Soccer Clubs and Diminishing Returns: The Case of Paris Saint-Germain

Vincent Hogan

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), one of France’s top soccer clubs, was bought by Qatar
Sports Investments (QSI) in 2011. Since then, the club’s expenditure has risen
precipitously, as have its victories. In this paper, we ask whether this represents
value for money. We found that the efficiency of PSG did not deteriorate following
the takeover. However, while PSG operated close to the production frontier in terms
of converting resources to points, it scored vastly more points than was necessary to
win the league. We estimate that PSG spent €140m more than was necessary to win
the French league in 2016/2017. Since 2011, PSG is estimated to have overspent by
up to €600m. This expenditure could be thought of as being merely the price of
creditable performance at a European level, but we show that it has brought
less success than would be expected.