Dmitry Rybolovlev, owner of football club AS Monaco, will make the original sugar daddy of football look like a zero calorie natural sweetener. His $9.1bn assets may pale against the vast wealth of Roman Abrahimovic, but on the field Dmitry is a step ahead of the Chelsea owner.
He made news after splurging $160 million to buy Atletico Madrid‘s hitman Ramadel Flacoa, and Porto players James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho. However, he made even bigger headlines when there was speculation that AS Monaco made a £85m bid for Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo. The transfer rumour had some weight to it because it wasn’t dreamed by some imaginative hack is a gossip column, but was an exclusive by a reputed British newspaper.
1) He is a cardiologist by profession.
It is unknown whether he performed any surgeries on patients, but he may need a heart surgery sooner or later when the Monaco manager, Claudio Ranieri, starts tinkering with his expensive ensemble.
This brings us to our next point: Dmitry appointed Ranieri after he took over the club and his compatriot Abrahimovic sacked him months after buying Chelsea.
3) Dmitry made his billions in the fertilizer business.
According to Forbes, he made $6.5 billion after he sold his shares in Uralkali – “Russia’s largest producer of potassium fertilizer.”
Who would have taught that plant food is worth billions
4) He is a bad a**.
In 1996, Dmitry spent 11 months in Russia’s toughest prison. He was accused in the murder case of his business partner. He was later released after the killers were caught by the police.
5) More bad-a**ery…
During the height of business privatization in Russia, the mafia often exhorted money from businessmen through kidnappings and intimidation. In the 90s, several assassination attempts were made on Dmitry’s life; fearing for the safety of his family, he sent them away to Switzerland. When Dmitry was jailed, he was put under pressure to sell his shares in Uralkali but he refused to budge.
Bad a**? Maybe, but he definitely doesn’t beat Arsenal FC shareholder Alisher Usmanov. He spent six years in prison and is an accused rapist.
His wife from 23 years of marriage had filed for a divorce, accusing him of cheating on her. She is pegged to get half of his wealth i.e. $3.5bn in the divorce settlement.
At least we know for that fact that they won’t be fighting over who gets Ranieri.
7) Heiress to the Ryblolovleva empire
Dmitry’s 23-year-old daughter Ekaterina Rybolovleva is the heiress to his enormous wealth. She is a trained equestrian and goes to a university in U.S.A.
Her father gifted her an Island in Greece. The Island, Skorpios, costed around $100 million.
8) He is an astute businessman
Monaco shares its borders with France, but it is not a part of France. It is a principality i.e. it is governed under monarchy. Yet, AS Monaco plays in the Ligue 1. Dmitry owns 66% of the controlling stake in the club. He appears to have taken a full advantage of Monaco’s no-income-tax system. He wields the power to tempt players with obscure amounts of weekly wages. The Financial Fair Play rules, for the moment, aren’t going to stop Dmitry from breaking the bank to sign any player he wants.
For example, according to Euronews, “a football player with an annual salary of one million euros will cost the Monaco based club a total of 1,051,223 euros, taxes included, whereas every other team of Ligue 1 would have to pay a total amount of 3,190,900 euros, taxes included, just to match the offer.”
Hence to get even with AS Monaco, none of the other Ligue 1 clubs agree to sell their players to the Monaco based club.