While Nantes can boast an equally proud history to that of Monaco, there was far less fanfare surrounding their return to Ligue 1 in the summer.
In sharp contrast to the club from the principality, Les Canaris' financial difficulties meant they were always likely to face a tough campaign back among the elite, and now behind the scenes incompetence looks set to further compromise their chances of avoiding an immediate return back from whence they came.
Coach Michel Der Zakarian has no superstars at his disposal, and 19-year-old midfielder Abdoulaye Touré has made most of the headlines in the opening weeks of the season. Touré was sent on towards the end of Nantes' 2-0 home win against Bastia on the opening day for his Ligue 1 debut. His contribution was unremarkable until, a few days later, it was discovered that he should not have been playing at all.
Club officials neglected to notice that Touré should have been serving a suspension incurred while playing for the reserves and, with the French Football Federation having rejected their appeal, Nantes are now set to have their win wiped from the records. That would leave Der Zakarian's team with just one point to their name from four matches, and bottom of the table. Little wonder that striker Filip Djordjevic, who scored in that game, was furious with those responsible.
"It is an amateur mistake. We have 50 or 60 employees and 80 percent of them do nothing at all," said the Serbian international striker, who was Nantes' leading scorer in their run to promotion last season and remains their highest-paid player. "We put everything into that game, got kicked, I got cramp, and the people in charge are all away on holiday."
For fans, the incident would merely have served as a timely reminder that Nantes' glory days are very much behind them. Les Canaris have been French champions eight times, including as recently as 2001, just before Lyon embarked on their unprecedented run of seven successive titles. They were Champions League semi-finalists in 1996, beaten by Juventus, and were renowned for their attacking style of football, the jeu à la nantaise, but these days are no more.
"A good season for us would be to avoid relegation," said Der Zakarian before the campaign began. "There have been glorious eras in the past but Nantes have had two spells in Ligue 2. We need to remember where we have come from."
Nantes spent 44 consecutive seasons in the top flight before being relegated in 2007. They came straight back up under their former player Der Zakarian but he was sacked at the start of the next season, which saw Nantes relegated again. Now, after four straight campaigns in Ligue 2, they are back among the elite once more, with Der Zakarian back in charge.
But his hands are effectively tied by financial constraints. While Monaco shelled out over €150 million (£127m) over the summer to become serious title contenders, Der Zakarian has seen just €3 million (£2.5m) worth of new talent arrive, and that only after a FIFA-imposed transfer embargo - handed down for signing Guinea striker Ismaël Bangoura without realising he still belonged to a club in the United Arab Emirates - was suspended when the club appealed the ban to a Swiss court.
Along with three Venezuelan signings, Nantes have brought in the USA midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, once of Rangers, from Helsingborgs in Sweden. It is the Armenian-born Der Zakarian's job to mould his mix of youngsters and journeymen into a side capable of matching the expectations of the fans and owner Waldemar Kita.
Ironically for an optician who made his fortune in contact lenses before buying the club in 2007, the Polish-born Kita's vision for Nantes has never been entirely clear. He has reportedly spent €80 million (£68m) in a largely unsuccessful bid to bring back the glory days but, now unprepared to accumulate further losses, he has left Der Zakarian in a difficult position.
Since that opening-day win against Bastia, Nantes have lost to Lorient, impressed for spells before losing to the champions Paris Saint-Germain and then drawn 0-0 at Reims. However, their limitations have been obvious, and their performances have been criticised by the media.
"Is this really FC Nantes who are back in Ligue 1?" asked L'Equipe after one game in which the team were seen as overly aggressive and technically poor. The fear for Nantes is that their reappearance at a level they once graced may not last too long.