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Monaco turn splurge into profit

James Rodríguez is off to Bayern Munich. (Copa2014.gov.br, Wikimedia Commons)
Roar Rookie
8th September, 2015
4

Anthony Martial (€50 million), Geoffrey Kondogbia (€30 million), Aymen Abdennour (€25 million), Layvin Kurzawa (€25 million), Yannick Ferreira Carrasco (€20 million) and Lucas Ocampos (€7.5 million) were all sold for a total price of €160 million this summer.

Monaco have made a profit of €80 million this transfer window, how extraordinary. I don’t think there has been a football club advance as rapidly in three seasons as AS Monaco.

In 2012-13 they were playing in Ligue 2. In 2014-15 they knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League round of 16 and finished runners-up for the second year in a row in Ligue 1.

Very few people would have predicted that Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev’s purchase of the club in 2011, while they were floundering at the bottom of Ligue 2, would have completely changed the dynamic of French football. Now there are two heavyweights.

It sounds oh so familiar to Chelsea and Roman Abramovich’s acquisition of the club back in 2003. He’s poured billions of pounds into the club, but unlike his fellow countryman, Rybolovlev will end up spending nowhere near that amount of money. Abramovich has lost £550 million in the transfer market since 2004.

In the last few seasons Jose Mourinho has spoken out how Chelsea have turned into a “selling club”. Impressively, they have received large profits from the transfer market in recent years. Their tactics were to buy young talent, loan them out and sell them for a higher price. Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne, Thorgan Hazard, Ryan Bertrand and Gael Kakuta all made gigantic profits.

Monaco have caught onto this brilliant strategy far sooner than Mr Abramovich’s money-soaked clan.

Initially upon their promotion to Ligue 1, Monaco went haywire, splurging on Radamel Falcao (€60 million), Joao Moutinho (€25 million), James Rodriguez (€45 million) and Geoffrey Kondogbia (€20 Million). Among some of the lesser known names included a young striker named Anthony Martial, who was signed for €5 million.

They vomited up over €177 million on players, turning over an approximately €170 million loss in the transfer market.

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In 2014 they sold James Rodriguez to Real Madrid for over €80 million. A huge tide of cash. This signalled the turning of an age. They became a selling club. They spent a frugal €40 million on new players – not unreasonable for a club competing in the Champions League – Abdennour, Bernardo Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

They loaned out Radamel Falcao and made a €50 million profit that season. But they did even better next time.

Between 2013-2015 they have lost a net €40 million give or take on player sales and purchases. Between that time they have been promoted to Ligue 1, made it to the Coupe de France semi-finals, played in the Champions League quarter-finals and finished second in Ligue 1. Sensational business.

Sunderland have nearly wasted that much in one transfer window. In the same time (2013-15) their closest rivals Paris Saint-Germain have lost €250 million in the same market.

Who would have thought this after their spectacular orgasm of spending back in 2013. Outcries were against them – that they were ‘buying’ football. Maybe so. However this business endeavour has been far from a catastrophe, it’s been a singing success. People forget how often victories off the field in the world of football are far more significant than the ones on the field.

What’s the next step for them? I can only see more money, more success. They will build like ants. This season they have signed a slew of new young players. Ivan Cavaleiro, Adama Traore, Rony Lopes, Gabriel Boschilia, Guido Carrido, Fabinho and Allan Saint-Maxim.

On loan they brought in Stephan El Shaarawy and Fabio Coentrao. If their scouts are anything to go by, these players are all going to be worth at least double next season, while the team will again be very strong and slowly begin to reel Paris Saint-Germain in.

I think that Monaco have been the most successful team in Europe for the past three seasons.

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