Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Monaco admit British riches are hard to resist after Anthony Martial sale

Published 02/09/2015

Anthony Martial joined Manchester United in a record £36m deal from Monaco
Anthony Martial joined Manchester United in a record £36m deal from Monaco

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev admits the "unprecedented resources" of British clubs means selling players like Anthony Martial is unavoidable.

The principality club were knocked out of the Champions League play-offs recently, lost 3-0 to Paris St Germain in Ligue 1, and then saw talented forward Martial depart for Manchester United in a world-record fee for a teenager at £36million.

The summer of 2014 saw a similar story involving big-name players, when James Rodriguez was sold to Real Madrid and Radamel Falcao went to United, who have benefited from the Premier League's enormously lucrative TV deals.

With pressure building on the pitch this season, the market dealings have seemingly attracted, by Vasilyev's own admission, a measure of criticism from Monaco's fans.

However, Vasilyev said on the club's website: "We really wanted to keep (Martial) on the team, but Manchester has made an incredible offer, almost the close of the market, an offer that neither the club nor the player could refuse. That's football.

"(It is) evident that certain clubs - especially the British - have unprecedented resources, and it is hard to resist."

Martial leaves Monaco with 70 appearances and 15 goals to his name, with Vasilyev adding: "Of course I'd like to keep our players for longer but we must be realistic about the power of these clubs.

"The operations of James Rodriguez and Anthony Martial are the two biggest transfers of the French championship. Our challenge is to remain competitive athletically and have confidence in the decisions we have taken."

Monaco were unable to make headway into the Champions League this season after Valencia knocked them out, meaning they will play in the Europa League.

Having finished third in the 2014-15 league, Monaco's start to the current Ligue 1 campaign would suggest further struggles - they have just one win from four games - especially with Martial's exit.

But Vasilyev feels further sales will have to be made if Monaco are to build their financial base towards silverware, saying: "Our revenue has increased, but we must be realistic - (we are) not yet up to a club that wants to play the European Cup.

"Here's one reason why we need to sell players, this allows us to maintain a budget that face our sporting ambitions. When we are financially stronger and have more income, it will be easier to reject some important deals."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph