UEFA European Championship
The UEFA European Championship is the primary association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Union of European Football Associations, determining the continental champion of Europe. Held every four years since 1960, in the even-numbered year between World Cup tournaments, it was called the UEFA European Nations' Cup, changing to the current name in 1968. Starting with the 1996 tournament, specific championships are referred to in the form "UEFA Euro ". Prior to entering the tournament all teams other than the host nations compete in a qualifying process; the championship winners earn the opportunity to compete in the following FIFA Confederations Cup, but are not obliged to do so. The 15 European Championship tournaments have been won by ten national teams: Germany and Spain each have won three titles, France has two titles, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Denmark and Portugal have won one title each. To date, Spain is the only team in history to have won consecutive titles, doing so in 2008 and 2012.
It is the second most watched football tournament in the world after the FIFA World Cup. The Euro 2012 final was watched by a global audience of around 300 million; the most recent championship, hosted by France in 2016, was won by Portugal, who beat France 1–0 in the final at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis after extra time. The final attracted 284 million viewers, the second most viewed game in European tournament history; the idea for a pan-European football tournament was first proposed by the French Football Federation's secretary-general Henri Delaunay in 1927, but it was not until 1958 that the tournament was started, three years after Delaunay's death. In honour of Delaunay, the trophy awarded to the champions is named after him; the 1960 tournament, held in France, had four teams competing in the finals out of 17 that entered the competition. It was won by the Soviet Union. Spain withdrew from its quarter-final match against the USSR because of two political protests. Of the 17 teams that entered the qualifying tournament, notable absentees were England, the Netherlands, West Germany and Italy.
Spain held the next tournament in 1964, which saw an increase in entries to the qualification tournament, with 29 entering. The hosts beat the Soviet Union, 2 -- 1 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid; the tournament format stayed the same for the 1968 tournament and won by Italy. For the first and only time a match was decided on a coin toss and the final went to a replay, after the match against Yugoslavia finished 1–1. Italy won the replay 2–0. More teams entered a testament to its burgeoning popularity. Belgium hosted the 1972 tournament, which West Germany won, beating the USSR 3–0 in the final, with goals coming from Gerd Müller and Herbert Wimmer at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels; this tournament would provide a taste of things to come, as the German side contained many of the key members of the 1974 FIFA World Cup Champions. The 1976 tournament in Yugoslavia was the last in which only four teams took part in the final tournament, the last in which the hosts had to qualify. Czechoslovakia beat West Germany in the newly introduced penalty shootout.
After seven successful conversions, Uli Hoeneß missed, leaving Czechoslovakian Antonín Panenka with the opportunity to score and win the tournament. An "audacious" chipped shot, described by UEFA as "perhaps the most famous spot kick of all time" secured the victory as Czechoslovakia won 5–3 on penalties; the competition was expanded to eight teams in the 1980 tournament, again hosted by Italy. It involved a group stage, with the winners of the groups going on to contest the final, the runners-up playing in the third place play-off. West Germany won their second European title by beating Belgium 2–1, with two goals scored by Horst Hrubesch at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Horst Hrubesch scored early in the first half before René Vandereycken equalised for Belgium with a penalty in the second half. With two minutes remaining, Hrubesch headed the winner for West Germany from a Karl-Heinz Rummenigge corner. France won their first major title at home in the 1984 tournament, with their captain Michel Platini scoring 9 goals in just 5 games, including the opening goal in the final, in which they beat Spain 2–0.
The format changed, with the top two teams in each group going through to a semi-final stage, instead of the winners of each group going straight into the final. The third place play-off was abolished. West Germany hosted UEFA Euro 1988, but lost 2–1 to the Netherlands, their traditional rivals, in the semi-finals, which sparked vigorous celebrations in the Netherlands; the Netherlands went on to win the tournament in a rematch of their first game of the group stage, beating the USSR 2–0 at the Olympia Stadion in Munich, a match in which Marco van Basten scored one of the most memorable goals in football history, a spectacular volley over the keeper from the right wing. UEFA Euro 1992 was held in Sweden, was won by Denmark, who were only in the finals because UEFA did not allow Yugoslavia to participate as some of the states constituting the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were at war with each other; the Danes beat holders the Netherlands on penalties in the semi-finals defeated world champion Germany 2–0.
