PARIS: Promoted Monaco have lodged two legal complaints against the French league’s attempt to force the club to emerge from its Monte Carlo tax haven and fall into financial line with the rest of the domestic game.
Complaints lodged with the French Council of State claim that the league’s demand “violates several fundamental principles of French and European law”.
Monaco posit that the French federation’s refusal to overturn the LFP’s demands puts its future “in jeopardy”.
The latest development in the case comes after the dispute between French football authorities and Monaco escalated earlier this month when the club claimed the FFF and LFP had demanded a €200m settlement to resolve the row over the club’s privileged financial position – a claim the two bodies flatly rejected.
Monaco’s base in the Mediterranean principality allows the club to benefit from the favourable tax laws in place there, rather than the far more stringent French laws which include proposals to tax annual earnings over €1m at 75pc.
An agreement dating back to 1869 means Monaco can sign a foreign player without him having to pay income tax. Meanwhile, French players subject to French income tax regulations pay approximately 20pc less in national insurance contributions on their salaries than their contemporaries playing for other clubs.
However, the LFP in March ruled that all its clubs should be subject to the same financial regulations, giving Monaco until June 1, 2014 to fall in line. The club risk league exclusion if it fails to do so.
Monaco have revived under the ownership of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who through his Monaco Sport Invest (MSI) company, acquired a 66.67pc stake in the club in December 2011.
They won the Ligue 2 title on Friday after a 2-1 win over Le Mans.
The club said a suit of annulment has been filed with the objective of annulling March’s decision by the LFP. This will consider the substance of the case and a judgement is expected to be given in several months. A second suit – a request for suspension – aims to achieve an immediate suspension of the decision for such time as the annulment suit is being considered.
Monaco said the request will be treated as a matter of urgency and a judgement is expected before the beginning of next season.
A statement added: “The club intends to show that the decision of the LPF imposed on AS Monaco, forcing it to move its headquarters to France, violates several fundamental principles of French and European law, notably the principle of free movement, free competition, free access to sporting competitions, and also the Franco-Monégasque tax convention signed on February 18, 1963.”