During the Ligue 1 game against Rennes last night, the ultras of Paris Saint-Germain (Collectif Ultras Paris) staged a significant protest against the management of the club, among other issues.
First of all, the Auteuil stand of the Parc des Princes, where the ultras are usually sat, was left empty for the first 25 minutes of the first half. And the difference was notable: all three sides of the stadium were full but without the Auteuil stand, there was an evident quietness. The ultras also blocked the entrance of other fans to the Auteuil stand, as reported by L’Équipe.
Having entered the stand, the ultras spent the rest of the first half in silence, explained by one of their 20 banners displayed in this time: “A half to prove our discontent. How many will it take to prove your commitment?”
At half-time, the PSG players returned to the dressing room with the scoreline reading 0-0 and under a barrage of discontented boos from their own fans.
Other banners targeted the management, including Leonardo (sporting director), Jean-Martial Ribes (director of communication), Jean-François Pien (training centre director), Ulrich Ramé (general manager of the women’s team) et Fabien Allègre (brand director). These names were followed by severe criticism: “A management that stinks of s**t.”
Another read: “Leonardo, time to go?” having criticised the discipline and overpayment of uncommitted players. While President Nasser al-Khelaïfi was present at the Parc des Princes last night, he was not individually named by the ultras, unlike most of his colleagues within the Parisian hierarchy.
One banner provided more severe criticism, with allusions to the Revolution, Robespierre and decapitations.
This follows a statement from the CUP on Monday on social media, criticising a sporting management that is “incomprehensible at all levels,” as well as a meeting between the fans and management during the week which was intended to settle their differences.