When PSG were put in an awkward position after Marseille's scandal-fueled fall from grace

Team 33's Raf Diallo looks at the 1992-93 season on this week's World Is A Ball

BY Raf Diallo 14:26 Wednesday 9 March 2016, 14:26 9 Mar 2016

PSG player George Weah, right, clashes with Olympique Marseille defender William Pruiner during their first division French championship match on Friday, Jan. 14, 1994 in Paris. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

When opposition fans chant about Manchester City and Chelsea having no history, they are being more than harsh.

It's wide of the mark given that both clubs have a long history in the English game and won their fair share of trophies - City in particular - before their wealthy owners came in.

However, it would be less harsh to put a tiny asterisk around every trophy Chelsea and City have won post-2003 and 2008 respectively, as it is undeniable that the funding of Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour had an impact on their success.

It is a similar tale for Paris Saint-German, Chelsea's Champions League last-16 opponents, who have a far shorter history than the English clubs, given that they were only founded in 1970 as the result of a merger.

Olympique Marseille fans holds an offensive banner aimed at PSG in 2005. Picture by: Jon Buckle / EMPICS Sport

Given the size and importance of the city, Paris' lack of footballing influence is peculiar, and PSG are now looking to fill that void to try and turn it into a veritable cathedral of the global game.

While they may be dominating the French league since the Qatar Sports Investment group took charge five years ago, European titles are always the eventual dream for sugar daddy owners.

PSG have won the old UEFA Cup Winners Cup once before, the second time coming in their greatest period prior to the current era.

Between 1992 and 1998, the club won the 1993-94 Ligue 1 title, three French Cups, two League Cups and the aforementioned 1995-96 Cup Winners Cup with players like George Weah and David Ginola among some of those squads.

George Weah celebrates against Bayern Munich in the 1994-95 Champions League. Picture by: Phil O'Brien / EMPICS Sport

It came at a wider period of success in the French game on a European level with PSG's most bitter rivals Marseille winning the 1992-93 Champions League, only for that success to be tainted by the infamous match-fixing scandal which saw them stripped of that year's Ligue 1 crown.

PSG had finished second that campaign, millimeters ahead of Arsene Wenger's Monaco on goal difference.

With Marseille having the title taken off them, it either meant PSG would be handed the trophy or the year would be left vacant.

That left PSG in an awkward position as the spectre of a title glittered before them. This was a single season before they won the 1993-94 title, which meant the only French league to their name was from seven years earlier in 1985-86.

The league decided that PSG as runners-up should get the vacant title, but ultimately this did not happen for reasons beyond football. TV channel Canal+, which broadcast league matches and took over ownership of PSG in 1991, refused on the grounds that such a decision would anger their subscribers from outside Paris - particularly in the south around Marseille (like most countries, there is a rivalry between the urban capital-based folks and those from other regions) that feeds into football. 

That revelation is set out in a book called PSG-OM/OM-PSG Histoire d'une rivalité but nevertheless, Parisian football has found itself on top of France's pyramid for the foreseeable future and potentially, someday Europe itself.

You can read more from Raf's The World Is A Ball series every Wednesday on Newstalk.com. To find past articles, head to the Team 33 show page.


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