billion1
Liverpool€1.161 billion€715.92 million€445.21 million1

The most galling thing for PSG is that they have spent considerably more in that time than almost all of their direct competitors without having a Champions League victory to show for it. Since QSI took over the club, they have spent €1.482 billion on new players, with the €505.15 million recouped from player sales resulting in an overall net spend of €976.85 million. Almost €1 billion has gone on a grand total of zero Champions League titles.

The Premier League boom in recent years means Chelsea (€1.055 billion) and Manchester City (€1.001 billion) do have a higher net spend than the Parisians. But the Londoners won the Champions League in 2021 and the Citizens could still achieve that goal this year, which PSG now can’t. Pep Guardiola’s men drew 1-1 away to RB Leipzig in the round of 16 first leg and, as one of the favourites to win the competition, are expected to progress to the quarter-finals.

Real Madrid have won five Champions Leagues since QSI took charge in Paris.
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Real Madrid have won five Champions Leagues since QSI took charge in Paris. Julian FinneyDiarioAS

Champions League success for ‘traditional’ elite clubs

Europe’s more ‘traditional’ elite-level clubs have been slightly less extravagant with their spending but have nevertheless found Champions League success. Real Madrid is the most obvious example, winning the Champions League five times in 11 seasons (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022) since QSI have been involved in Paris. Los Blancos spent €1.134 billion on transfers but their net spend was just €126.65 million, almost a tenth of French club’s.

Bayern Munich, meanwhile, have won the tournament twice (2013 and 2020) since 2012 with a relatively modest net spend (€410.6 million) by comparison to PSG. Liverpool’s figures are similar (€445.21 net spend) and although they have won just one Champions League in that period, it’s one more than PSG and they came close on two other occasions when they lost in the final.

The PSG ‘projects’ have proved that big names and big spending don’t always produce big results. Wednesday’s elimination brought with it a feeling that has become all too familiar in Paris.

PSG’s spending per season

PSG seasonPlayer purchasesPlayer salesNet spend
2012-2013€151 million€4.75 million€146.25 million
2013-2014€135.9 million€26.5 million€109.4 million
2014-2015€49.5 million€2.2 million€47.3 million
2015-2016€116.1 million€22.9 million€93.2 million
2016-2017€134.5 million€59.8 million€74.7 million
2017-2018€238 million€98.4 million€139.6 million
2018-2019€262 million€114 million€148 million
2019-2020€95 million€105.9 million-€10.9 million
2020-2021€62 million€0.4 million€61.6 million
2021-2022€91 million€11 million€80 million
2022-2023€147.5 million€59.3 million€88.2 million
TOTAL1,482 billion€505.15 million976.85 million

What trophies have Paris Saint-Germain won since 2012-13?

While European glory has continually eluded PSG, they have enjoyed a huge amount of domestic success since QSI took over. Before 2012. the club, founded as late as 1970, had only ever won the French title twice, in 1985-96 and 1993-94. They have lifted the Ligue 1 trophy on a further eight occasions since then, although such is the financial advantage that they hold over their French competitors, it could be argued that seasons in which they failed to win the league (Monaco in 2016-17, Lille in 2020-21) have become more memorable.

PSG have enjoyed plenty of domestic success in recent years.
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PSG have enjoyed plenty of domestic success in recent years. FRANCK FIFEAFP

PSG have also dominated the domestic cups in France, with six of their 14 Coupe de France victories coming in the last 11 years, while they also won the Coupe de la Ligue six times in seven seasons before the competition was abolished in 2020.

Have PSG ever won a major European trophy?

PSG have actually won a major European trophy, long before QSI came on the scene. In 1995-96, the Parisians won the now defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup, defeating Rapid Vienna in the final in Brussels having previously seen off the challenges of Parma and Deportivo La Coruña, two of the best teams in Europe at the time, in earlier rounds. Defender Bruno N’Gotty scored the only goal of the game in a PSG side that contained future World Cup winners Youri Djorkaeff and Bernard Lama.

They reached the final of the competition again the following year but were beaten by a Ronaldo goal from the penalty spot for Barcelona, who also had Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique and Luis Figo in their starting line-up.