By Robin Bairner
Big-spending Monaco will need to do more than just flex their financial muscles in order to compete with Europe’s elite sides, according to Glenn Hoddle, who turned out for the Ligue 1 outfit from 1987 until 1991.
Having been taken over by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev 18 months ago, Claudio Ranieri’s side have embarked on an ambitious spending spree this summer as they have secured the eye-catching additions of Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez and, most notably, Radamel Falcao.
In total, the club’s spending has already exceeded €130 million but Hoddle says this does not necessarily mean that they will thrive.
“They’re certainly trying to buy their way to success but it doesn't always happen, you have to gel as a team, you've got to be comfortable off the pitch, and it takes a certain type of player to go there, of a certain age, to get the best out of them,” the ex-England international told Goal.
“So it’s not necessarily going to happen overnight for them. There’s a lot of hard work for them to get, and achieve it. It might take three years, and whether they can keep that team together they've got now for three years is the key. I’m not sure they will.”
Hoddle enjoyed cult status in the principality and believes that their new Colombian goalscorer is a strong bet to be an outstanding player for his former club.
“I think they've bought an outstanding striker in Falcao, I really do,” he said. “I’m surprised he actually chose to go there, but how long he stays there we’ll see.
“I played there, I had the lifestyle there – it was a magnificent place to go – I enjoyed every minute I was there, very successful as a player working under Arsene Wenger.”
There is certainly a cloud hanging over Monaco in that their fellow Ligue 1 clubs are trying to force them to move their headquarters into mainland France by the creation of a new rule. This would put an end to an agreement dating back nearly a century and would be the death of the effectively tax-free status foreign signings enjoy and would instead make them eligible for the 75 per cent income tax rate soon to be implemented in France.
Although a deadline of June 30, 2014 has been set for the principality side to comply with the new laws, Monaco have stated that they are ready to fight this new legislation all the way and Hoddle believes that they may well be successful in their battle.
“That [original tax] rule has been there from day one, so this is going into other areas of politics in many ways, with rules and regulations that I don’t see how they can change for football teams but not for any other business,” he explained."
Despite the uncertainty, Monaco remain in the transfer market as they seek defensive and midfield reinforcements before the beginning of the Ligue 1 season on August 10 with a trip to Bordeaux.
Hoddle was speaking at the launch of the Fans All Star Global Vote 2013, offering football supporters the opportunity to pick their ultimate European and Rest of the World XI’s.
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