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Apr 15, 2013

Prince Albert confident over tax appeal

Prince Albert of Monaco has told Le Parisien he is confident that the principality's football club will win their appeal against the passing of a new rule that threatens to bring an end to their financial advantages.

An agreement dating back to 1869 means Monaco, currently top of Ligue 2, can employ a foreign player without him having to pay income tax, and thereby pay significantly higher wages than their French counterparts, who are subject to harsher tax laws.

Although French players at Monaco are subject to French income tax regulations, they pay approximately 20% less in national insurance contributions on their salaries than their French-based opponents.

A decision was taken last month by the administrative council of the French league (LFP) forcing them to fall into line with all other clubs by next year, but Monaco have appealed to the French Football Federation (FFF).

"We will fight all the way against this decision," the Prince told the newspaper. "The decision is not yet definitive and we are appealing. I think we have a case to argue. I hope that everything will be sorted out eventually, but we will take our fight all the way.

"This has generated a lot of noise because there is a lot of money in football. But there is lots of money in other professional sports too. Obviously, when people think they see someone else gaining an advantage, they become jealous and get upset. But we will study everything calmly and I sincerely believe everything will be sorted out."

The executive committee of the FFF will hear Monaco's case on Thursday.

Monaco, who have been revitalised since Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev bought a majority stake in the club from the Prince in December 2011, are currently eight points clear at the top of Ligue 2 and are set to return to the top flight after a two-year absence.

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