In real life AS Monaco has been known as one of the top clubs in the French Ligue 1, even though they are based in a tiny neighboring nation. The nation they are based in is Monaco, and the club name is based from that nation, and the colors are the same colors of the nation. This nation is so tiny that they are the only football club in the nation, thus the reason why they play in France.
In recent years the club had fallen on hard times due to financial fair play violations (which included a forced relegation in 2003 per French rules which was overturn only on appeal) and as recently as 2012-2013 was playing in Ligue 2. It was around that time that the club made a change in philosophy of buying young prospects as soon as they legally could do so and put them straight into their first team or their main reserve team. It was when they brought in Claudio Ranieri as their manager and the team started buying an handful of U23 prospects that he identified and rebuilding their youth team with proper scouting. While Ranieri did leave at the end of the contract, the team was back in Ligue 1 with tons of exciting young prospects and eventually made a run in the Champions League.
Three simple philosophies are based in the Monaco Way including:
- Buying top prospects as soon as they are able to, namely from Africa where France has lenient foreign player rules regarding those players. This includes 16 years old for most EU nations, and 18 for South America. The focus is the nations where it is easier to buy the players for five or six figure deals, not in nations where it costs at least 7 figures for a 16 year old.
- Avoiding the loans unless the player is already homegrown, the player is too old for the academy, OR it is clear that the player has no chance in making the first team. Sometimes the loans are necessary due to France having a strict non EU rule. The loans are usually done to the Belgium club Cercle Brugge, which is a nation that has much more lax rules regarding foreign players, or to Portuguese club Rio Ave (another nation with lenient foreign player rules), but occasionally to Ligue 2 clubs.
- Only buy players as roster spots allow in only the positions of need
When it comes to the bigger clubs wanting to buy their first team players, usually it comes down to whether or not the player is unsettled and the most important aspect: is there a player (substitute, out on loan, reserve player) capable of making that player expendable. Almost every season at least one key player is sold but not before the club had made a 8 figure profit.
While typical Monaco techniques is to buy cheap prospects they rarely go with a large first team or reserve team. They only buy to fill in the roster spots, partially due to the severe punishments that French teams face for violating domestic financial fair play rules.
How Monaco does this is the use of proper scouting, making use of scouting knowledge and the best scouts. Their focus is Eastern Europe, Africa, and South America. They have dipped into North America from time to time but the talent is not what they prefer and those players count as non EU slots, where in South America the talent pool is much better.
Staff often come and go in the top flight but their staff members often come from several nations that the team often scouts players in.
Pulling this method off in Football Manager 2017 can be tricky but if you can do it right your club is simply reloading even if your best players keep getting sold.