The vice-president and director-general of French football powerhouses AS Monaco Vadim Viktorovich Vasilyev now holds a Maltese passport, The Malta Independent can reveal.
Vasilyev’s name appeared in a list of around 3,000 new Maltese citizens, recently published by the Government Gazette. The list combines naturalised citizens and those taking up dual citizenship due to Maltese descent with those who have attained citizenship through the controversial Individual Investor Programme (IIP). Furthermore, contrary to what is standard practice, the names are listed in alphabetical order according to their first name rather than their last name.
Vasilyev worked in the diplomatic sector during his early life for the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 1987 and 1990 at the USSR’s embassy in Iceland and is now the vice-president and director-general of French football powerhouses AS Monaco.
He is reportedly a close friend of Monaco’s billionaire Russian owner Dmitry Rybolovlev and was appointed to the upper echelons of the French club seemingly from out of nowhere in 2013, when Monaco were in the doldrums of France’s second tier, and under his watch the club regained promotion to Ligue One, France’s top tier, and pulled off the transfers of world-renowned players like Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho.
As part of the Football Leaks set of stories, which detailed various behind the scenes deals and actions taking place in the world of football, French media house Mediapart revealed that Vasilyev was receiving a 10% stake on all the capital gains made by AS Monaco through player sales. Thanks to this “exceptional bonus”, as it is reportedly called in his contract, Vasilyev earned €5.3 million in the 2015-2016 season and € 5.4 million in the 2016-2017 season, Mediapart reported. The French news outlet said that the existence of the clause was confirmed by both the club and by Vasilyev himself.
The existence of such a clause means that the 2017-2018 season will have been all the more lucrative for Vasilyev due to the fact that Monaco made a number of big-money sales: Kylian Mbappe was sold to PSG for a reported €170 million, Tiémoué Bakayoko to Chelsea for €45 million, and Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy to Manchester City for €50 million and €47.5 million respectively.
Mediapart also reported that between 2013 and 2016 Vasilyev pocketed part of the profits the club made on “products of commercial nature and marketing, ticketing, sponsoring, partnership and appreciation of real estate sales”. This clause was removed in 2016, but not without compensation to Vasilyev: Mediapart reported that as of July 2016, the Russian’s basic annual salary was boosted from €750,000 to €1.25 million.
It is not clear what Vasilyev’s ties to Malta are, or what his motive behind obtaining Maltese citizenship is.
Launched in 2014, very little information is given about Malta’s cash for passports scheme, despite the fact that those who pay large sums of money and buy/rent property on the island are entitled to a Maltese passport, citizenship and the right to vote. The government has time and time again refused to provide an exact, separate list of those who have obtained citizenship through the IIP scheme.
Originally published at The Malta Independent