Antero Henrique v Luís Campos: a Cold War at PSG?

“President Nasser [Al-Khelaifi], Mr [Luís] Campos and manager [Luís] Enrique: a trio that honour PSG,” read a banner unfurled by the Paris Saint-Germain fans during Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Clermont Foot. They weren’t as kind to Antero Henrique, the club’s former sporting director, who nonetheless still forms part of the entourage of the Ligue 1 club. “Antero Henrique: the cancer of PSG,” and “The only Enrique that we want as PSG is Luís,” read banners, directed towards the former sporting director.

The banners were unfurled following a report from RMC Sport last week, which alluded to a kind of war between Luís Campos, the current sporting consultant at PSG and Antero Henrique. The French publication stated that Henrique is attempting to get Campos – who has just one year remaining on his contract with Les Parisiens and whose immediate future has been called into question – fired.

Speaking back in 2022, when both Henrique and Campos were at the club, president Al-Khelaifi revealed that there had been “problems” between the two directors, but added that it was “nothing personal”. 

“It is difficult to have two heads,” admitted Al-Khelaifi, so one had to be cut. It was Henrique who departed. Whilst he no longer officially works for PSG, he continues to lead certain deals for the club’s QSI ownership, according to L’Équipewhilst he is also the sporting director of the Qatar Stars League. Campos reportedly doesn’t understand how Henrique can continue to work within the club’s enlarged structure. 

Campos suspicious of Henrique’s continued role

Campos believes that Henrique is having a damaging influence on PSG. L’Équipe cite an example of a European striker that Les Parisiens are attempting to sign this summer. Negotiations are advanced, however, Henrique is trying to involve himself in the deal with the objective of slowing its progress. Campos is reportedly convinced that Henrique is trying to take his place at PSG, something that the entourage of the latter denies. 

“it certainly isn’t his objective,” Henrique’s entourage told L’Équipe. There is therefore a kind of Cold War that has broken out at PSG. With a UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona coming up on Wednesday, the timing is far from ideal, however, Luís Enrique has denied that he is affected by the banner affair at the Parc des Princes on Saturday evening. 

“Me? Disturbed? No, absolutely not. I am concentrating on helping my team as much as possible. I knew when I arrived at PSG that it was a big club in big clubs, there is always controversy and different situations. But here, what I see is a lot of unity with the supporters and the club,” said the Spaniard on Saturday evening. 

A banner alone does not have the capacity to derail what is a strong season for PSG, but the motivation behind its unfurling alludes to a deeper conflict that needs to be resolved. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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