This was the first tournament in which a unified Germany took part a
The Premier League is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League; the Premier League is a corporation. Seasons run from August to May with each team playing 38 matches. Most games are played on Sunday afternoons; the Premier League has featured 47 English and two Welsh clubs since its inception, making it a cross-border league. The competition was formed as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from the Football League, founded in 1888, take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal; the deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB and BT Group securing the domestic rights to broadcast 116 and 38 games respectively. The league generates € 2.2 billion per year in international television rights. Clubs were apportioned revenues of £2.4 billion in 2016–17. The Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people.
In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, second highest of any professional football league behind the Bundesliga's 43,500. Most stadium occupancies are near capacity; the Premier League ranks second in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons, as of 2018. Forty-nine clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992. Six of them have won the title since then: Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City; the record of most points in a Premier League season is 100, set by Manchester City in 2017–18. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 1980s marked a low point for English football. Stadiums were crumbling, supporters endured poor facilities, hooliganism was rife, English clubs were banned from European competition for five years following the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985; the Football League First Division, the top level of English football since 1888, was behind leagues such as Italy's Serie A and Spain's La Liga in attendances and revenues, several top English players had moved abroad.
By the turn of the 1990s the downward trend was starting to reverse: at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, England reached the semi-finals. In the 1980s, major English clubs had begun to transform into business ventures, applying commercial principles to club administration to maximise revenue. Martin Edwards of Manchester United, Irving Scholar of Tottenham Hotspur, David Dein of Arsenal were among the leaders in this transformation, it gave the top clubs more power. By threatening to break away, clubs in Division One managed to increase their voting power, they took a 50% share of all television and sponsorship income in 1986. Revenue from television became more important: the Football League received £6.3 million for a two-year agreement in 1986, but by 1988, in a deal agreed with ITV, the price rose to £44 million over four years with the leading clubs taking 75% of the cash. According to Scholar, involved in the negotiations of television deals, each of the First Division clubs received only around £25,000 per year from television rights before 1986, this increased to around £50,000 in the 1986 negotiation to £600,000 in 1988.
The 1988 negotiations were conducted under the threat of ten clubs leaving to form a "super league", but they were persuaded to stay with the top clubs taking the lion share of the deal. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the country's top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. In 1990, the managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the "big five" football clubs in England over a dinner; the meeting was to pave the way for a break away from The Football League. Dyke believed that it would be more lucrative for LWT if only the larger clubs in the country were featured on national television and wanted to establish whether the clubs would be interested in a larger share of television rights money; the five clubs decided to press ahead with it. The FA did not enjoy an amicable relationship with the Football League at the time and considered it as a way to weaken the Football League's position.
At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring more money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the game's top-flight clubs, established the basic principles for setting up the FA Premier League; the newly formed top division would have commercial independence from The Football Association and the Football League, giving the FA Premier League licence to negotiate
Promotion and relegation
In sports leagues and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between multiple divisions based on their performance for the completed season. The best-ranked team in the lower division are promoted to the higher division for the next season, the worst-ranked team in the higher division are relegated to the lower division for the next season. In some leagues, playoffs or qualifying rounds are used to determine rankings; this process can continue through several levels of divisions, with teams being exchanged between levels 1 and 2, levels 2 and 3, levels 3 and 4, so on. During the season, teams that are high enough in the league table that they would qualify for promotion are sometimes said to be in the promotion zone, those at the bottom are in the relegation zone. An alternate system of league organisation, used in the US and Canada is a closed model based on licensing or franchises; this maintains the same teams from year to year, with occasional admission of expansion teams and relocation of existing teams, with no team movement between the major league and minor leagues.
