AS Monaco: Unique Forever
Developing A New Business Model
The previous evening I watched Monaco face an accomplished Olympic Lyonnais side in the Coupe de France. Despite a late resurgence, Monaco missed out in a 3-2 defeat. The game at the Stade Louis II was watched by less than 9,000 fans and therein lies a problem.
“You went to the game yesterday and the stadium was not full. This is a very small population and we have so many other disadvantages – so we said to ourselves ‘ok, how do we get the best out of what we have?’.”
Although the club would like to be the final destination for the players coming through, they are realistic to the restrictions that surround the club. Their stadium is owned by the local government and has a capacity of just over 16,500. Average Ligue 1 attendances during their title winning season reached just 9,586, someway short of rivals Paris, Marseille and Lyonnais who boast averages of over 45,000.
With profits on player trading central to the club’s business model at the moment, Mr Vasilyev is under no illusions of the need to drive revenues in other areas of the business. It’s also no secret that the club were sanctioned by UEFA for breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations in 2015, a major factor for their change in transfer policy, so I ask Mr Vasilyev his opinion of the regulations.
“Now that I can judge from a certain perspective I would say overall it’s a good thing for European football,” he commented. “I’m not saying that all has been remedied here and there are still issues to address but overall I think in Europe, less clubs are losing money and clubs are more careful about their financial models.
“For us, we had to really drastically change our business model. It was very difficult, it was very painful – people didn’t believe in me – but in the end it brought us success and we’ve got this experience and come out stronger.
“But this project would be not possible without the passion and vision of the President, Dmitry Rybolovlev. His everyday support guides us to perform better.”