Monaco have already spent more than €120 million on transfers this summer as they prepare for their return to Ligue 1, but all their money won't prevent them from starting the season two points behind every other club in the league. Incidents during and after their final home match of last season, in which they sealed the Ligue 2 title and their promotion, have resulted in a three-point deduction (one of which is suspended, which means it will only be enforced if there's another incident).
Fireworks were set off during Monaco's last home game against Le Mans before fans invaded the pitch after the final whistle. During the melee, the referee was struck by a fan, according to the match officials report.
"Regarding the seriousness of the facts, Monaco are condemned to one match behind closed doors and a three-point penalty, including one suspended, for the next Ligue 1 season," the LFP said in a statement.
Though the justification for the punishment is sound, it's also convenient considering the league's efforts to penalize the club for existing in a tax haven. Fears that the combination of Monaco's distinct tax advantage (read: no taxes) compared to clubs based within France (very high taxes) and their Russian billionaire owner would result in a competitive advantage have already been realized to some degree with the expensive signings of Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho.
Ligue 1 owners have threatened large financial penalties and attempted to restrict admission to clubs headquartered within France, but the legality of smiting Monaco like this have been questioned. So this points deduction is the most the league's been able to hit them with. So far.
Sometime around December they could get even more points deducted for Falcao scoring too many goals and making opposing goalkeepers cry. Or having a ball boy drown in a pitchside pit of gold coins and rare Beanie Babies.
- Sports & Recreation