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Soccer --Russian businessman owns control stake in Monaco club

December 24, 2011, 6:12 UTC+3

The wealthy 45-year-old Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev is worth several billion dollars. He is the 93th on the Forbes list of billionaires

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PARIS, December 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The Monaco Sport Invest company directly connected with Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev has become an owner of the controlling stake in the Monaco football club, the team's site said on Friday.

In accordance with the reached agreement, 66.67 percent of the shares are transferred to the company. Thirty three percent belong to the Monaco football club, which represents the interests of the principality of Monaco.

A new board of directors of the club was also elected on Friday. The board includes Dmitry and Yekaterina Rybolovlevs and former technical director of Moscow's Spartak and Zhemchuzhina-Sochi Yevgeny Smolentsev. Rybolovlev is elected chairman.

The wealthy 45-year-old Russian businessman is worth several billion dollars. He is the 93th on the Forbes list of billionaires. He sold his stake in the Uralkaly potassium company in June last year for 6.5 billion dollars.

The deal is not an ordinary purchase -- it is the beginning of new efficient partnership in the interests of the Monaco FC development, Rybolovlev said, commenting on the purchase. "I am an ardent football fan. Living for rather a long time in Monaco, I understand that the club is not just one of the principality's sport teams, but it is one of its main symbols and serves as a subject of proud and traditions for residents."

Monaco is France’s seven-time champion famous for its performances in European cup championships in past years. The team's things went worse and worse recently. Last season, the club, after the 34-year presence in the elite, left the top French division. At present, the team is on the bottom of the tournament list in the second league, with only one win in 18 matches. The new owners pledged to invest at least 100 million euros in the club revival in the next four years.


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