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Dec 13, 2013

U-turn sees Monaco escape super tax

Monaco have been exempted from the French 75 percent 'super tax' rate on salaries of more than one million euros -- hours after being told that they would not be.

Dmitri Rybolovlev's deep pockets have helped Monaco into Ligue 1
Monaco owner Dmitri Rybolovlev spent over 160 million euros on players this summer

Late on Thursday, the French National Assembly voted through an amendment that the principality club, owned by Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, would have to pay the rate despite falling outside the French tax regime.

However, the government overturned that decision on Friday after ruling that the amendment could be unconstitutional. It asked the assembly to suppress it, with the suppression passed by a margin of 12 votes to eight.

"We did not want to take a judicial or constitutional risk," budget minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

The amendment passed on Thursday said the tax would be collected by the French league on behalf of the state.

French clubs had voiced protests that the 75 percent rate would add anything up to 20 million euros to their tax bills -- with league champions PSG expected to have to pay closest to that amount.

Thursday's ruling had appeared set to bring an end to long-standing political agreements between France and the principality, which meant the Ligue 1 club would be exempt from the measure.

"It's about establishing equality between French football clubs on one hand and on the other, AS Monaco, who -- though affiliated to the French federation and participating in its championships -- is not established in France," Annick Girardin, the radical MP who brought in the amendment, had explained.

The tax measure is independent to the French Football League's (LFP) demand that all clubs participating within its competitions must be based on French soil for tax purposes by the end of the current season or risk being expelled from the league, a move Monaco oppose.

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