Dubai airline Emirates has said it will cut ties with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the 2018-19 season.
After more than nine years as PSG’s main shirt sponsor, Emirates will quit the club due to price hikes and increased tensions between PSG’s Qatari owners and the United Arab Emirates, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The report said that PSG is seeking more cash for the main shirt asset following the signing of global superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappé.
Emirates currently pays about €30m per year as main shirt sponsor at PSG, but club president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi is seeking €80m per year.
The deal has reportedly caused a rift between Emirates and the UAE government, after the UAE and three other Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt – imposed a travel and trade embargo on Qatar last year, allegedly for supporting terrorism.
In 2011, Qatar Sports Investments took over at PSG, making it the richest football club in France and one of the wealthiest in the world.
French media speculates that Emirates may be interested in sponsoring a rival French team, such as Marseille, but the company has so far declined to comment.
Emirates’ sponsorship portfolio covers football properties in four of Europe’s five major leagues, including Real Madrid in Spain, Arsenal in England and AC Milan in Italy. Emirates also sponsors the New York Cosmos Major League Soccer franchise.