Ex-owner of "Uralkali" Dmitry Rybolovlev purchased a loss-making football club "Monaco" at the end of 2011. The package of 66.7% of shares cost the billionaire a symbolic € 1 plus a guaranteed investment of at least € 100 million in 4 years. Rybolovlev fulfilled his promise: thanks to generous spending on football players (for example, in the summer of 2013, players spent almost € 150 million on players) and status coach Claudio Ranieri, the club returned to League 1 for the year, and in the 2013/14 season took second place in the championship . However, too much expenditure turned out to be problems with UEFA, as the club did not meet the requirements of the financial Fair Play - to measure spending with income. The outcome of the court proceedings was a settlement agreement - Monaco issued a fine ($ 13 million, of which $ 10 million - probation) and limited the application for European cups (21 players instead of 25).
Since then, the club has been developing - and very successfully - within the framework of another business model. Limited local market (there are less than 40,000 people in Monaco) and the compactness of the stadium (18,523 seats) do not allow the club to increase the incomes of sponsors, ticket sales, merchandising and other commercial sources. On the sale of telecoms, the French league earns € 727 million per season (from 2020 the new contract will bring € 1.15 billion a year), which allows top clubs to expect a little more than € 100 million. With the current inflated prices for players with such income will not clear up.
In the "Monaco" it was understood and decided to bet on other areas - first of all, its own academy and scouting. As a result, over the past 5 years, the club has never dropped below third place in the French championship, and in the 2016/17 season he won it and reached the Champions League semi-final. At the same time over the past two years, "Monaco" has earned on the sale of football players € 500 million. And at the World Cup - 2018 in different teams represented 13 players of the team. At the lecture of the "Management in Play Sports" faculty of the RMA business school, the vice-president and general director of "Monaco" Vadim Vasiliev explained how the club does it all.
"In addition to the main team, the" Monaco "has three more - up to 17 years, to 19 and the second team. In the academy, we have about 70 players, the annual budget is € 7 million. Most of the children are French, foreigners are subject to restrictions: European players can be taken after 16 years, but not European - after 18 years. We have a kind of boarding school - the guys and train, and learn. The emphasis, of course, on sports.
The Academy of Monaco is historical and very famous. In 1998, when France won the World Cup, the team had four of its students. The most famous then was Thierry Henry (now working in the coaching staff of the Belgian national team - Forbes). Now the visiting card of our academy is one of the leaders of the French national team Kilian Mbappa.
We try to attract cool young players. They now see that we can open up and go further. This is a very good start. Young guys know that if they are good, they will play in the first team.
For example, in Chelsea is a very cool academy. One of the best in the world. But there is not a single pupil in the main team. The club level is too high, and people do not want to sit on the bench - and they have to leave. We do not have that. "Monaco" is a strong club, but we have such a system. Sometimes, even to the detriment of the results, we absolutely consciously let out young people and let them play. We are launching talents and stars of tomorrow. This is also difficult, because the sports result never goes out of the head and remains an important goal. Nevertheless, our project on another does not work and can not be successful. "
"Our economic model and the requirements of financial fair play determine our success in the transfer market. We have to sell players to earn. Of course, this is a risky strategy. It is very difficult, almost impossible to always correctly assess players or staff members (coaching, medical, etc.). Especially hard with young players. What a young man is and how he will progress, it is very difficult to predict. Even great talent does not guarantee that he will become a top player.
Five years ago we bought 17-year-old Anthony Marcial from Lyon for € 5 million. He did not even play for the first team. Two years later, we gave it for € 60 million to Manchester United.
Now, of course, it's harder to find an interesting, progressive player for € 5 million. Young people began to watch and hunt more closely. Recently, a very young (16 years old), promising Italian striker from Genoa, Pietro Pelegri, was bought for € 21 million. And this year a very talented player from Barcelona came to us for free. I did not sign a contract with "Barca", because I realized that it is unlikely to often go on the field in the first team. And here he for the sake of practice refused even a good monetary option.
Many players can not be taken. Sometimes it is necessary to ignore very good proposals, because they will entail negative consequences. Someone will not play, will be dissatisfied. This spoils the atmosphere in the club. You have to try to keep balance and not chase after everyone. Especially young players are ambitious, they want to play. And when they are not given the playing time, they endure it very badly. Which is reflected in the club as a whole.
Another important point. In all negotiations in football there are at least three sides. A good transfer can be made only with the consent of the player. And his desire is very important. Even despite the worthy offer, players have personal reasons and desires. Mbagpe, for example, wanted to stay in Paris and refused a similar offer from Real Madrid, which was already ready to pay us $ 180 million.
