The announcement had been overdue for several days. The Kingdom of Bahrain has become a minority shareholder and main sponsor of the Paris Football Club, the Ligue 2 club announced on Monday (July 27). “The operation was carried out through a capital increase to strengthen the club’s equity, allowing the sovereign fund to hold 20% of the company”, wrote the club in a statement. According to The team, the emirate would have spent 5 million euros to acquire this 20% of capital.
Bahrain also becomes the main sponsor of the club, which narrowly escaped relegation last season by finishing in 17the place of L2. “The sporting ambition of the men’s first team is to advance to Ligue 1 within the next three years, and to raise their women’s team as high as possible in the women’s D1 championship”, promises Paris FC.
“A regional and national majority base”
The club have not played in the elite since 1974 and are in the shadow of Paris-Saint-Germain, owned since 2011 by Qatar, Bahrain’s neighboring emirate. It plans a 30% increase in its budget, without specifying when.
“The Paris FC round of table will expand in the coming months to a new foreign investor and managers of Ile-de-France companies”, adds the club, promising that “Club control will continue to be based on a regional and national majority base”.
Bahrain, a small island state in the Gulf, continues to invest in sport, after the establishment in 2016 of a professional cycling team (Bahrain-McLaren) or the organization since 2004 of a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Several Gulf monarchies have invested in recent years in professional teams or the organization of major sporting events, including Qatar, host country of the 2022 World Cup.