The remarkable gulf between PSG and Club Bruges' finances

PSG are a state-owned club and shattered the world record for £200m Neymar… while Bruges’ highest transfer is £8m on a Leicester reject! Incredible gulf is laid bare after Messi and Co’s Champions League draw

  • Club Bruges fought back to take a hard-fought point against Paris Saint-Germain 
  • Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were unable to work their magic again 
  • The result is made even more surprising when the clubs’ finances are compared 
  • PSG are state-owned and broke the world record transfer fee to bring in Neymar 
  • Bruges’ highest transfer was splashed out on signing Kamal Sowah this summer 
  • Here, Sportsmail takes a closer look at the sheer gulf and remarkable numbers 

It may have been a tale of a superpower club taking on the supposed minnows on one of the biggest stages of them all, but the night undoubtedly belonged to Club Bruges and not Paris Saint-Germain.

In fact, it was PSG who were made to look ordinary, and in the end they were forced to settle for a point in a limp start to the Champions League. They can have no gripes about that, either, as Bruges were deserving of the draw.

Followers of football will rightly point out that the occasion and the raucous atmosphere in Belgium are exactly why the ill-fated European Super League was doomed from the start, and it is hard to disagree.

These fairytale stories, the tales of David facing up to Goliath, are what keeps the magic in football. This was no different, especially considering the remarkable gulf in the finances of the two clubs.

PSG, after all, are state-owned and bankrolled luxuriously as they swoop in for the greatest players on the planet. As for Bruges, they can only dream of reaching such heights, but they remain competitive regardless.

Here, Sportsmail takes a closer look at the riches available to the two teams. 

Club Bruges fought back to take a point against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League

Neymar (left) and Lionel Messi (right) were unable to work their magic during the shock draw


Where better place to start than the numbers that truly reveal the extent of a club’s might? 

In this case, PSG have splashed out the world record fee on a transfer, while Bruges currently fall far, far below that.

Neymar, who moved to the Parc des Princes for £198million, can boast of being the most expensive player in history – and PSG, with all their resources, made it work.

As for Bruges, the highest sum they paid to recruit was £8.1m, spent on bringing in Kamal Sowah from Leicester this summer.

Having played all 92 minutes of last night’s tie, Sowah delivered a glittering performance, overshadowing the likes of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

Superstar Neymar is PSG’s, and the world’s, most expensive transfer after joining for £198m

Kamal Sowah (right) is Bruges’ most expensive addition, having arrived for just over £8million


The two wage bills, when laid out side-by-side, also make for staggering reading.

PSG spend just over £202m per year on the salaries for their players, according to Salary Sport, with a figure of £3.9m per week.

Their highest earner, unsurprisingly, is Neymar. His contract extraordinary sees him bank around £600,000 every week. 

Bruges, meanwhile, have a collective wage bill total of £17.9m per year. Their weekly figure stands at £343,640.

And as for their highest earner, that title belongs to former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who rakes in £63,000 per week. 

PSG spend just over £202m per year on the salaries for their players, according to Salary Sport

Bruges have a collective wage bill total of £17.9m per year, and splash out £343,640 per week


PSG are owned by Qatari Sports Investments (QSI), which is a subsidiary of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority. 

Businessman Nasser Al-Khelaifi heads up QSI and has a net worth of $8billion (£5.8bn), allowing the club to pump out sky high fees as they please.

The worth of QSI overall, however, is $338bn (£245bn).

Bruges’ majority shareholder, and president, is Bart Verhaeghe. His estimated fortune is believed to stand at around €416m (£354m).

When compared to their rivals in Belgium, Bruges are a financial powerhouse, but again their finances pale in light of PSG’s never-ending stacks. 

Businessman Nasser Al-Khelaifi heads up Qatari Sports Investments and has a value of £5.8bn

Bruges’ majority shareholder is Bart Verhaeghe (pictured) and his fortune stands at £354m


PSG ranked seventh in this year’s Deloitte Money League, which discovered that their revenue for 2020 stood at €540.6m (£474.1m).

A club gunning for the biggest trophies in the sport, it is no surprise that they are extremely lucrative and an attractive proposition in the market.

Bruges posted a record turnover of €137m (£117m), meanwhile, for the 2019/20 financial year. They also recorded a net profit of €24.5m (£20.9m).

Once again made to operate on an entirely different plain, Bruges reinforced once again what a stunning result the draw was for them. 

PSG’s revenue for 2020 was £474.1m, according to findings from the Deloitte Money League


Tracking down an exact budget for football clubs is typically a difficult task, especially in light of the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic.

But, according to Le Parisien, PSG held ambitious summer plans, as they believed they were working with a figure of between €200m (£170m) and €250m (£213m).

In the end, they spent £60m on Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan, with the rest of their additions, including superstar Messi, all free transfers. 

Bruges’ budget is understood to stand at €100m (£85m), which easily outstrips that of their domestic rivals, but again falls short of PSG’s.

Over the last two windows, they have outspent Real Madrid, but tend to operate on buying and then selling on young talents.

Le Parisien reported that PSG set a budget of up to £213m to finance their summer business


PSG possess one of the best squads in the history of football, with the strike force of Neymar, Mbappe and Messi enough to send shivers down the spines of players. 

They may not have clicked as expected against Bruges, but there is a reason why each of them is valued in the hundreds of millions. 

And as a result, PSG’s squad’s market value is believed to be around €999m (£850m) when the valuations of each of the stars are put together.

Bruges’ value stands at a measly €150.3m (£128m) in comparison, as of this month. 

The squad available to Mauricio Pochettino at PSG is believed to be worth around £850million

Bruges’ (above: Philippe Clement) value stands at £128million in comparison, as of this month


Taking a look at the cost of the stadium for each of the two clubs normally also helps to lay bare the financial gap between them. 

But in this case, perhaps not, because Bruges are currently in the process of moving to a new, state of the art home. 

Their new venue, which will replace the Jan Breydel Stadium, is set to cost them €100m (£85m) – a sign that they are desperate to modernise and remain successful. 

As for the Parc des Princes, the construction cost fell between £63m and £117m when it was completed in May 1972.

The construction cost of PSG’s vast Parc des Princes stadium fell between £63m and £117m


As much as PSG are able to fall back on Qatar, they have also formed partnerships with several world-renowned brands to keep their coffers in good shape. 

For example, they have a deal with Nike until 2032 worth $80m (£58m) and a connection with ALL Accor Live Limitless for €65m (£55m) until 2022.

They also work with Air Jordan in a sponsorship valued at €67m (£57m) until 2022.

Bruges are similarly active in trying to find other revenue streams, and signed Candriam up as their official sponsor in a deal at $1.2m (£868,000) per season.

They also work with online betting company Unibet, who are their front-of-shirt sponsors, and Italian sportswear brand Macron among others. 

PSG have formed sponsorships with several world-renowned companies to make more money

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