The number of teams exchanged between the divisions is always identical. Exceptions occur when the higher division wishes to change the size of its membership, or has lost one or more of its clubs and wishes to restore its previous membership size, in which case fewer teams are relegated from that division, or more teams are accepted for promotion from the division below; such variations cause a "knock-on" effect through the lower divisions. For example, in 1995 the Premier League voted to reduce its numbers by two and achieved the desired change by relegating four teams instead of the usual three, whilst allowing only two promotions from Football League Division One. In the absence of such extraordinary circumstances, the pyramid-like nature of most European sports league systems can still create knock-on effects at the regional level. For example, in a higher league with a large geographical footprint and multiple feeder leagues each representing smaller geographical regions, should most or all of the relegated teams in the higher division come from one particular region the number of teams to be promoted or relegated from each of the feeder leagues may have to be adjusted, or one or more teams playing near the boundary between the feeder leagues may have to transfer from one feeder league to another to maintain numerical balance.
The system is said to be the defining characteristic of the "European" form of professional sports league organization. Promotion and relegation have the effect of allowing the maintenance of a hierarchy of leagues and divisions, according to the relative strength of their teams, they maintain the importance of games played by many low-ranked teams near the end of the season, which may be at risk of relegation. In contrast, a low-ranked US or Canadian team's final games serve little purpose, in fact losing may be beneficial to such teams, yielding a better position in the next year's draft. Although not intrinsic to the system, problems can occur due to the differing monetary payouts and revenue-generating potential that different divisions provide to their clubs. For example, financial hardship has sometimes occurred in leagues where clubs do not reduce their wage bill once relegated; this occurs for one of two reasons: first, the club can't move underperforming players on, or second, the club is gambling on being promoted back straight away and is prepared to take a financial loss for one or two seasons to do so.
Some leagues offer "parachute payments" to its relegated teams for the following year. The payouts are higher than the prize money received by some non-relegated teams and are designed to soften the financial hit that clubs take whilst dropping out of the Premier League. However, in many cases these parachute payments just serve to inflate the costs of competing for promotion among the lower division clubs as newly relegated teams retain a financial advantage. In some countries and at certain levels, teams in line for promotion may have to satisfy certain non-playing conditions in order to be accepted by the higher league, such as financial solvency, stadium capacity, facilities. If these are not satisfied, a lower-ranked team may be promoted in their place, or a team in the league above may be saved from relegation. While the primary purpose of the promotion/relegation system is to maintain competitive balance, it may be used as a disciplinary tool in special cases. On several occasions, the Italian Football Federation has relegated clubs found to have been involved in match-fixing.
This occurred most in 2006, when the season's initial champions Juventus were relegated to Serie B, two other teams were relegated but restored to Serie A after appeal. In some Communist nations several in Europe after World War II, clubs were promoted and relegated for political reasons rather than performance; this was made evident in the late eighties by teams such as Romanian Steaua București and Yugoslav Red Star Belgrade, both winners of the European Champions League despite the rampant level of corruption in their Communist local leagues. Promotion and relegation may be used in international sports tournaments. In tennis, the Davis Cup and Fed Cup have promotion and relegation, with a'World Group' (split into two divisions in the Fe
The Stade Vélodrome, known as the Orange Vélodrome for sponsorship reasons, is a multi-purpose stadium in Marseille, France. It is home to the Olympique de Marseille football club of Ligue 1 since it opened in 1937, was a venue in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 2007 Rugby World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2016, it hosts RC Toulon rugby club of the Top 14. It is the largest club football ground in France, with a capacity of 67,344 spectators; the stadium is used by the France national rugby union team. The record attendance for a club game before renovation at the Stade Vélodrome was 58,897. Since expansion to 67,394, the record attendance at the ground now stands at 65,252 for the match vs rivals PSG that occurred on February 26, 2017; the stadium was featured as a FIFA World Cup venue when the 1938 finals were held in France. The first-ever match to be played was between Marseille and Torino in 1937; the French rugby union team began an impressive run of victories at the stadium in the early 2000s. They defeated New Zealand 42–33 in November 2000, in 2001 defeated Australia by one point.
