Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughIs There Trouble In Monaco? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Is There Trouble In Monaco? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Is There Trouble In Monaco?

Now that Monaco have failed with their appeal regarding tax benefits, and therefore must comply with French law and income tax rates – will they end up having to sell star players that only a few weeks ago had signed contracts, because of the promise of huge wages and a project that was going to be the envy of the football world?

Falcao signed from Atletico Madrid for a reported fee of around £50m and followed compatriot James Rodriguez (£38m from Porto) and Joao Moutinho (£22m from Porto) to complete an incredible few weeks of transfer activity in the principality. £110m for three players is serious business and billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev was making grand statements about how they would immediately be able to challenge PSG for the French title in their first season back in Ligue 1.

Grandiose plans of conquering Europe were also being discussed, with Victor Valdes already being lined up to join them when his Barcelona contract ends next summer, although nothing has yet been confirmed.

Ambition was certainly not lacking, but there was always the doubt hanging over the club about whether they would be allowed to maintain the financial advantage over other clubs by being registered under Monaco rules but competing in the French league. No doubt that PSG were  the loudest vocal opponents to a team that is most likely to pose the greatest threat to their title this season, particularly after they watched the type of players that were arriving to sign contracts during July.

The authorities have decided that the club will have to apply the same rules that govern the rest of the teams in the league, and I think that this is perfectly acceptable. It means that the tax-free salaries offered to their new stars are now no longer quite so attractive. Instant rumours of the club offering Falcao to Real Madrid, Chelsea and numerous other big clubs circulated within hours of the decision and although it would be difficult to imagine an exodus, it is certainly going to change the clubs plans. They no longer hold an advantage over their opponents in either France or Europe regarding salaries and this was perhaps the biggest draw for players up until now.

Certainly the idea of playing in front of a maximum attendance of 18,500 will not have caused the heartbeat of any of their transfer targets to race a little faster and Ligue 1 is not exactly considered as an elite European league; England, Spain and Germany are probably the top three, with Italy just behind. 

What else is attracting players to Monaco, apart from the money? 

A project similar to Chelsea or Manchester City is a possible reason to move to the Ligue 2 champions, although these sorts of things are likely to take ten years or more – which is certainly longer than most footballers are likely to hang around waiting for the fruits of their labour to be rewarded. The two ex-Porto players were not being talked about as targets for any of the huge clubs in Spain or the Premier League, but Falcao could have picked any club in the world to play for.

His decision to leave Atletico Madrid is understandable, but everyone assumed it would be to sign for an English big-hitter or for one of the Spanish duopoly. Call me cynical, but I believe that he will be the first player to now regret signing his lucrative deal with Monaco and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave next summer, if not before.

Top players should play for top clubs in top leagues and Monaco just don’t tick any of the boxes yet. Will they struggle to attract other targets in the future?

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