Grantland takes us through the anatomy of Radamel Falcao’s controversial transfer from Atletico Madrid to AS Monaco, claiming that the Colombian probably had no
choice but to go to the super-rich Ligue 1 club, in the end.
At the end of 2011, Falcao made a big-money $52 million move from FC Porto to Atletico Madrid that was partly financed by Doyen Sports, a kind of venture capital firm for soccer players. Just how much Doyen put up for the transfer and under what terms is unclear, but one thing that is clear, is that the Colombian moved for a lot of money that Atletico, which is struggling financially, simply didn’t have. In exchange for fronting half or more of the money for the transfer, Doyen gets equity in the player. This means that when he is sold on again, Doyen gets 50 percent or more of the transfer fee, according to the report.
Because the Premier League has rules against signing players that have third-party owners, Manchester City and Chelsea were never able to seriously pursue Falcao. And given the massive fee for his services, only Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Anzi Makhachkala and Monaco were realistic options for him. Monaco probably won the race on account of not having income tax. Other clubs may have lined up offers to match the total outlay (transfer fee plus wages) but not exceed it. If that had been the case, Real, for example, would have paid a lower transfer fee so it could meet Falcao’s wage demands. But Doyen, as the third-party owner, is paid based on the transfer fee, so it might have required Falcao to head to Monaco, the only solution that would make all parties happy.