They beat South Africa in 2002, followed by a win over England in 2003. However, their run of luck was broken in 2004; the venue was used by France for a game against New Zealand in November 2009. In 2018, the stadium hosted its first Six Nations match with France hosting Italy. France is not the only rugby team to have used the Vélodrome in recent years. On 18 April 2009, Toulon took their home fixture in the Top 14 against Toulouse to the Vélodrome, drawing 57,039 spectators to see a 14–6 Toulon win which played a key role in the Toulonnais' successful fight against relegation in the 2008–09 season. Toulon has taken; the Vélodrome was the venue for both semi-finals in the 2010–11 Top 14 season, was used for the Toulon v Munster semi-final of the 2013–14 Heineken Cup. In 1935, the architectural firm Pollack Ploquin was chosen to build a stadium in Marseille. Henri Ploquin designed the stadium. For economic reasons, only the Stade Vélodrome was built. On 28 April 1935, the foundation stone was laid for the Vélodrome by Marseille Mayor Ribot, on a site between downtown and the suburban areas of St. Giniez and Sainte-Marguerite on military grounds belonging to the city.
The Stade Vélodrome opened on 13 June 1937, when a friendly match was played between Olympique Marseille and Italian of Torino FC. On 29 August 1937 a match took place between Cannes; this was the first official match at the stadium. As its name suggests, Stade Vélodrome was used for cycling competitions but as these races became less common, seating replaced the track which circled the stadium; the Vélodrome remained famous for fans of OM since the sloped track, under the extended seating acted as a slide to invade the pitch at the end of matches. OM was long hostile to the Stade Vélodrome, calling it the "stage of the City Council". For fans of the Olympians between the wars, the real home of OM was Stade de l'Huveaune, owned by OM and financed by fans in the early 1920s. After World War II, however, OM no longer owned the Stadium Huveaune. Seeking support from the city, Chairman Marcel Leclerc had OM play at Huveaune from 1945 to 1960; the City Council relented, OM moved to the Vélodrome. During the 1970s, OM shared the Stade with the Marseille XIII Rugby League.
1970 marked the first modifications to the Vélodrome, with the replacement of the floodlights on the Ganay and Jean Bouin tribunes by four 60 meter towers for nighttime events. In March 1971, the capacity of the stadium was increased by nearly 6000 seats, with the reduction of the cycling track and the removal of the cinder running track; this brought the total capacity of the stadium including the standing area. Olympique returned to the Stade de l'Huveaune for the 1982–1983 season as Stade Vélodrome was under construction in preparation for the 1984 European Football Championship; the playing surface was replaced during this time. The semifinal between France and Portugal had set a record for attendance at an international match with 54,848 spectators; the capacity of the stadium was reduced to 42,000 with the construction of lodges. The cycling track was removed altogether once Bernard Tapie was appointed president of OM in 1985, he chose to remove it and rearrange the corners of the stadium, bringing the capacity up to 48,000.
This renovation marked the end of the era of Vélodrome as a multi-use facility. The area around the stadium was transformed with the creation of the second line of the metro which served the stadium from two stations and with the construction of the Palais des Sports nearby; the Stade Vélodrome was renovated for the 1998 World Cup. The Vélodrome hosted the final draw, which took place on 4 December 1997 and seven matches, including France's first match against South Africa, the quarterfinal between Argentina and the Netherlands and the semifinal between Brazil and the Netherlands; as of 2011, the record attendance for a football game was the Newcastle United UEFA Cup semifinal on 6 May 2004. During the 2007 Rugby World Cup the Vélodrome hosted six games, including two quarter-finals: Australia versus England (which holds the overall attendance record with 59,120 sp
Ligue 2 known as Domino's Ligue 2 due to sponsorship by Domino's Pizza, is a French professional football league. The league serves as the second division of French football and is one of two divisions making up the Ligue de Football Professionnel, the other being Ligue 1, the country's top football division. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with both Ligue 1 and the third division Championnat National. Seasons run from August with teams playing 38 games each totalling 380 games in the season. Most games are played on Fridays and Mondays, with a few games played during weekday and weekend evenings. Play is suspended the last weekend before Christmas for two weeks before returning in the second week of January. Ligue 2 was founded a year after the creation of the first division in 1933 under the name Division 2 and has served as the second division of French football since; the name lasted until 2002 before switching to its current name. Since the league is a part of the LFP, it allows clubs who are on the brink of professionalism to become so.
