Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.
Are we talking football (or soccer)
Football is merely the example to help drive my point. Don’t let it put you off.
PSG – “Paris Saint-Germain” is a football club which doesn’t have a 100 year odd rich history in the game such as clubs you may akin to like Liverpool FC, Manchester United or Real Madrid, and it was never considered a superpower. Founded in 1970, it steadied it’s way within the French first division quite unnoticed.
So something changed?
In 2011 Qatar Sports Investments – or QSi – bought Paris Saint-Germain. QSi is subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) – and that’s the state-run sovereign-wealth fund in Qatar. In a nutshell the Qatar group have quite a few billions in their wallet and their objective has been not only to win the French premier division every year, a feat which the team are achieving, but to also win the holy grail which is the European Champions League (ECL). Basically it’s a competition in which all the top 4 teams from each league compete, for pride and oodles of money. The owners were going to achieve this by buying the very best players (through offering lucrative contracts and lots of money), putting them in the team and hoping they’ll gel and work their magic. Has it worked? Hell No!
Yeah but Rome wasn’t built in a day
I get that. But that quote works well when you know the project is “work in progress” and there’s some vision around the club to a long term goal of sustainability. PSG have tried on numerous occasions to win the elite competition but have failed at the pinnacle moment, and when the tough got going, they wanted to turn and run the other way. On 9th March PSG played Real Madrid (Spanish team) in round two of the ECL. PSG were 1-0 up from the first match and in this return leg, scored another to lead 2-0 and looked like coasting to victory. Then in the 60th minute the PSG goalkeeper had a I’m bored so I’ll try a trick or two moment, fluffed his lines and conceded what looked like the most unlikeliest of goals. Fast forward 15 minutes and Real Madrid capitalised on some real nervous, slow reacting and I can’t be bothered because I’m too big for my boots attitude to score two more goals, win the game 3-1 and progress through to the QF’s.
..And this showed us?
When the owners brought the club in 2011 two words probably came to their mind – World Domination. They brought players offering the paradise of high wages, as opposed to investing in youth players. Those players, with their inflated wages came with inflated ego’s…ego’s so big that no manager has managed to control it. Those players, along with the short term vision of the club has created an environment where the very human characteristics of passion, desire, team work, courage and pride have been packed and locked away in the boot room. The owners haven’t been able to buy success but have hit the lowest point in the clubs history. You can’t buy what you think is the best, assemble it and see if it glues. PSG have become an example of that human condition where we want instant success, instant everything, like the noodles….but we all know what they taste like.