Monaco chief Vadim Vasilyev sacked
With Monaco struggling at the bottom of Ligue 1, having sold off the nearly a billion euros worth of talent, something had to give at the top. And on Thursday Vadim Vasilyev was sacked as vice president.
"Some bad mistakes were made last year which have led us to our worst set of results for the past seven years," said owner Dmitry Rybolovlev in a statement.
"It's a time of change on the pitch but also off it. And I have taken the very difficult decision to relieve Vadim Vasilyev of his duties as vice president of the club.
"I'm very grateful for everything Vadim has done and I wish him the best for the future," Rybolovlev added.
Vasilyev, 53, had been the mastermind behind Monaco's transfer policy of scouting and signing players with potential and allowing them to develop under the guidance of the wily veteran.
Chequebooks were fluttered after a surge to the Champions League quarter-finals in 2015 catapulted Anthony Martial, Yannick Carrasco and Geoffrey Kondogbia to the fore. They left respectively for Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan for 120 million euros.
There was a lucrative exodus after the swashbuckling Ligue 1 championship triumph in 2017.
Kylian Mbappé departed for Paris Saint-Germain. Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva headed to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City. Tiemoué Bakayoko veered towards Chelsea. Nearly 340 million euros flowed into Monaco's coffers for the foursome.
Despite the loss of such lambent creatures, Monaco managed second place at the end of the 2017/2018 season to qualify for the 2018/2019 Uefa Champions League and maintain the chimera of success.
Having palmed away the best part of a billion euros worth of talent, the unravelling has been lurid.
Monaco collected six points from the first eight league games of the 2018/19 season.
And a side that reached the last four in April 2017, was ritually humiliated in the group stages of the subsequent Champions Leagues.
They drew one and lost five of their six matches between September and December 2018 to add to the two stalemates and four defeats over the same period in 2017.
That sequence made them the first club to fail to win a game in the Champions League since Dinamo Zagreb in 2011 and 2012.
The replacements for the likes of Mbappé, Bakayoko and Silva have led to mockery, a merry-go-round of coaches and miserable performances.
Leonardo Jardim, sacked in October for a series of appalling results, has been recalled to take the side out of a relegation battle that he steered them into.
Thierry Henry, recruited in January to replace a putative hapless Jardim, was dispatched after he was unable to inspire the surge up the table.
By the time the 41-year-old left, the former Arsenal and Barcelona goal machine appeared a clueless clot on the sidelines.
The coaching record of one of France's greatest strikers read: four wins, five draws and 11 defeats.
"It's not the first time that Monaco has faced a difficult situation," added Rybolovlev. We will do our best to get out of it and I'm sure these changes will help us do so."
Jardim, whose side entertain 14th placed Nantes on 16 February at the Stade Louis II, has 14 games to repel a looming catastrophe.