However, if a club suffers relegation to the Championnat National, its professional status can be revoked temporarily until they return to Ligue 2. The second division of French football was established in 1933, one year after the creation of the all-professional first division; the inaugural season of the competition consisted of the six clubs who were relegated following the 1932–33 National season, as well as many of the clubs who opposed the creation of the first division the previous season. Clubs such as Strasbourg, RC Roubaix, Amiens SC all played in the second division's debut season despite having prior grievances with the subjective criteria needed to become professional and play in the first division; the first year of the second division consisted of twenty-three clubs and were divided into two groups. Fourteen of the clubs were inserted into the Nord section, while the remaining nine were placed in Sud. Following the season, the winner of each group faced each other to determine which club would earn promotion.
On 20 May 1934, the winner of the Nord group, Red Star Saint-Ouen, faced Olympique Alès, the winner of the Sud group. Red Star were crowned the league's inaugural champions following a 3–2 victory. Despite losing, Alès was promoted to the first division and they were followed by Strasbourg and Mulhouse, who each won a pool championship, after the first division agreed to expand its teams to 16. Due to several clubs merging, folding, or losing their professional status, the federation turned the second division into a 16-team league and adopted the single-table method for the 1934–35 season. Due to the unpredictable nature of French football clubs, the following season, the league increased to 19 clubs and, two years increased its allotment to 25 teams with the clubs being divided into four groups; because of World War II, football was suspended by the French government and the Ligue de Football Professionnel. Following the end of the war, the second division developed stability. Due to the increase in amateur clubs, the league intertwined professional and amateur clubs and allowed the latter to become professional if they met certain benchmarks.
In 2002, the league changed its name from Division 2 to Ligue 2. In November 2014, the presidents of Caen and Nîmes were amongst several arrested on suspicion of match fixing; the arrests followed a 1–1 draw between Caen and Nîmes in May 2014, a result beneficial for each club. There are 20 clubs in Ligue 2. During the course of a season from August to May, each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 38 games. Teams receive one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points goal difference, goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion and promoted to Ligue 1. If points are equal, the goal difference and goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship or for relegation, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank; the second and third-place finisher are promoted to the first division, while the three lowest placed teams are relegated to the Championnat National and the top three teams from National are promoted in their place.
While a decision was made that during the season 2015-2016 only the best two teams would be promoted to Ligue 1 and the last two teams would be relegated to the National, that decision was overturned by an appeal to the Conseil d'État and the French Football Federation. 11 minutes: the time it took Sebastian Ribas to score the fastest hat trick in the history of Ligue 2. 5 times: the number of times Le Havre AC won the second division championship. Number of points won by a team in a single season, without being able to promote to the Ligue 1:77 points or 1.833 points per game for Toulouse FC. 72 points: or 1.71 points per game for Stade Lavallois. 69 points: or 1.82 points per game for Amiens SC.128 goals: The number of goals scored in 40 games by SCO Angers in 40 games. 55 goals: the number of goals scored in a season by Gerard Grizzetti, forward playing for AS Angoulême. 41 seasons: Number of seasons played by the RCFC Besançon and AS Cannes. The fastest goal in the history of Ligue 2 was marked on 26 September 2009 by Remi Nantais Maréval against Nîmes Olympique.
After eight seconds of play, the ball crossed the goal lin
1900 Summer Olympics
The 1900 Summer Olympics, today known as the Games of the II Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that took place in Paris, France, in 1900. No opening or closing ceremonies were held; the Games were held as part of the 1900 World's Fair. In total, 997 competitors took part in 19 different sports; this number relies on certain assumptions about which events were and were not "Olympic". Many athletes, among them some who won events, didn't know that they had competed in the Olympic Games. Women took part in the games for the first time, sailor Hélène de Pourtalès, born Helen Barbey in New York City, became the first female Olympic champion; the decision to hold competitions on a Sunday brought protests from many American athletes, who travelled as representatives of their colleges and were expected to withdraw rather than compete on their religious day of rest. At the Sorbonne conference of 1894, Pierre de Coubertin proposed that the Olympic Games should take place in 1900 in Paris.
