08 Aug 2018

“Assessing the expediency of player’s transfer, we analyze multitude factors, which are far from football”

For the last five years “AS Monaco FC”, recently signed Aleksandr Golovin, has never once dropped below the third line of France championship. In the season 2016/17, the club won the championship and then reached to the semi-final of Champions League. The club’s outstanding sports results look especially impressively as they are achieved against the background of regular mass sales of the leading footballers. Last year the selling of players brought to the club a record 360 million euros, at that exactly the half of this sum provided the transfer of Kylian Mbappé to PSG. However, left without their the main young star, and also without Tiemoué Bakayoko, which for 40 million euros went to the “Chelsea FC”, Bernardo Silva which was bought by “Manchester City” for 50 million euros, Valère Germain, which transfer to “Olympique Marseille” is estimated in 8 million euros, and many others, “AS Monaco FC” did not lose itself and come in the last national championship in a second place. During his master class in “Sport Industry Management” faculty the vice president of the football club “AS Monaco FC” Vadim Vasilyev has told about at the cost of what the club manages to compensate regular loss of leading players and in a short time achieved an impetuous progress of footballers, which come instead of them.

About the Monaco’s business model:
“Our economic model means an effective alignment of work with young footballers — those, who we have brought up in our own Academy, those, who we managed to tend to ‘Monaco’ from other clubs. To open them, to get them in good conditions, to show to the market, maximum profitable sale, and then sold players substitute by new not less talented and desirable capable in early ages provide for high results — the last thing we always keep in mind. It’s a risky model. It’s always difficult to assess young players possibilities, to forecast their progress, to foresee in whom they, even the most talented, will grow after a few years.
The accomplishments of Cristiano and Messi are obvious to everyone, but seat near each other two top coaches, two top sports directors, two top scouts and ask them to assess a young broad unknown player and you most likely will get six different opinions. But sometimes the opinion can be common, and at the same time — mistaken. I remember, Jorge Mendes offered us a young goalkeeper, at that time we could take him for free. I was consulting about him with our scouts and they all said — no, we do not need him. So, that young goalkeeper was Jan Oblak, who plays for ‘Atletico Madrid’ and who I don’t know how many tens of million now costs.

Another complication is that market grows, prices grow: it’s become much more difficult to buy for not a big sum of money a really talented young player, especially forward. To buy a 17-year old footballer of Martial’s level for 5 million euros — is not real today. But five years ago we bought him exactly for such amount of money — he transferred to ‘Monaco’ from ‘Olympique Lyonnais’ though he wasn’t player of the first team, and merely after two years ‘Manchester United’ has bought him for 60 million.

When prices go up, the price of mistake grows, the responsibility for made decision grows: today, to minimize a probability of transfer failure, we while assessing the expediency of player’s transfer, analyze multitude factors, which are far from football. For example, we should understand of which people the player’s surrounding consisted and how much is he affected by it. It’s a very important moment. There were cases when we refused to sign the contract after getting the information about, let’s say, an inadequacy of people who have a close contact with the player"

About the coach’s role in formation of young players:
“In many football clubs the coach — is a too independent figure, sometimes even trying to dictate their terms to shareholders. In ‘Monaco’ such situation is impossible in principle, and we were very lucky to find such coach as Leonardo Jardim. 

He understands and takes the main principles of our project. He persuaded us a long time ago in their capability to work and to give a result with that squad, which he has right now. He has never complained about numerous sales of leading footballers, because he understands that it is dictated by need, that it’s business, and club should think not only about sports result but also about economic. Finally Jardim has a gift of interaction exactly with young players: he feels them very good, he trust them, he is not afraid to rely on them if he sees that the moment has come. And these Jardim’s qualities coupled with results of our work on transfer market give us some competitive advantage. Often young players, who are claimed not only by our, but also by other clubs, understanding that in ‘Monaco’ they will have a possibility to play, and not to sit in substitution, watching to where goes from us their predecessors, with all other factors held equal they give preferences to us”

About Monaco’s purchase of the Belgium club “Cercle Brugge”: 

“With a purpose for provide game practice those who is not matched for first team’s level, we last year bought the Belgium club ‘Cercle Brugge’. We have chosen Belgium because here is a good championship, strong with an organizational point of view clubs, there a great system of preparation young players, quality of which best shows the level of national team.

At that time when we come with offer to shareholders of ‘Cercle Brugge’, the club had serious financial difficulties: it was on the verge of exit from the second Belgium division to the third, and that means the loose of professional status. So, at that moment we was talking about to save that team, and such task has been completed. The Monaco’s purchase was a less than 3 million euros, after that we have invested to the club more around 6 millions. We have come back the team to PRO League, the highest division of Belgium championship in one year. So far everything is going well”

About Kylian Mbappé’s transfer to PSG: 

“Around a year before Kylian’s transfer to PSG I had a meet with Florentino Perez, the ‘Real Madrid’ president. He was interested for which sum of money we would agree to sell him. I thought a little bit and said: ‘for 130 million euros’. He looked at me in such way, that wanted to ask: ‘Vadim, are you okay? Did you mixed up anything?’. Then he said: ‘It’s not a problem for us to pay even 180 millions, the most important thing is to be sure that the player corresponds to it’. We need to mention that at that time Mbappé hasn’t had an experience to play in Champions League, everybody saw that yes, he is a talented player, but what is he able on the background of really serious competitors, it was difficult to define.

And when in the season 2016/17 he in Champions League’s play-off scored 6 goals, there a real chase has begun on him. Then I remembered a conversation with Perez and when ‘Real Madrid’ officially requested us about the price, I said exactly this sum: 180 millions. They were beating around the bush for a long time, and when finally said that they are agree to pay, Kylian proclaimed that he does not want to play nowhere except PSG. So that transfer was completely in line with his wish”

About the biggest price that “Monaco” ready to pay for player’s transfer: 

“The most expensive our recently purchase is Baldé Keita, who came from ‘Lazio’ for 30 million euros. I think that such sum — 30-35 millions is a limit, some psychological barrier, which we at the moment can not overcome. 

If to talk about very young players, from recent purchases I can notice Willem Geubbels, which came from ‘Olympique Lyonnais’ and Pietro Pellegri, Italian man from ‘Genoa CFC’. Both was 16-years old at the time of transfer, both was playing for first team of their clubs. I also can name their contemporary Roberto Navarro, he is obviously a top player, whom we have got for free. He was upbringing in Barcelona’s Academy but refused to negotiate a professional contract with them, he decided to go to ‘Monaco’ because he understood that here he would have a possibility to play, not to sit in a substitute. In ‘Barcelona’ it seems he would have waited for this fate”

All news >