The owners of Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly looking at buying a Championship club to expand their empire, with Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers named as potential targets.
Qatar Sports Investment assumed control of PSG in 2011 and have invested heavily in the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar to turn the club into one of Europe’s elite clubs, and they could be on the lookout for a new challenge.
It has been rumored that Serie A side Roma is an option for the group, but Le Parisien claim that QSI are instead focusing on a Championship club. Qatar officials already own the iconic Harrods department store in London, and they are now keen to expand their empire into England.
QSI are looking for a club with an established brand who boast potential for expansion, and it is thought that Aston Villa, Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest are the three teams who are at the top of their wish list.
There is one major stumbling block to their plan, as UEFA regulations prohibit two teams in European competition, either the Champions League or Europa League, from being owned by the same person or group, meaning that they could face legal issues if their Championship club qualified for either competition in the near future.
However, there are ways around this. Le Parisien cite the Red Bull group, who own major stakes in both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig.
With the two teams qualifying for European competition, Red Bull opted to put a non-profit organisation – which featured around 20 Red Bull employees – at the helm of RB Leipzig to avoid breaching UEFA regulations, but ensuring they remained in control of the team.
Given Qatar officials have already purchased another team in Europe – Belgian First Division side Eupen – it is likely that they already have a plan in place for such an event.
The group have proven to be prepared to spend heavily to achieve success, having built a French empire which has been largely uncontested since their arrival at PSG.
The Championship would provide QSI with a new challenge, and it appears that the group are eager to try their hand at English football.