A brief history: Paris FC

Ah Paris, city of romance, city of love and city of good food. Let’s be honest, we have all dreamed of that one special night in Paris with our loved one. Roaming the beautiful streets before ending on top of the Eiffel Tower. Oh how we dreamed. But we’re not here to talk about the sweet side of Paris. We’re talking about the one true love we have and a thing that Paris is doing well: football! Due to the recent success of Paris Saint Germain the reputation of football in Paris has grown. Winning four of the last five Ligue 1 titles and smashing the league this season, PSG truely are a dominant force in France. This is a story that we all know, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years or so. I don’t like telling stories that everyone already knows, so we’re not taking the PSG-route today. A little less known is Paris FC, a Ligue 2 side, who had to overcome quite a struggle to get where they are now. In the shadow of PSG, Paris FC are a very interesting side to take a closer look at.

Let’s dive in some history. It’s the year 1969. The year that The Beatles released their world famous album ‘Abbey Road’, the year that Woodstock took place and the year in which French president Charles de Gaulle resigned. Also, it’s the year in which Paris FC is founded. On august 1st, a new Parisian club is born. And with that, a serious attempt to revive professional football in Paris. In it’s attempt to reach the first division as soon as possible, Paris FC went looking for a suitable club to merge with. Thus, CS Sedan Ardennes was approached to join hands, but they refused. Since no other suitable club was found in the first division, Paris FC went looking one level lower. Quickly they found second tier team Stade Saint-Germain. A club who might be interested in a merger. The two clubs matched and eventually merged. A new club was born: Paris Saint-Germain.

After barely two years of existence however, the club was forced to make a rough decision. The city’s mayor was not particularly happy with the club’s establishment in the outskirts of Paris and were therefore forced to split again in order to retain their financial support. Paris FC was it’s own entity again and moved to the heart of Paris: the Parc des Princes, while Paris Saint-Germain stayed in the Saint-Germain-en-Laye district. Paris FC got to keep the club’s professional status and players, while Paris Saint-Germain were forced to move al the way down to the third division and were given all the club’s amateur players. These conditions caused PSG to basically start over again, but they handled it very well. Winning back-to-back promotions, they climbed the ranks extremely fast. Paris FC however, weren’t as fortunate, being relegated in the year PSG moved up to the first division in 1974. The dramatic result of this bold shift in Parisian football was that Paris Saint-Germain acquired the Parc des Princes. There was a new ‘king of the hill’. The rest of PSG’s rise in world football is history.

Will there be a battle for Paris again soon?

What happened to Paris FC though, is far from glorious. While PSG was bossing French football, Paris FC was forced to merge again due to financial instability. In the mid eighties, the club even spent five seasons in the fifth division, before returning to the fourth tier in 1988. Luckily the club gained promotion to the third division in the next season, in which it remained for twelve long years. After moving up and down a few more times, Paris FC finally got back to Ligue 2 in 2015. Unfortunately it got relegated again, which brings us to last year’s season. They made it to the promotion/relegation playoffs, but lost to US Orleans in the final. Again, it seemed like the club had to try once more to take the step the fans had been craving to take again. But, the odds were, for once, in the favor of the Parisian club, as it was administratively promoted due to the forced relegation of SC Bastia.

Paris FC was given a chance in Ligue 2 once more. Could this year finally be the year that Paris FC make it back to stability? Back to how things were? Maybe even back to the top flight? Surprisingly enough they’re doing really well actually. Halfway through the season, they’re sitting in fourth position. For a team that wasn’t even promoted in the first place, that’s a crazy good result so far. Can you imagine Paris FC gaining back-to-back promotions? Taking on PSG in a battle for Parc des Princes again? Let’s hope so! Because it’s stories like these that makes us love the game of football. It’s stories like these that give the sport it’s romance. In the midst of big money clubs, like PSG, these stories make us want to believe in legends again. It’s how history is written! So Paris FC, this one’s for you! May you never lose the identity the city gave you. Bonne chance et jusqu’à la prochaine fois!

What’s your prediction on Paris FC’s future? Let us know.

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