Emmanuel Petit believes Middle East investment in Paris-Saint Germain has killed the competitive element of Ligue 1.
The French top flight was regarded as one of the less predictable in European football with Bordeaux (2009), Marseille (2010), Lille (2011) and Montpellier (2012) all winning the league prior to Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) completing their buy out of the capital club.
Since then PSG have claimed the title in each of the past three years and are odds-on favourites to retain it again having established a five-point lead at the top of the table after nine games.
QSI’s vast investment has seen the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore and Thiago Silva all join the Parc des Princes club and Petit believes it is harming the French game.
The former Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder told Omnisport: “Before we were an exception in Europe. In Italy, we would know who was going to be champion. For the past four years, it was Juve. Before that, it was AC Milan or Inter.
“In Spain, it’s the same and England, we know who is going to finish in the top spots.
“In Germany, I don’t even have to speak and in Portugal, it’s the same.
“In France, we never knew. It was like flipping a coin, we wouldn’t know who would finish champion. With Paris Saint-Germain and since the takeover of the Qataris, we are in the same position.”
Petit, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, admits there are some positives to PSG’s new-found wealth, however.
He added: “On the plus side, PSG shine in Europe. In terms of overseas TV rights, it’s good for French football. It also elevates our football.
“PSG is a locomotive: they keep going forward and every other club need to follow and question themselves. But on the negative side, they crush their rivals thanks to their financial power. What is the football merit in that?”