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Mar 29, 2013

Monaco fight tax law revision

Monaco have asked the French Football Federation to revoke a decision which would see the principality club lose its privileged position within French football.

As the result of a 19th-century agreement between Monaco and France, foreign footballers playing at the Stade Louis II are exempt from France's exacting tax laws, meaning Monaco can afford to pay much higher wages than many of their Ligue 2 and even Ligue 1 rivals. While another deal means Monaco's French players are subject to their country's income tax laws, the national insurance contributions paid by the club for both them and their foreign team-mates are significantly reduced.

The French Football League's (LFP) Administrative Council ruled earlier this month all clubs would have to establish their headquarters on French soil by June 2014 or risk exclusion from the French league. Such a move would close the loophole Monaco have enjoyed the benefit of up till now.

"We've sent all the necessary documents," Jean-Louis Campora, Monaco vice-president, told L'Equipe. "According to the federation's regulations, we need six members of the executive committee to say they agree to look at our request. I have no doubt we'll get them. We're determined to stand up for our rights.

"It's difficult for the league to say this measure is not directed against us. In the space of two hours, certain people have tried to sweep away the 94 years during which AS Monaco has been affiliated to the French Football Federation and the 80 years during which it's been involved in the French game."

Campora added the situation had caused "concern at our club", a feeling of uncertainty which may well have been reinforced by speculation concerning the future of coach Claudio Ranieri.

The Italian, 61, has eased his team into a four-point lead at the top of Ligue 2 as they seek a return to the top flight, but media reports in his native country claim compatriot Roberto Mancini, 48, will leave Manchester City to take over at Monaco, who are bankrolled by Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, in the summer.

"It's always that way in football. In Italy, it's also always the same thing," Ranieri told the press. "But there's nothing in it. I have two years left on my contract. Whatever happens, Monaco is improving. And improving with me. That's the most important thing."

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