HOT/In the shadow of football, AS Monaco Basket wants to re-establish its name. At all costs.
Agossip-provoking chairman from the East, a record ascent to the elite ranks, and a miraculous escape from exclusion from the championship. There’s no denying it – Roca Team and ASM-FC seem to be on parallel paths. So much so that their staff share some common denominators: the Belgian Willy de Bruyn as director and former government minister Paul Masseron (wearing the dual hat of advisor and vice-president). Sergei Dyadechko, the new leader of ASM Basket (Pro), began to finance the club 3 years ago as soon as he moved to Monaco. His background? A businessman and co-founder of Rodovid bank, around which misappropriation of public funds and mysterious disappearances have generated much press coverage.
This basketball enthusiast, said to be close to Bubka, came to Monaco to take refuge after coming out from a shootout in Kiev unscathed. Arnaud Giusti contacted him in 2012. This 2 metre tall big guy who knew the club inside out, having gone there since he was 6 years old, took the reins of ASMB in 2009. New staff, new impetus: after dozing in the National league for over 30 years, the goal then became to regain an elite position in 5 years. By recruiting smartly, particularly Jean-Michel Sénégal as coach, but also by seeking as patron this former cold-eyed banker who only communicates via an interpreter. The Ukrainian, who has injected 70% of the budget, gradually showed himself to be increasingly omnipotent: he imposed foreign players and after a short time a new coach. “He believed that things weren’t incisive enough with Sénégal. He wanted him out but still had to honour one year of his contract. Then I took him back for the amateur organization. A cultural issue or bad translation – Mr. Dyadechko held it against me that he was still there,” explained Arnaud Giusti, who himself was soon to be offloaded. Because from then onwards there was a loss of trust at the club. “Sergei Dyadechko demanded an internal audit and brought in a right-hand man, although not even a penny had ever been misappropriated,” explained the current chairman of ASM Basket Amateur, who believes that his “reputation was sullied”. Allegedly Dyadechko even wanted to get rid of him and demanded the presidency of the professional club (at the time of the split required by the league), failing which he would stop his financing…
A valid agreement?
Today, following a new juggling of coaches, Roca Team – whose budget exceeds 5 million euro – has earned its ticket in Pro A and recruited the renowned American point guard Larry Drew II. So much the better. The situation was saved in fairness. In summer 2014, the Ligue de Basket – probably inspired by the transaction between ASM-FC and its football counterpart, and under the vindication of pro B clubs in difficulty – refused to allow Monaco to take part in the French championship unless it paid a 150 000 euro tithe. “I wasn’t in favour of paying to ‘buy law’but negotiating was necessary,” Giusti explained. An agreement was made that for four years ASMB’s registration fees would be 2.8 times higher, with the yield being redistributed to the other clubs. This transaction is so similar to the one just cancelled by the Conseil d’Etat in July (see p. XX) that one may indeed wonder whether it could be challenged in the same way.