Monaco sold Martial to meet FFP rules but did not need to with Lemar, says Vasilyev
Monaco sold attacker Anthony Martial to Manchester United to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, according to club vice-president Vadim Vasilyev.
On transfer deadline day in 2015, the Ligue 1 side sold the France international to the Red Devils in a deal that could reportedly net Monaco €80 million (£73m) if all bonuses are met.
Meanwhile, Arsenal and Liverpool both launched bids for another France international, Thomas Lemar, this summer.
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Despite those offers, Monaco chose not to sell the attacker, with Vasilyev saying the biggest difference was the financial state of the club in 2015, when they were in danger of failing to meet FFP.
“In 2015 we had to sell in order to meet FFP conditions, so it was more of an obligation,” Vasilyev told L’Equipe when asked what the difference was between Martial and Lemar. “We are, currently, financially safe and sound.
“You sell when you think it’s the right time. You’ve got to accept the risk (to then sell someone at a lower price the next time round) and it’s by taking risks that we have got here.”
Monaco, who won Ligue 1 last season and managed to make the semi-finals of the Champions League, sold off multiple key players during the transfer window, including Kylian Mbappe and Benjamin Mendy.
Those sales have brought in an estimated €327m in funds to the club. And while Monaco could have possibly landed another €150m more if they had sold Lemar and Fabinho, who was reportedly a target of United and Paris Saint-Germain, Vasilyev said setting records for sales isn’t the club’s goal.
“Sales, they are the consequence of having a great season, the league title, a great manager and an excellent recruitment cell and scouting network,” Vasilyev continued.
“We don’t want records. We want to maintain a competitive team while respecting our economic model. And today, we’ve managed it.
“My dream has always been to develop the model, in both an economic and sporting sense, as far as possible. I’d said that a few years ago with Forbes magazine; I see that it is a possibility.”
With PSG’s acquisition of Mbappe and Neymar, the two most expensive transfers in history, the Ligue 1 club has now come under scrutiny for FFP violations.
Given Monaco’s past history with FFP violations, Vasilyev was asked to comment on his rivals’ situation but admitted he needed more information before offering an opinion.
“I would need to know all the facts in order to be fully cognisant with the situation,” he added. “I think that they have considered it more on a revenue and sponsorship angle, notably with Nike.
“UEFA will make a decision in due course.”