Arsenal‘s Champions League clash with Monaco on Wednesday not only saw Arsene Wenger take on his former club but also witnessed the head-to-head of two of the richest men in football: American business entrepreneur Stan Kroenke also owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which includes the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League and St. Louis Rams of the NFL and Dmitry Ryboloblev, a Russian businessman, investor, philanthropist and the owner of AS Monaco FC. Kroenke is the reclusive American tycoon bought a £731m majority stake in Arsenal in 2011 and although not afraid to splash the cash, he spent £44m to sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, Kroenke has always been seen as being studious with his money.
That’s in stark contract with Rybolovlev, the Russian billionaire who bought a controlling stake in Monaco in 2011 at a time when the seven-times champions of France were slumming it near the bottom of the country’s second tier. After winning promotion, Monaco forked out around £150m to attract two of the most sought-after players in the world, James Rodríguez and Radamel Falcao. However, it was unsustainable. Now both Colombians have left, Rodríguez to join Real Madrid for almost double the £39.5m that Monaco paid for him, and Falcao on loan to Manchester United.
As things stand, Rybolovlev is very much committed to Monaco even if the possible sale of Falcao to United might suggest otherwise. We take a look at some numbers that make both these clubs and their two billionaires rather interesting:
Stan Kroenke is the “poorer” of the two with a net worth of around £6.3bn compared to Dmitry Ryboloblev’s £8.5bn, and has spent less on the transfer market since 2012/2013 £198m to £210 with the most expensive deal coming in and going out being £44m spent for Mesut Özil and £27m made from Robin Van Persie compared to £44m spent on Radamel Falcao and £70m made on James Rodriguez. Arsenal can boast a much bigger stadium with a capacity of 60,362 compared to the 18,523 of Monaco and an average attendance per game of 59,851 to 7,835, which puts the spending per season per attending fan since 2012/13 to £67.36 compared to the £668 at Monaco. As far as success in the respective leagues is concerned, well it bodes better for the French squad who since the 2012/13 season has finished first, second and fifth respectively compared to Arsenal’s third fourth and fourth again.
Well, sometimes spending lots of money help’s get results, even if the best football tipsters would all agree in backing Arsenal over Monaco in the Champions League wouldn’t they?