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Mar 5, 2014

Monaco: Clubs scared of new rival

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has hit out at clubs who are contesting a 50 million euro agreement with the French Football League (LFP) that will permit the team to keep its headquarters in the principality.

Seven clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, are challenging the deal. It means Monaco will avoid a 75 percent tax due to hit French companies that have employees who earn over one million euros per season.

But Vasilyev, 48, told Le Figaro that the Russian-owned club are bringing major investment to the French game.

"I'm very surprised that this case, which was concluded with a democratically elected president and approved by a large majority of the board of directors, might still be disputed," he said.

"All the procedures were respected. The debate is closed. This agreement is irrevocable.

"Who is going to want to invest in French football if every decision is contested?"

Having spent heavily following their promotion, Monaco are second in the Ligue 1 table. Vasilyev believes some clubs feel threatened by their success. 

"I think there are clubs who are opposed to this agreement on conviction," he said.

"I can understand them. There are others who perhaps can't tolerate having another rival."

The former diplomat said he was surprised that PSG objected but that he respects their opinion. 

"I'm not jealous of PSG because they bring a lot to French football.

"You need driving forces. The more there are, the better it is."

Vasilyev maintains that the deal will ultimately be hugely beneficial to the whole league.

"Monaco have taken part in the French championship for 80 years without paying anything," he said. "We've found a balance with the league. 

"I'd ask the question: is it better to have 50 million euros or zero?"

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