Sunday, February 25, 2024

Monaco: The French powerhouse that wasn’t meant to be

Football expert Pontus Maltborg on the prospects for AS Monaco FC


In the summer of 2013, AS Monaco FC’s owner and president, the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, made a huge outlay on his squad to try to take the newly promoted principality football club into the position of being the number one contender. Monaco delivered and finished in second place giving them a guaranteed place in the UEFA Champions League this season.


Everybody expected a similarly huge spending spree this summer but several events forced Monaco to rethink their policy and instead the club started a covert deconstruction that didn’t become completely apparent until the final days of the transfer window.


Dmitry Rybolovlev with Prince Albert II of Monaco
Radamel Falcao was the second big ticket departure from the club

The focal event was the divorce battle that Rybolovlev had been fighting and which he finally settled in the late spring of 2014. The £2.8 billion payout ended up being the biggest divorce settlement in world history. As the oligarch has only Russian citizenship, the divorce was fought under Russian law and the result was an extreme hardline split of all possessions fifty-fifty.


Cynics also suggested that one of Rybolovlev’s reasons for such an aggressive outlay on players in 2013 had been in order to try to influence those dealing with his Monégasque citizenship application. By 2014, though, this had been denied and thus the billionaire had no need to impress the authorities and so decided to reduce his investment levels.


Despite having the second most star studded team in the country and, in James Rodríguez, having the star that by far shone the brightest out of all the players from the French Championship at the World Cup in Brazil, new fans didn’t really take to Monaco. The club rarely managed to pack their stadium and ironically one of the only sold out games of the season came against a certain team of Parisian giants.


The fact that Monaco also had to make a settlement of £23.4 million with the French league in order that their status as a tax-haven club not be contested has also seriously affected Monaco’s liquidity. This coupled with UEFA’s hardline and a “witch-hunt” on aggressive spending made Monaco sacrifice the season that was suppose to catapult them back into the fore of European football.


According to Vadim Vasilyew, AS Monaco FC’s chief executive officer, Rybolovlev still has long-term commitment and ambitions for the club. This statement, however, should not be taken at face-value as it might just be a strategic statement as part of the oligarch perhaps seeking a longer-term exit strategy.


As was clearly the case during the summer, AS Monaco FC kept everybody guessing by unexpectedly selling James Rodríguez for £62.5 million. They then moved into “silly season swoop” mode as they sought out a potential replacement but then – on deadline transfer day itself – bizarrely sold their second biggest star, fellow Colombian Radamel Falcao, instead of securing a replacement.


Even though Monaco are keeping their cards close to their chests currently, they will soon be forced to reveal their hand and thus their true intentions about the future. We’re in for a rocky ride.


Stockholm and Warsaw based Pontus Maltborg is a football expert with a passion for scouting and talent development. Follow him on Twitter @PontusMaltborg.



Subscribe to our free once daily email newsletter here:


    The Steeple Times
    The Steeple Times
    We research and background check our articles. If you believe we have made and error in some detail please get in touch, we seek always to write the truth and stand against a press owned by a self selected few. Please help us, we will accept all your likes, subscriptions and anonymous suport. The Editor and his team at the Steeple Times.



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    £1 per week Supports The Steeple Times

    Help journalism to remain honest & independent. You can make a difference to the world today.


    Subscribe For DAILY NEWS

    Please subscribe, like and share this unique site, it helps us tremendously. The Steeple Times in return will send you an email at noon each and everyday, that we sincerely hope you will enjoy & look forward to seeing in your inbox.


    Trending Now

    A Question Of Tyres And Tires

    Matthew Steeples assesses the debate between “tyres” and “tires” and finds “attire” to form the key to the answer to a topic that has bizarrely incensed ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ types for decades.

    Most Popular Articles

    The Phil & Matt Show

    Phillip Schofield filmed smoking shisha with his alleged ex-lover Matt McGreevy (and pictured in bed thereafter); another image shows the pair together in photograph...

    Was Mucky Minx Meghan Markle A ‘Yacht Girl’ For ‘Randy Andy’?

    As author Kirby Sommers suggests that the then Meghan Markle likely spent time with Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein before she met Prince Harry, we again highlight the mucky, murkiness and mendacious manner of this alleged “yacht girl.”


    ‘Politicalite’ suggest Phillip Schofield orchestrated his ‘mass coming out’ after a former ‘This Morning’ runner had gone to the press about a supposed relationship...

    Meddling Meghan Markle Expose – Attwood, Hopkins & Steeples

    Expose interview with Matthew Steeples by Shaun Attwood and Jennifer Hopkins about the former Meghan Markle watched over 73,000 times in 16 hours since it aired; Steeples condemns hapless Prince Harry and his meddling menace wife.

    Ampika Pickston

    Oldham born divorcee and former glamour model Ampika Pickston describes herself as “feisty, fun loving and warm hearted”. Now based in Hale Barns, Cheshire...

    Justice for James Scurlock

    Power of social media proven after senseless killing of James Scurlock in Omaha, Nebraska allegedly by a controversial bar owner named Jake Gardner who has been photographed with Donald Trump.
    [td_block_6 custom_title="Most Liked..." sort="popular7"]