Clubs challenge Monaco tax break
Ligue 1 clubs including Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille are challenging rules that permit Monaco to avoid the French 75 percent “super tax” rate on salaries of more than one million euros.
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Last month, the club -- exempted due to the fact it is based in the Principality of Monaco -- agreed to pay the French Football League (LFP) 50 million euros in order to settle the matter.
However, seven Ligue 1 clubs -- PSG, Marseille, Bordeaux, Caen, Lille, Lorient and Montpellier -- are now challenging that decision.
Bordeaux confirmed the news in a statement on their official website, which read: “Following a meeting of its board of directors on Jan. 23, 2014, the LFP has decided to come to an agreement with AS Monaco FC in order to put an end to the ongoing dispute regarding the financial affairs of AS Monaco.
“Under the terms of this agreement, the LFP accepts that AS Monaco FC can continue to base its operations in the principality of Monaco, where the business benefits from a generous tax system, in return for a compensation payment of fifty million euros, to be divided between the league's other professional clubs using a system which has yet to be been determined.
“Surprised by the sudden and opaque nature in which this deal has been reached, and its apparent failure to respect various legal principles, FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Stade Malherbe de Caen, LOSC Lille, FC Lorient, l’Olympique de Marseille, Montpellier Herault Sport Club and Paris-Saint-Germain have decided to bring a class action in order to interrupt the transaction and find a solution which better corresponds to the interests of all concerned and the principles of our sport.”
French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet believes longer, more widespread consultation may have been needed before the deal with Monaco was concluded.
“I always wanted a negotiation, but a longer one,” Le Graet told L'Equipe. “Those who negotiated it believed they were doing the right thing, but I think everyone should have met before. I feel a bit as though not everyone was consulted.
“The financial situation is too advantageous for Monaco. This does not deny their quality or what they bring to the league, but it is a real difficulty. The situation has changed a lot in the last 20 years.
“It does not seem right to exclude Monaco but the deal seems a little light. We need to all get around a table to discuss it and find a solution.
“We need a large majority of clubs in Ligue 1 to accept a deal with Monaco. Today, that is not the case.”
Monaco, promoted to Ligue 1 last season, are currently second in the table, five points behind PSG, after owner Dmitri Rybolovlev invested heavily in the team during the summer, bringing in the likes of Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Eric Abidal.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report