He isn’t my ideal date in the City of Love but my sister adored Saint Beckham and I adore Paris. She got to see him warm up and stretch for most of the game and I got to see the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame so everyone’s a winner.
I didn’t know how booking a 24 hour Paris football trip would be so stressful, ah oui I should have paid more attention to my French lessons. As we were only going to the capital for one night we couldn’t book flights or the hotel until the kick off was announced (due to the TV rights the games could have been on a Friday night, Saturday or a Sunday afternoon) so I was constantly checking the Paris Saint-German website and Ligue 1 app and once the kick off time was announced, the stress continued.
Who shall I book the tickets with? (Please note these prices are from 2013) Direct with the club via their French website or via the official seller English speaking Viagogo easier to understand but terrible online reviews. I did try to book tickets with guardiantickets.co.uk (it was Viagogo in disguise) and after picking my tickets I got to the delivery page and it said they wouldn’t post the tickets I would have to arrange a pick up place with the seller or they could post them to a French address – too fishy for me so with Google Translate I booked the tickets for Saturday’s PSG v Nancy game directly with the football club. Tickets ranged from 40€ – 100€, I paid 60€ for a ticket in the middle tier (bleu bas) of the Présidentielle stand and if that stand was good enough for Mrs Beckham it was good enough for me. 10 out of 10 to Paris Saint-Germain for their customer service (6 out of 10 for my bad French emails to them). I was unsure if they would post the tickets to a non-French address or if I would have to collect them from the ticket office on the day. They reassured me that they posted the tickets to my English address 10 days before the match and if I didn’t receive them they would issue duplicates on match day if I had I.D and the ticket reference number. Luckily my tickets did arrive so Bravo firstname.lastname@example.org !
Flights from Birmingham to Paris Charles de Galle were £121 return with Air France (flew with Flybe), 10€ for a train/metro pass and the small and modern Holiday Inn Auteuil (5 minutes’ walk from the Stadium and 2 minutes from the Porte de St Cloud metro stop) was 100€ for one night booking on the Holiday Inn website. Hotel tip – room 40 is an oven when the sun is shining. We had a morning return flight and we knew we would be too tired to mess around with public transport so the hotel booked our taxi back to the airport, the 30 minute journey on a Sunday morning cost around 70€.
Paris Saint-Germain maybe one of the richest club in the world but the game didn’t have the same atmosphere as a Premiership game, I’m sure if they were playing the ‘Mighty Marseille’ or Lyon there would of been more noise. Maybe they could build on their merchandising, the shop at Parc des Princes was very small compared to Premiership clubs and Beckham shirts were 110€ each (70€ for a shirt without a name), no programmes, no much choice of food, just hot dogs and crisps and drinks on offer were fizzy, water or non –alcohol beer, much to my sister’s disgust. I dragged her around Paris on the dirty Metro and all she wanted was a beer and ended up with France’s answer to Shandy Bass. David Beckham did come on for the last 15 minutes, easing my sister alcoholic cold turkey.
Just like the football there were missed chances at the Parc des Princes so to PSG, I’m offering my ideas on football marketing to you, my wages are only 10% a year of one of your first team players weekly pay.