Monaco furious after tax agreement challenged

13 February 2014 06:01

AS Monaco on Thursday expressed "amazement" after seven clubs in France's top two divisions decided to challenge an agreement that would allow the Principality club to continue playing in Ligue 1.

The ruling body of the French league, the LFP, announced late last month that Monaco had agreed to pay a fixed sum of 50 million euros ($68.3m, £41m) to avoid being forced into moving their headquarters across the border into France for tax reasons or face being kicked out of the competition.

However, top-flight rivals Paris Saint-Germain, Bordeaux, Lille, Lorient, Marseille and Montpellier, as well as second-tier Caen, have decided to contest that settlement in the hope that a different agreement can be found.

In response, Monaco released a statement to AFP in which they said: "Our first reaction is of amazement.

"The discussions with the LFP were carried out within the legal framework (and) a vote with a large majority (16 votes) in favour of this agreement was approved.

"We can therefore only express our stupefaction that this can be challenged just a few days later."

The LFP initially ruled last year that all professional clubs must be set up as French companies for tax purposes, a decision that was made targeting Monaco.

Monaco benefit from highly favourable tax laws in the Principality compared to those in place in France itself, meaning operating costs are significantly lower for the club owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.

They were also exempted from the French government's controversial 75 percent tax rate on earnings over 1 million euros, for which other professional clubs will be liable.

Source: AFP