Paris Saint Germain have successfully taken over complete and utter dominance in the French Ligue 1. The Parisian side has won the league three successive times and considering the present scenario, look set to make it four consecutive years at the top.
Lyon won seven titles in a row between 2002 and 2008. After that, we saw four different champions in the coming years before PSG occupied their seat on top, thanks to their Qatari takeover. The financial might of their Qatari owners has allowed the Parisian club to take a giant leap ahead of their domestic rivals in the last 3 years. Last year, the Ligue 1 witnessed a fight for the title with Lyon and Marseille in the mix, but the fact that PSG ended up winning the league by eight points shows you how superior they are as compared to their counterparts.
PSG have completely monopolized the league. At the halfway stage of the season, PSG sit comfortably on top of the table, ahead of second placed Monaco by 19 points. Nineteen points. The gap between last placed Troyes and Rennes in the seventh spot is also 19 points. These are damning statistics.
This is something that is making football supporters in France disenchanted with proceedings. PSG-Marseille or Le Classique was once one of the biggest games of the year. The hub of French society and style against the home of the working class had a brilliant charm surrounding it. Similar to Rangers vs Celtic or Barcelona vs Real Madrid, this game was important for more than football reasons. It had immense social, historical and cultural importance. Naturally, the atmosphere in the game was remarkable and the passion of the fans was visibly something else. When compared to what was showcased this season, one is left stumped.
In search of Champions Leauge glory
Because PSG are doing so well in the league and basically face no competition, their measure of success should be counted in the Champions League. After complete domestic domination, PSG have not been able to cross the quarter-final stage in any of the last three seasons. The goal this season, is very naturally getting the elusive Champions League trophy to Paris and the failure to do so might cost Laurent Blanc his job even if he wins the other trophies. PSGai??i??s situation right now is exactly the same as Bayern Munichai??i??s. Success in the league wonai??i??t even be anything too special.
However, Ligue 1 is more of a worry than the Bundesliga because Bayern Munich’s dominance in recent times didnai??i??t miraculously occur due to injection of money. PSGai??i??s did, and from the looks of it, it won’t be stopping any time soon either. The sheer difference between their squad and the rest of the league is stark. In the Bundesliga, you see the likes of Wolfsburg, Schalke, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen give some sort of a fight to the club on top. Granted, that has happened in only the last two years, but there still seems to be some life in the German league. Of course you canai??i??t blame PSG solely for the lack of competition in the league, as they didn’t install Monacoai??i??s buy cheap and sell high policy or put Marseille in so much debt that the club had to part with most of their players (who helped the team challenge for the title) and their talismanic coach.
PSGai??i??s rise was once said to be good for the rest of the league at a point, as France would once again be looked at as an attractive destination due to the presence of quality players and coaches. Only now are the ill-effects it has brought along on display. The clubai??i??s competitors are poorly funded and otherwise lack the appeal that can attract quality players to make them worthy competitors. PSG have demonstrated over the past few years that they are going to be dominating the league by buying players that the rest of the teams in the league simply cannot afford. To put things into perspective, Thiago Silvaai??i??s annual salary could pay for Gazelec Ajaccioai??i??s annual operations.
Even though itai??i??s not happening anytime soon by the looks of it, what happens when the Qatari owners pack-up and leave? — the same that transpired at a certain Amsterdam club a few years back? PSG and Ligue 1 (how much ever it is at the moment) would no longer be an attractive destination for players, in a similar fashion as how the fall of Ajax in the early part of this century drastically made the Dutch Eredivisie immaterial till a few years back, and to an extent even now, from the brilliant heights it achieved in the 90s.
While this might irk the PSG faithful, there is a lack of joy surrounding PSG games as well. The wins seem almost mechanic, which of course isnai??i??t a bad thing because the side is winning games with efficiency, and for their European goal, being such a well-oiled machinery (innuendo intended) can only be helping matters. Considering where things are in the table, it’s certain PSG will be winning the league. However, fans hope to watch entertaining football and despite their unbeaten run this season, hardly too many people have been a entertaineda by PSG. .
Paris Saint Germain’s embarrassing hegemony is not good for the Ligue 1 in general and there has to be some desire shown by the FFF and LFP to raise the overall standard of the league. What’s the point of every team playing 38 games just to confirm the inevitable?