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SBD Global/June 24, 2013/Finance

Monaco Resisting French Professional League's Insistence That Club Move To French Soil

Ligue 1 AS Monaco went to court this week "looking to quash a ruling from French football authorities that its privileged tax-free status must come to an end and it must start to pay income tax like any other club," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The French Professional League (LFP) is insisting "Monaco move its headquarters to French soil by June 2014, in a case that is polarising opinion in French football." Some believe millions being spent on the club by its Russian owner are injecting much-needed competition into the game. Others say that "the tax burden faced by other clubs leaves them at a competitive disadvantage." Economist and author Bastien Drut said that Monaco’s rivals "had one eye on President François Hollande’s promised 75% tax" on incomes of €1M ($1.3M) and above, which would include the wealthier football stars in Ligue 1. Drut: "It [the tax] won’t be a problem for PSG -- they really don’t care -- but it will be a very big problem for clubs such as Lyon, Marseille and St Etienne. It will create a two-speed Ligue 1." A "piqued Monaco is taking the dispute to the Conseil d’Etat, the top court for administrative justice, to get the LFP ruling annulled, though that may take months." On Thursday, the Conseil d’Etat heard Monaco’s case for the ruling’s suspension. A decision "is expected in the next few days" (FT, 6/21).
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