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Volume 10 No. 22

International Football

Ligue 2 club Monaco plans to "take legal action against a French football league edict" that it must move its headquarters to France, ending tax exemption for the club's players, according to Julien Prerot of REUTERS. In a statement on Sunday, Monaco "accused French football authorities of demanding an 'outrageous' payment" of €200M ($262.2M) to stay in the French championship without having to move. The French federation (FFF) said that "it was the principality club which brought up the subject and the figure." Monaco, which is on course for promotion back into the top flight, has attracted many leading players over the years, "helped by the fact that, under the principality's laws, foreigners do not pay tax on their wages." The French League (LFP) has ruled that Monaco must move its head office to France by the start of June next year, "meaning players would pay tax in France." The club said on Sunday, "[Monaco], after consultation with its legal counsel, has decided that it has no other choice but to bring legal action in order to obtain a judicial resolution of the dispute" (REUTERS, 5/5). GOAL's Joe Wright reported Monaco has now released a statement that FFF President Noël Le Graët, on behalf of both the FFF and LFP, "has requested an exorbitant sum of money to be paid in order for the club to avoid having to push through their relocation." Monaco's statement said, "Monaco FC would like to put on public record a meeting that took place on Friday between the president of the club, Mr. Dmitry Rybolovlev, and the president of the French Football Federation, Mr. Noël Le Graët. At this meeting, Mr. Graët, acting on behalf of both the FFF and the LFP, demanded from Monaco a huge payment of €200M in return for ending the current conflict without the club having to relocate its headquarters to France in order to remain in the French championship" (GOAL, 5/5).

MONACO COULD RIVAL PSG: INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL reported Monaco has the financial resources to rival Paris St. Germain, thanks to billionaire Owner Dmitry Rybolovlev. Rybolovlev "currently resides in Monaco and bought a 66% stake in the club in late 2011, since when he has saved the club from possible relegation to the third tier and brought in Claudio Ranieri and a host of new players" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 5/3).

Scottish First Division clubs "are considering proposing a vote of no confidence" in the Scottish Football League's board of management, according to Smith & Gordon of the SCOTSMAN. Eight First Division clubs plus Second Division champions Queen of the South "have already indicated their intention to resign from the SFL." They "would be joined by Dundee if the Dens Park club is relegated from the Scottish Premier League" and the 10 would then attempt to form a second-tier SPL. The disaffected clubs are "understood to be frustrated at the slow place of change as they seek a shake-up of league football and more equitable distribution of monies." One senior source said that "the SPL will not be extending an invitation" to Rangers to join its ranks (SCOTSMAN, 5/5).

SEEKING RESOLUTION: In Glasgow, Gordon Waddel wrote the SPL will debate the First Division rebel 10's breakaway proposal on Tuesday -- "but it looks doomed to failure." The plan to resign from the SFL and create a new Championship tier under the SPL's umbrella "is on the agenda for a meeting of the top 12." However, Ross County Chair Roy MacGregor insists that "there is still a greater desire within the top flight to see a 42-club solution governed by one body." A third idea -- simply introducing playoffs to the mix in time for next season -- "is also on the table and needs only an 8-4 majority to succeed." The rebel 10 believe their cost to the SPL "would be cash neutral, because they would bring their slice of the league settlement agreement with them" (DAILY RECORD, 5/5). In London, Gavin McCafferty wrote Hamilton Chair Les Gray Friday confirmed that they had grown frustrated with the SFL board and the rebel group hopes the SPL "will meet them to discuss a two-tier structure." Gray "would not go into details of their proposal to the SPL." Gray: "We have always said we would prefer a 42-club solution. If they are unable to do that, we can't sit on our hands and see what happens" (TELEGRAPH, 5/3).