Or, for example, we wanted to keep the defender Benjamin Mendy, who managed to play with us all season. But he was hunted by Manchester City Pep Guardiola. And for Mendy, he's a favorite coach. The boy had time to wind it, that he needed to leave urgently to realize his dream - to play at Guardiola, and "City" did not want to pay big money. Fortunately, at the same transfer window they bought Kyle Walker from Tottenham for € 53 million. And then I told Mendy that he was as good as that guy and that if Guardiola really wanted it that way, he would pay more. In the end, we gave Mendy for € 57 million.
A footballer's family is very important. As a rule, relatives have a huge impact on the player and are not always positive. Often, if the player's bad environment - we refuse. This is too much risk. Why this headache? We really liked the Mbagpe family. She acted very wisely. They helped us to make a good deal and did not stand on the side of PSG. In Paris they knew that Mpappe wanted exactly to them and did not immediately agree to our terms. "
"The sports department is the main one in the club. One of its most important tasks is scouting, tracking players around the world. It is necessary to constantly look for new talents in order to get them first. This is confidential and very valuable information, which is cherished by any club. Our breeding is divided into two parts. One is looking for players for the main team and our Belgian farm club. The second - for the academy and the second team. The search for players for the first team involved 8 scouts.
Still, the role of club selection service is often overestimated. Because the players fall into the sphere of the club's interests through different channels. And through agents including. So, a few years ago, agent Ronaldo Jorge Mendes, with whom we are closely cooperating, offered us goalkeeper Jan Cloud, who now plays the basis of "Atletico" and costs tens of millions. And our scouts said that we do not need it.
Our biggest transfer was the transfer of Falcao - € 60 million in 2013. Now for us, the maximum amount is € 30-35 million. We are not morally ready to give more. Buying expensive players is not beneficial for the model of our club. "
"The football club is much more than 11 players on the field. Recruitment is one of the most difficult and important things in football. For example, doctors. They must know absolutely everything about the player's body, in order to make the right decision - whether to release the player on the field or not. Plus it is necessary to take into account the human factor. One player suffers to the last, and the other whines and does not want to go out on the field after a mosquito bite. It is important to understand this and make the right decisions in risky situations. Correctly selected people create the right mood in the team, the right atmosphere.
Sometimes we give up very good players because of their behavior or emotional state. You always have to look at the player's environment, his education. Here's a perfect example - Kilian Mbagpe is a very smart, decent guy from a good family. But he is more like an exception to the rules. Usually footballers are not very educated, so they can badly affect the spirit of the team. "
"In our club, the coach remains within the project, that is, he has clear responsibilities. He does not become the owner of the club. He only decides who does what on the field. In "Monaco" the coach is not allowed to the transfer market. This is a separate department, including me. After all, the coach knows only his players well, so with them he must work. And when buying players, you must consider a large number of facts. Different leagues - different style of play. The player can shine in Portugal, but at the same time he does not show himself in France, for example. Yes, the coach "Monaco" has the right to veto the purchase of a football player, but his opinion must be reasoned.
Now many teams have such a problem: the coach takes too much on himself, manipulates the management, almost controls the club, which does not always lead to a good end. In my opinion, this is unacceptable. The coach should have clear responsibilities, and in other areas of management of the club he should not interfere ".
"Stadium" Louis II ", where the club conducts home matches, in fact is the sports center of Monaco. The arena, unfortunately, is multifunctional. There are racetracks that tear the fans' contact with the players. The stadium is old, and a decision was made on the reconstruction. It is planned to reduce the number of usual places to create more VIP-zones. After all, the main stadium money brings 20% of premium seats.
We also have a good base, beautiful, but old. Located on the mountain, so we have only 2.5 fields. It's nothing for a big club. Soon we are starting the construction of a new base. The building is 12,000 square meters in size. m and 3.5 fields. The project cost is € 55 million, the implementation period is 3 years.
"We always think how to improve the results of the club. And came to the fact that you need to have a club in the division below the level. In France it is forbidden. In the end, we pondered for a long time which country it is better to realize. Belgium was chosen because it is close and all processes are fairly easy to control, plus there is a sparing limit on foreign players. For € 3 million we managed to buy the historical club "Cercle Brugge" from the second division. For a year they brought the team to the first one. We consider this a great success.
Now our players will be able to pass a good run in a very strong championship and return to us. While this project is going well, but it will be possible to say exactly in two years, a successful model or not. For example, Chelsea had a friendly team - Dutch "Vitesse", but no player ever came to Chelsea from there. Our situation is different in that we own the club and completely control the whole process. "