sports

PSG threaten to quit Parc des Princes

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Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday threatened to quit the Parc des Princes ground, which has been their home for almost 50 years, after city officials refused to sell the stadium to them.

City mayor Anne Hidalgo said in an interview published in Saturday's Parisien newspaper that the stadium "is not for sale" and "will not be sold" to Qatari-owned PSG.

However, a spokesman for the club said he was "disappointed and surprised" that the city wanted to "turn Paris Saint-Germain and their supporters out of the Parc des Princes".

"The mayor is forcing PSG to leave its home."

He added: "Everyone loses in the position taken by the mayor. PSG is now forced to find alternative options to relocate the club.

"This is not the outcome the club, nor its supporters, were hoping for."

PSG has made acquisition of the ground in the city's leafy western suburbs a condition for carrying out modernisation and expansion works to the tune of 500 million euros.

In November, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi told Spanish sports daily Marca that PSG was "no longer welcome" at the Parc des Princes, adding that they were looking at "other alternatives".

"They are pressuring us to leave," he said, insisting that the Qataris had "invested 80 million euros" – before Euro 2016 – in a stadium which "is not ours".

The club has already put in one offer to buy the ground but according to Hidalgo's deputy Emmanuel Gregoire, it only amounted to 40 million euros.

"It's cheaper than Paredes," he joked in reference to the Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes who cost PSG 47 million euros when he joined in 2019.

Inaugurated in 1897 then remodelled in 1972, the former velodrome, with its 48,000 capacity, has been home to the Parisian club since 1974.

The current 30-year lease kicked in in 2014.

"It is a firm and definitive position," added Hidalgo on the city's stance.

"It is an exceptional piece of heritage for Parisians."

Her team have said they are ready to discuss the ground issue, even if the sale is not her "priority option".

"We must support PSG in its desire and its need for renovation, for increasing capacity, for modernising the Parc," she said, adding that "part of the stadium is on the ring road so we cannot dig".

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