Paris Saint-Germain’s ultras are livid with the French giants’ latest UEFA Champions League capitulation which saw they lose 3-2 on aggregate to Real Madrid despite leading 2-0 over the two legs and 1-0 on Wednesday with just 30 minutes of the tie left to play.
Ahead of Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash with struggling Girondins de Bordeaux, PSG’s hardcore support has called for chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi to be removed from his position after already calling for sporting director Leonardo’s head before the first leg with Real.
“The unacceptable and inevitable disillusion which we predicted and feared has unfortunately become reality,” read the group’s statement. “How can you create a groundbreaking mentality when your season appears to start in February, and you play in domestic competitions at minimal pace?
“How can you have a real sporting project when the squad is just a bunch of ‘stars’ with little or nothing else? How can the coach be a respected boss in the locker room when he is clearly not the real decision maker?
“How do you rejuvenate a group when perennial peripheral figures are satisfied seeing out their contract and wearing comfortable sunglasses? How can you feel the powerful force of the club’s history when your colors alternate between black, fuchsia, pink and yellow?
“How can you want to rebuild everything for the people of Paris when you are happier greeting them from the penalty spot and attend fashion week more often than meeting with your own supporter group representatives?
“Our memories are not short. We know that we owe our return to President Nasser Al-Khelaifi and it is nothing personal, but it is clear that he is not the man for the job. The club’s current situation requires a complete reorganization at all levels and the daily presence of its President.
“PSG deserves people who serve the club, not people who use it. We will show our dissatisfaction against Bordeaux on Sunday, and we ask all those who love the club to join us without using violence. We will remain mobilized until there are real, major changes.
“We are doing this in the best interests of our club — not its brand. Our club is not a marketing tool! Come on, Paris.”
Speaking on Saturday ahead of this weekend’s match, head coach Mauricio Pochettino admitted that his players are deflated after the defeat and understands the anger of the fans after this latest embarrassment.
“The players are disappointed and feel bad,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “We are disappointed as we wanted to win the Champions League. These are difficult times, but we must be professional and give the best of ourselves to perform well and win.
“Everyone connected with the club has experienced a disappointment and strong pain. These last few days have been difficult and there is not much rest or energy in these situations. We understand the disappointment of the fans.”
Pochettino admitted that he does not feel good about such a setback but remains adamant that Gianluigi Donnarumma was fouled by Karim Benzema for Real’s equalizer which sparked their improbable comeback in the Spanish capital.
“I do not feel good,” said the Argentine. “I am in discomfort. When we analyze our elimination, we were very good at home and were superior for 60 minutes away. I am taking it badly; I do not feel well, and I feel anger inside. It is hard to sleep at night.
“We were superior for the first hour in Madrid and nobody could predict what was about to happen. We have watched the game several times. Reviewing the images, I still do not know why it was not a foul on Gianluigi. Everything was linked.
“It is certain that there was a significant psychological impact. Our mea culpa is that we do not know how to manage these moments of difficulty.”
PSG host rock bottom Bordeaux in Ligue 1 on Sunday with a 13-point lead at the summit but nothing left to play for this season apart from confirmation of the club’s 10th title which will equal AS Saint-Etienne’s record total of 10.