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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


AS Monaco Sign Falcao But Will We See Much Of Him Next Season?

Written by on June 2, 2013 | 12 Comments »
Posted in Monaco

When UEFA was formulating their Financial Fair Play regulations the French and German soccer authorities were often referenced as sources of “best practice”. Lately, Germany’s standing has been elevated to even greater heights with rigorous financial regulation being credited with sowing the seed of on field success.

The same cannot be said for France. Instead, French football is heading for the top court in the land after the LFP (Ligue Professionelle de Football) belatedly tried to correct an anomaly that has existed within the French top flight for many decades.

To read more please click on the link.

12 responses to “AS Monaco Sign Falcao But Will We See Much Of Him Next Season?”

  1. John Bladen says:

    Interesting stuff.

    I’m a bit shocked Falcao opted for Monaco, given that with his obvious talent the money was likely to come anyway (likely more of it with regular QF appearances in the CL than in relative obscurity, tax treaty or no).

    This and several other developments in the last five years have me wondering. A decade out could we again be talking (this time seriously) about an international “rogue” league??? Featuring several teams owned by Russian Oligarchs, whatever the new NY Cosmos become (assuming they ever get around to playing an actual game, of course) and a few relatively famous clubs from the mid and far east?

    None of the major European clubs would want to lose CL money (even if the mythical superleague was somehow paying the same or more), obviously. But are there enough devil may care rich guys outside of UEFA to make a superleague work?

    Would players forgo FIFA/UEFA options to earn money in such a league? If enough did, would FIFA/UEFA have the stones to keep them out of major competitions?

  2. Smiley says:

    @ John Bladen

    So if you spent your entire life dedicated to any certain profession and made enormous sacrifices in order to succeed and had a family used to living a certain lifestyle and were offered 10 Million/year to work for company A or 4 Million/year to work for company B with a clause which stated a yearly bonus contingent upon company performance… you would chose company B right?

  3. John Bladen says:

    Maybe you should ask that of Anelka or Drogba, Smiley.

    The answer to your odd question depends greatly on the nature of the options and how much money the player has already earned. Is the bonus $8-10m and reasonably achievable (IE: CL qualification)?
    It’s entirely possible I would take that much less if the bonus was healthy and left me more marketing opportunities than playing in a tiny stadium in the principality would.

    Would you say the same thing if Falcao had opted for a $10m deal from NY Cosmos? A team yet to play an actual game (funny, I think the Cosmos actually have a larger stadium… they’ll almost certainly have higher attendance.)

    Falcao may receive more money from Monaco than he could have anywhere else (though that is not certain). It’s unlikely he’ll be a major part of CL or other top competitions during this run, though, which appears to be the point of this article.

    Many footballers would (and do) take less money to play for competitive teams that might actually win meaningful hardware. Top flight players receive staggering offers to go and play for lesser clubs in lesser leagues when their contracts are up with some regularity. We don’t hear about such offers often because they are generally rejected out of hand (except for the two mentioned above, Eto’o and a few fading stars).

  4. Smiley says:

    I’m asking you as you were the one who judged the man for his move.

    Do you not work hard to support those you love and want the best for them? We all know that 3rd party ownership would have taken a large piece of the pie no matter where he went.

    Last I checked 90% of players and managers are mercenaries and contracts aren’t worth the paper on which they are written.

    PS The rest of your post (Cosmos who are in NASL in case you didn’t know, Falcao making the same money elsewhere, Bobby’s CL point, etc) are irrelevant tangents and are hypocritical for unknowingly judging a man for taking the highest paid job to support his family’s lifestyle.

  5. John Bladen says:

    Speaking of hypocrisy….

    “90% of the players are mercenaries…”

    Really? Know each of them personally do you? Obviously you do not. And obviously you have no answer for any of the reasonable points raised in the article, so you falsely claim they are irrelevant tangents. That is commonly known as trolling. And you lack the substance to make your aggressive claims using your real name, which is both weak and childish.

    What Falcao has done is take (apparently guaranteed) money, possibly to the detriment of his career. He is not the only one to do so, however he has done so at a earlier stage of his career than several notable others.

    As noted, I would not do that. At the stage of career he is at, I would have ensured I stayed in a league in which regular competitive CL football will be available. Most players take their “retirement” job when they are far older than Falcao is (27).

    Your ridiculous suggestion that he is “only looking after his family” fails to acknowledge the fact that he has made millions and will make millions more, no matter where he plays. Unless his family’s standard of living requires at least $8m a year, he did not “have to” take the Monaco money. He chose to.

    He is free to move to a lesser club in a lesser league. But he will be criticized for doing so, which is fair game for any athlete.

  6. Smiley says:

    @ Bladen

    Again you seem to miss the point. My qualm wasn’t with Bobby’s article or his points. It was with you judging a man who chooses the higher paying job, considering he wants best for his family and all who surround him and when other parties take a large chunk.

    Kaka supports his church and didn’t want to leave Madrid or take a pay cut to be a key starter at another club (as no club wanted to match his large salary which many rely on), care to judge him as well?

    Regardless of whether Monaco pay a one time $300M fine (basically a bribe) or agree to pay taxes (which will not be required as International Laws between states/countries/municipalities supersede any local sporting league laws), their multi-billionaire owner Rybolovlev will make sure they are in Ligue 1 and on their way to becoming another Manciteh, PSG, Chelsea, etc.

    * As you do not realize that most players/managers are mercenaries I can only assume you do not follow the game and season very closely. Funny how you mentioned mercenaries like Anelka and Drogba in China when it suited your purpose but then drew a blank replying to my comment with “Really? Know each of them personally do you?”.

    Before you write any further posts, I suggest doing a WIKI search on people like Figo, Ibra, Redknapp and Sven Erikkson as you clearly have lots to learn mate!

