Kingdom of Bahrain purchases stake in French club Paris FC

In a statement on Monday, the Ligue 2 team said the Bahraini fund would become the club’s main sponsor in a bid to “enhance Bahrain’s image and reputation.”

It will also support the club’s ambition to see the men’s team face off at the highest level in French football over the next three years, the statement added.

Paris FC have parted ways with Paris Saint-Germain, a dominant force in Ligue 1 since Qatari owners took control of the club in 2011, in the 1970s, but the team have been far less successful than their neighbors of the French capital.

Investors from the Middle East have been throwing money at European football in recent years: Abu Dhabi United Group has invested heavily in Manchester City and sovereign wealth fund Qatar Sports Investments owns Paris Saint-Germain.

Paris FC said Bahrain’s new contribution will be accompanied by a 30% budget increase.

READ: How billionaire owners changed European football
René Girard was appointed general manager of Paris FC at the start of the year.

Club president Pierre Ferracci remains the majority shareholder of Paris FC with a 77% stake, according to the announcement.

The team finished 17th in the second tier of French football after the league was downsized amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Based in the south of the capital, Paris FC have struggled to achieve the same popularity as PSG Paris Saint-Germain with some of Ligue 2’s smaller attendance figures at its 19,094-seat Charlety Stadium.

However, the club are hopeful that Bahrain’s investment will help them prosper.

“The sporting ambition of the first men’s team is to reach Ligue 1 in the next three years, and to bring its women’s team to the maximum in the women’s D1 championship,” the statement continued.

“The Paris FC training center, with its approval obtained in 2018, will expand its resources and promote its development.

“Through this strategic partnership, the capital club is now part of an international dimension where the club will support its new shareholder in the development of training for coaches and young players in Bahrain.”

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The Kingdom of Bahrain did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

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