Ranieris blend of top-class talent, experienced old heads and young potential stars has proved potent in the early stages this term. Assuming that the blend of players continues to bond well, it is difficult to see PSG getting too many chances to usurp them at the summit of Ligue 1. Here is what could happen as a result of Monaco winning their first French title since 2000 this year. Further reinforcement If Monaco were to win Ligue 1 at the first time of asking, Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez could prove to just be the tip of the iceberg. Immediate success on that scale would mean that Ranieris side would have Champions League football and their ability to augment their current with further stellar names would be boosted greatly. As with PSG, once they secured continental football of the highest level, they were able to lure the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to France. Given that Les Monegasques already have star names of a similar calibre, they would be able to add to that collection with players of a similar skill set. Michael Regan/Getty Images Not only would that strengthen the Monaco starting line up to the point where they would no doubt be the strongest team in France, as well as one of the strongest in Europe, but the side from the Principality would also have depth. Arms race That is not to say that PSG would just lie down and accept being second best, though. In all likelihood, it would spark an arms race on a scale that we have not yet seen. Considering the money that has already been spent this summer277million of new signings alone featured in the two sides recent meeting at the Parc des Princesthe stakes would no doubt be raised higher by PSG. Laurent Blancs side would be prompted into buying new talent once again in order to usurp Monaco the following season. Some of PSGs big names would also surely have some serious reservations regarding the project. Martin Rose/Getty Images The likes of Silva, linked over the summer with a move to Barcelona ( h/t ESPN FC ), would almost certainly have his head turned enough to push for a move should PSG not finish as champions. Ibrahimovic, despite his recently inked contract ( h/t ESPN FC ), might also have some serious questions for the capital clubs hierarchy. Financial fair play Heavier financial scrutiny awaits Monaco and Dmitry Rybolovlev should Les Monegasques seal a first Ligue 1 title since 2000. For now, without European competition, they are exempt from most of the furore that surrounds the debate targeting a number of European clubs under foreign ownership. That would no longer be the case should they win the league, and they would be under more pressure than they already find themselves under with the club trying to market themselves as a luxury football club brand, according to the clubs chief marketing and sales director Bruce Bundrant ( h/t ESPN FC ). PSG are under enough scrutiny thanks to their mega sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority from last year ( h/t ESPN FC ). But at least the side from the capitol have the fans to back up their project and can rely on regular capacity crowds.
Projecting the Impact of a Monaco Title Win in France
In Paris alone this year, the city reports 18 Roma camps forcibly evacuated. Roma families check in at Lille’s airport, in Lesquin, northern France, on October 1, 2013 as they take part in a voluntary return to Romania, amid the controversy triggered by French Interior minister Manuel Valls’s claim that most Roma in France will never integrate and should be sent back to their countries of origin. (Denis Charlet/Getty) The local political context is important. French municipal elections are only a few months away, and the presence of Roma is a big issue in many towns. But its also a European one. Bulgaria and Romania, which have, between them, more than 2.5 million Roma citizens, hope to enter the Schengen group of countries within the European Union at the beginning of the year, meaning no passport would be required for travel across most national borders. The French and German governments have both said theyre against this. Vallss declarations offer one reason why. Some of Vallss fellow cabinet members were so deeply offended by his remarks that they spoke out publicly. When Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault defended Valls in parliament, he faced jeers and whistles. President Hollande basically tried to remain above the fray and reinforced his already doleful image as an ineffectual executive. His government looks out of control. The real problem, however, is on the street. A poll taken in the wake of Vallss remarks shows that 93 percent of the respondents agreed they Roma did not integrate well in France, and 77 percent agreed that Valls was right to say so. A Roma woman hands papers to French police as they carry out identity checks at a Roma camp on October 1, 2013 in Roubaix, northern France.
Syria refugees protest in France, seek to go to Britain
A three-member team from Britain’s border police was meanwhile on its way to Calais to hold discussions with the refugees, said Denis Robin, the prefect of the Pas-de-Calais region. The Syrians, 20 of whom are on a hunger strike, have since Wednesday occupied the footbridge of a ferry terminal at Calais port — from where ships leave for Britain — to press London to accept them. They have voiced disappointment in France, saying they were treated worse than “animals”. “I have been in contact with the Border Force. They are coming from Britain by train,” Robin said. “The immigrants want to hold discussions with the British authorities.” Myrian Guerey, a member of the Secours Catholic charity service who served as a mediator between the refugees and the French authorities, said the Syrians — still set on making it to Britain — were “very happy” about the talks. “They have been heard and they want to have a first contact with the British authorities,” she said. In a bid to end the crisis, some 50 police from the CRS anti-riot squad moved in early Friday to try and clear the refugees from the footbridge but backed off when two of them climbed on top of a nearby building and threatened to jump off if they approached. Pas-de-Calais prefect Robin then went to the site and offered the Syrians, currently illegal immigrants, the right to asylum. “Today, the Syrians present here are caught in a stalemate. What we can do is to offer them a status on French territory…in other words to make a request for asylum,” Robin told reporters. He said each demand for asylum had “95 percent chance of success,” adding that he was in contact with the British embassy in Paris. “We cannot take any decision on their access to Britain,” Robin said.