The delegates to the conference were unwilling to wait six years and lobbied to hold the first games in 1896. A decision was made to hold the first Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens and that Paris would host the second celebration. Most of the winners in 1900 were given cups or trophies. Professionals competed in fencing and Albert Robert Ayat, who won the épée for amateurs and masters, was awarded a prize of 3000 francs; some events were contested for the only time in the history of the Games, including automobile and motorcycle racing, cricket, Basque pelota, 200m swimming obstacle race and underwater swimming. This was the only Olympic Games in history to use live animals as targets during the shooting event; the host nation of France flooded the field. The 1900 Games were held as part of the 1900 Exposition Universelle; the Baron de Coubertin believed that this would help public awareness of the Olympics and submitted elaborate plans to rebuild the ancient site of Olympia, complete with statues, temples and gymnasia.
The director of the Exposition Universelle, Alfred Picard, thought holding an ancient sport event at the Exposition Universelle was an "absurd anachronism". After thanking de Coubertin for his plans, Picard filed them away and nothing more came of it. A committee was formed for the organization of the Games, consisting of some of the more able sports administrators of the day and a provisional program was drawn up. Sports to be included at the games were track and field athletics, wrestling, fencing and British boxing and ocean yacht racing, golf, archery, rowing and water polo. British and Irish sports associations announced a desire to compete, as did a number of powerful American universities and sports clubs. Competitors from Russia and Australia confirmed their intentions to travel to Paris. On 9 November 1898, the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques put out an announcement that it would have sole right to any organised sport held during the World's Fair, it was an empty threat but Viscount Charles de La Rochefoucauld, the nominated head of the organizing committee, stepped down rather than be embroiled in the political battle.
The Baron de Coubertin, secretary-general of the USFSA, was urged to withdraw from active involvement in the running of the Games and did so, only to comment "I surrendered – and was incorrect in doing so." The IOC ceded control of the Games to a new committee, to oversee every sporting activity connected to the 1900 Exposition Universelle. Alfred Picard appointed Daniel Mérillon, the head of the French Shooting Association, as president of this organization in February 1899. Mérillon proceeded to publish an different schedule of events, with the result that many of those that had made plans to compete in concordance with the original program withdrew, refused to deal with the new committee. Between May and October 1900, the new organizing committee held an enormous number of sporting activities alongside the Paris Exposition; the sporting events used the term of "Olympic". Indeed, the term "Olympic Games" was replaced by "Concours internationaux d'exercices physiques et de sport" in the official report of the sporting events of the 1900 Exposition Universelle.
The press reported competitions variously as "International Championships", "International Games", "Paris Championships", "World Championships" and "Grand Prix of the Paris Exposition". De Coubertin commented to friends: "It's a miracle that the Olympic Movement survived that celebration"; these Olympic Games were the first organised under the IOC Presidency of Pierre de Coubertin Alvin Kraenzlein won the 60 metres, the 110 metre hurdles, the 200 metre hurdles and the long jump events. For his victory in the long jump, he was punched in the face by his rival Meyer Prinstein, prevented from competing in the final by officials of Syracuse University because it was scheduled for a Sunday. Hélène de Pourtalès became the first female Olympic
Paris Saint-Germain F.C.
