Is there any sport, in any league, in the world where one club has the financial dominance over its rivals as we have in Lique 1 in France?
Recently released figures show that last season, Paris Saint-Germain generated more income than 14 of its rivals put together.
PSG had revenue of €484 million in 2015, according to data released by French soccer’s licensing authority. That’s more than four times the income of the league’s second-biggest cash generator, AS Monaco, which made €117.4 million, and 19 times that of the lowest earner, RC Lens.
PSG’s helped push the league’s total revenue to €1.4 billion. Without PSG, the other 19 teams combined to generate €941 million, according to the data.
Propelled by the bottomless pockets of the gas-rich Qatari government, PSG has brought some of the planet’s best soccer players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Angel Di Maria and Edinson Cavani. The team’s 2015 payroll was €254.9 million, 2.5 times more than the next highest-wage payer, Marseille.
The biggest component of PSG’s income, €205 million, is booked under a category called “other products.” That probably refers to an agreement valued at as much as €200 million a year with the Qatar Tourism Authority. European soccer’s governing body has said in the past that the deal didn’t pass it’s “fair value” test when it assessed the finances of teams competing in elite European club competitions. Under its rules, teams must limit losses or face sanctions. In 2014, PSG received a record fine and was ordered to cut the size of its roster for breaking the rules.
PSG won the league title this season with eight games to spare and are currently 27 points ahead of second place Lyon.