Nasser Al-Khelaifi has revealed that Paris Saint-Germain was approached about joining the European Super League’s breakaway initiative.
The PSG president also recounted what Real Madrid president Florentino Perez told him at a lunch meeting before the two clubs’ Champions League last-16 encounter.
Al-Khelaifi told the BBC, “I could have taken the [Super League] payment for 400 million euros.”
“I was invited. When I answered no, they said they didn’t invite me, which pretty much sums it up.
“The issue with ESL clubs is that they lack consistency. They lack a long-term financial strategy. They are always discussing their legal deal [with Super League clubs].
“They forget that football is a social pact, not a formal one and that they’re waving a piece of paper around.
“‘We have to get to a place where we can speak to you,’ Florentino Perez said to me at the Champions League game. I was quite stern with him.
“I said I’d be pleased to discuss, but I’m not interested if he’s going to do things behind my back.”
Following the Qatar Sports Investments takeover in 2011, PSG has been chastised for the amount they have spent on signing players, but Al-Khelaifi defended the club’s investment philosophy and questioned whether fan-owned clubs perform better than the French giants.
“Assume there hasn’t been any investment in the last few years. Football would have come to a halt, and I assure you, ” he said.
“We are a private equity firm. We paid 70 million euros for the club. Since then, we’ve gotten multibillion-dollar offers.
“We established this brand as a long-term commitment for both men’s and women’s teams. People are critical since it is state-owned property.
“Is the private equity takeover of sport about social good? What about other forms of ownership? Is it acceptable to have private persons leverage clubs to the sky? Is it possible for Barcelona to be a fan-owned club with a debt of 1.5 billion euros?”