Paris Saint-Germain Football Club referred to as Paris Saint-Germain, Paris SG, or PSG, is a French professional football club based in Paris. Founded in 1970, the club has traditionally worn blue kits. PSG has played its home matches in the 47,929-capacity Parc des Princes in the 16th arrondissement of Paris since 1974; the club plays in the highest tier of French football, Ligue 1. The Parisian club established itself as a major force in France, one of the major forces of European football in the 2010s. PSG have won a total of 36 major trophies, making it the most successful French club in history by this measure. Paris SG is the only club to have never been relegated from Ligue 1. Domestically, the Parisians have won seven Ligue 1 titles, a record twelve Coupe de France, a record eight Coupe de la Ligue, a joint record eight Trophée des Champions titles. In European football, they have won one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup; the capital club has won other minor official titles such as one Ligue 2 and one UEFA Intertoto Cup.
PSG have a long-standing rivalry with Olympique de Marseille. The duo contest French football's most notorious match, known as Le Classique; the State of Qatar, through its shareholding organization Qatar Sports Investments, has been the club's owner since 2011. The takeover made Paris Saint-Germain the richest club in France and one of the wealthiest in the world; as of the 2017–18 season, PSG have the sixth-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual turnover of €542m according to Deloitte, are the world's eleventh most valuable football club, worth €825m according to Forbes. Paris Saint-Germain Football Club was founded on 12 August 1970 after the merger of Paris Football Club and Stade Saint-Germain. PSG made an immediate impact, winning promotion to Ligue 1 in their first season after claiming the Ligue 2 title, their momentum was soon checked and the club split in 1972. Paris FC remained in Ligue 1, while Paris Saint-Germain kept their name but were administratively demoted to Division 3.
Two seasons PSG returned to Ligue 1 in 1974, moving into the Parc des Princes that same year. The club's trophy cabinet welcomed its first major silverware in the shape of the French Cup in 1982, during a decade marked by players such as Safet Sušić, Luis Fernández and Dominique Rocheteau. Four years Paris Saint-Germain claimed its maiden league title, after which they went into decline, but a takeover by television giants Canal+ revitalised the club and PSG entered their golden era. Led by David Ginola, George Weah and Raí, the club won nine trophies during the 1990s. Most notably, the Parisians claimed a second league title in 1994 and their crowning glory, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1996. At the start of the 21st century, PSG struggled to rescale the heights despite the magic of Ronaldinho and the goals of Pauleta. Five more trophies arrived in the form of three French Cups, one League Cup and one UEFA Intertoto Cup, but the club became better known for lurching from one high-profile crisis to another.
Indeed, Paris Saint-Germain spent two seasons staving off relegations that were only narrowly avoided. This changed in 2011 with the arrival of new majority shareholders Qatar Sports Investments. Since the buyout, PSG have spent over €1b on player transfers like Zlatan Ibrahimović, Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé, have dominated French football, winning 20 national titles. Despite this, the Champions League has proven to be a trophy beyond their reach. PSG have never made it beyond the Champions League quarterfinals since 2012, exiting the competition at the last-16 round in each of the last three seasons. Since its foundation, PSG have always represented both Saint-Germain-en-Laye; as a result, red and white are the traditional colours of Paris Saint-Germain. The red and blue represent the city of Paris, while the white stands for the nearby royal town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. In the club's crest, the French capital is represented by the Eiffel Tower in red and the blue background.
For its part, the white cradle with the white fleur de lys on top is a hint to the coat of arms of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and to French royalty. In France, white is the colour of the fleur de lys is a royal symbol; the cradle and the fleur de lys recall that French King Louis XIV was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1638. PSG's home shirt has always featured the three colours of the club; the three main home jerseys worn by Paris SG throughout its history have been predominantly red, blue or white. The club's first shirt was red, while the other two were predominantly white. However, all three have included the remaining two colours, as well as with further variations of the home jersey; the newly formed Paris Saint-Germain wore a red shirt during its first three seasons of existence. The jersey featured a blue and white collar to bring together the three colours of the club: the red and blue of Paris, the white of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. During the 2010–11 season, PSG wore a red home shirt to commemorate its 40th anniversary.
The connection between Paris Saint-Germain and the city's fashion houses is a longstanding one. French fashion designer Daniel Hechter served as the club's president for five years in the 1970s, is regarded as one of the driving forces behind the team's foundation, he became club president in 1973 and designed PSG's traditional look — a red vertical strip