    ** Would you judge Falcao in the same fashion if he joined Arsenal for the same price? Last I checked it seems that on paper Monaco will have a better chance of winning the league and CL than a “prestigious” club like Arsenal which has won nothing and has fallen further from the top teams.

  7. Ed Gomes says:

    Fans love it when players choose to play for their beloved clubs. We sometimes forget that the club paid an outrageous fee and will pay a high wage. These guys have limited time to earn their money, so I’ve never faulted any player for jumping ship.
    Even players that have stayed at a club for a long time, they do so because the club is held hostage. Just take a look at Totti at Roma. Yes, he could have left for more money at one time, but because he didn’t he’s held Roma hostage. He basically gets everything he wants and is paid a ton, not just for playing but for appearances as well. Is he any more “pure” than Falcao, Drogba, Hulk, etc…
    I ask, if Barca was found to be bankrupt, would Messi jump ship due to money? And would it be seen as him helping the club? Most likely.
    The critiquing of players has a lot to do with who they are, where they play and for what teams. Falcon couldn’t stop praising Porto after he went to Atletico. He now says Atletico were the two best years of his playing career, even though he had no CL play. Sometimes its just words or they too are prisoners of the moment.
    Fans care, but it’s a job for the players. They have another game to play, while we brood over how a team won never mind loss.

  8. Ed Gomes says:

    As for Monaco they’ll be fine. The owner will work out a deal with the league and the’ll play in Ligue 1.
    The other concern that people keep pointing too is the FFP rules. I can see a scenario where the small stadium and limited fandom could work in their favor.
    The owner has already proposed building a stadium of luxury boxes only. That would allow him to sell them at a huge fee. The luxury boxes would also cater to the higher end cliental in Monaco and abroad. Those boxes would also allow for sponsorship money to come in for inside and outside advertisements.

    People keep thinking that FFP will somehow make the game more competitive. I disagree. What may sound good when stated, it is not when put into practice.
    The facts are that the Man United’s, Barca’s, Real’s, Bayern’s and leaders of their respective leagues bring in a ton more money than mid to lower tier clubs. If anything you could see a widening of competitive balance. Advertisers go to “brands” and with economic prudence, “chuckle chuckle”, they will enrich the big boys.

  9. Smiley says:

    ED – I agree with all your points BUT keep in mind there is a HUGE TV profit share discrepancy between La Liga (Barca/Real and the rest of the teams) and other leagues such as BPL.

    As for footballer wages, I am constantly shocked when other grown men who work 9-5 judge other workers for choosing the highest paid job. Especially when you consider that an A list movie star averages 60M/year for 2-3 movies while footballers are obligated to play most of the year for club/country, do interviews/promos 24/7 and are in a much more physically demanding field.

    * Not to mention the fact that AS Monaco has won the league several times since the 80s and was runner up in both CL and Uefa Cup. I think the fanbase and stadium size is what stigmatizes the club in the eyes of fans who aren’t that familiar with the world game.

  10. John Bladen says:

    Your assumptions are entirely incorrect, Smiley.

    When you can’t answer a point, you jump to insults?

    You sound alot like a fellow who used to post garbage on here daily. He eventually ended up talking to himself.

  11. John Bladen says:


    It’s true that wealthy owners (or businessmen in general) often find ways around rules put in place to try and level the playing field. FFP does seem to anticipate that somewhat. It may not be as easy as to circumvent as some think.

    RE: the “high end” stadium: Many fans (of all pro sports) can see that coming in the future. Why build stadia capable of seating 70,000+ when the last 25,000 seats (in a few cases) don’t actually produce that much (in pro rated terms) increased revenue.

    We’ll see. I have a feeling that the current “cater to the high end” consumer business model so evident in North America (and making it’s way into the EPL) isn’t going to last forever. Eventually, the wealthy fans that drift away cannot be replaced by lower earning supporters. It might take 2-3 decades, but I believe sport will move at least part way back to being the “entertainment for the masses”.

    No doubt a new or heavily revised stadium for ASM could produce more revenue (and would be a more attractive destination for wealthy fans to see and be seen in). But it’s doubtful it could ever come close to funding the kind of expenditure that top six or eight clubs in Europe can through match day revenue. Even with very high TV and commercial revenues on the ledger, the match day gap will still exist.

    So the owner is left to fill the gap himself, somehow, some way.

    You might be right, perhaps he can do so without triggering FFP penalties (such as they are). Time will tell.

  12. Ed Gomes says:

    JB, in regards to the stadium, what I was trying to say is that a smaller luxury box facility would cater to Monaco’s clientele. Luxury boxes could also be sold to “corporations” or “entities”, where the owner himself could pick up the tab.
    For people who think UEFA is going to dig and review every transaction, you’re crazy.
    Owners have proven to be willing to spend and lose their own money, in the clubs operations. Abram might have increased Chelsea’s value, but he’s also spent a billion in its operations.

    Ny the way, the only reason that Malaga has fallen into the FFP rules, is because the owner is miffed. First he was robbed by the previous president. Second, his proposed developing deal for the region has fallen through.
    It’s very similar to what has happened with the “now” Brooklyn Nets. The previous owner used the Nets in order to get a sweetheart of a deal for a huge developing project in Brooklyn. When it all fell through, it once again, up to a billionaire Russian owner to come in and save the Nets. He’ll soon tire and move on, because in the US you’re only able to exploit your wealth, to a certain point.

    If people think that in parity drives US sports, it can’t be further from the truth. Even in the NFL, the league makes more money when there’s a dominant team. People like juggernauts to root for and root against.

    All I’m saying is that if FFP truly goes into place, it will actually create a greater divide between the haves and have nots. The big boys will always make their money.

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