Ten years after the club was bought by Qatar Sport Investment, Paris Saint-Germain is unveiling the results of an impact study carried out by the Centre of Sport Law and Economy (Centre de Droit et d’Economie du Sport or CDES) in Limoges. This study shows the club’s major economic and social contribution to the Île-de-France region and France as a whole.
The fruit of many months’ work, this independent study was entrusted by Paris Saint-Germain to the CDES, a reference in sport economy that is associated with the University of Limoges. The study’s aim was to assess the impact that the club’s historic development has had on the local economy and society: fans, collaborators, partners and local and national communities.
Nasser al-Khelaifi, President and CEO of Paris Saint-Germain, said: “In the space of 10 years, Paris Saint-Germain has become one of the world’s major sports franchises and has even been the world’s fastest-growing sports franchise for the last three years. The CDES highlights the fact that Paris Saint-Germain is now an economic powerhouse in the Paris region and is the driving force for French football and handball. With the investments already made and the projects that we are putting in place for the future, Paris Saint-Germain is asserting its status as a major stakeholder in the economy of sport in France, for the long term.”
The author of the study, Christophe Lepetit, added: “This economic development has been unprecedented for Paris Saint-Germain, a club which has become vital for its city, its region and the whole country. Bolstered by a consistent strategy, Paris Saint-Germain has developed its organisation, ambitions and economic model to become one of the European clubs with the highest turnover [€540.6mn in 2019-2020] and highest growth [an average 21.3% annual increase in turnover since 2011].”
Paris Saint-Germain’s outstanding performance is regularly highlighted in the football world’s annual economic rankings: No.7 in the European Football Money League (Deloitte, 2021), No.7 in the list of the World’s Strongest Football Brands (Brand Finance, 2020), No.9 in the list of the World’s Most Valuable Soccer Teams and, above all, the sports franchise that has experienced the most significant growth in the last five years (Forbes, 2021).
Paris Saint-Germain, a catalyst for the economy in the Paris region
The first lesson drawn from the study is that Paris Saint-Germain is an increasingly important source of economic benefits in the Île-de-France region. According to the calculations done by the CDES’ economists, the club generated more than 182.2 million euros for the region’s economy over the course of the 2018-2019 season*. This can be broken down into €145.8mn in primary economic benefits, i.e. directly produced by the club through the organisation of sporting events, and €36.4mn in secondary benefits, which correspond to indirect and induced spending stimulated by the injection of €145.8mn into the local economy. This money benefits the local stakeholders, sub-contractors, suppliers, businesses and club employees (not including the professional players).
Christophe Lepetit analysed: “These additional sources of income for Île-de-France are largely explained by the club’s drawing power and influence on the international stage. Paris Saint-Germain’s matches in the Parc des Princes have become a must-see event for a great many foreign visitors.” During the 2018-2019 season, 100,000 foreign fans attended matches – more than 3,700 at each fixture – which helped boost the local economy, with an average spend of 511 euros. More generally, spectators attending a match in the Parc des Princes spend an average of 393 euros, 45% of which is on catering services and 25% on accommodation.
Paris Saint-Germain’s major contribution to the local economy is measured by the creation of jobs in the local area. During the 2018-2019 season, the club helped maintain 2,150 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs, including 670 direct jobs (people on the payroll of one of Paris Saint-Germain’s entities), to which we might add the 1,480 indirect and induced jobs generated due to the mobilisation of a network of more than 800 companies that work with the club.
Paris Saint-Germain’s stake in the Île-de-France’s economy is also highlighted by the massive investment made over the last ten years (€102.2mn in 10 years) to develop its sports facilities located in the Île-de-France (Parc des Princes, Ooredoo Training Center), as well as its headquarter-based activity (merchandising, communication, sponsorship, IT, etc.). These structural investments have enabled the club’s development while injecting revenue into the local economy.
Paris Saint-Germain, an economic driving force for French football and handball
The CDES study also revealed that Paris Saint-Germain’s positive impact reaches beyond the Île-de-France region. Paris Saint-Germain is a driving force for French football and handball, and, thanks to its reputation, helps galvanise the football and handball championships.
Christophe Lepetit explained: “Every time Paris Saint-Germain play away, the L1 Uber Eats and Lidl Starligue clubs experience record-breaking attendance and revenue. In this way, the club also contributes to boosting the economic impact of its opponents in their respective regions by attracting more spectators from other regions to these gala matches.” As an example, a visit by Paris Saint-Germain enables the L1 clubs to increase their fill rate by 23 points compared with the season average, with an average ticket price (excluding season tickets) that is 69% higher. As for the clubs in the Lidl Starligue, their revenue from ticket sales is 6.7 times higher, on average, when they play host to Paris Saint-Germain.
In parallel, Paris Saint-Germain makes a huge contribution to French public finance: €1.9bn in social and tax contributions (corporate taxes, local taxes, employer social contributions, income taxes, etc.) has been paid by the club and its players to the French government and regional authorities for the last ten years, with a significant increase during the 2019-2020 season (€269.3bn).
What is more, Paris Saint-Germain has an unparalleled strike force for promoting France and its expertise worldwide. Its media impact – more than 2.1 million media reviews over the 2019-2020 season – and its presence on the online social scene – more than 100mn followers on social media – allow it to reach several billion internet users every year.
Paris Saint-Germain, ever more charity work in France and worldwide
In its final section, the study addresses the club’s social commitment through the actions of its association, Foundation and Endowment Fund. Christophe Lepetit explained: “Since Nasser al-Khelaifi became President of the club, Paris Saint-Germain has stepped up its social actions in France and worldwide. This evolution is expressed by a significant increase in the human and financial resources dedicated to this work [168% increase between 2011-2012 and 2018-2019, representing €1.7mn].”
In ten years, the annual expenditure dedicated to developing civic and solidarity actions has been quadrupled (€2.4mn in the 2018-2019 season). Every year, more than 14,000 people benefit from the programmes run by the Paris Saint-Germain Foundation and Endowment Fund, such as the Red & Blue Schools and the “Allez les Filles” programme.
The study pays particular attention to the forthcoming opening of the Performance Centre in Poissy, in the heart of the Île-de-France region. Scheduled to open in 2023, this project is at the cutting edge of modernity and environment excellence, and embodies Paris Saint-Germain’s forward-thinking approach. Representing a €350mn investment, it will create 1,000 jobs in the construction phase and should generate 200 permanent jobs on site in the future. This structuring project will strengthen the foundations of the club’s future development and will enable it to become one of the world’s greatest sports franchises for the long term.
? In order to provide a snapshot that is as close as possible to the real situation, the CDES decided to base the study on the 2018-2019 season, the last season to be completed “as normal”, both in sporting and accounting terms.
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