Football club AS Monaco, who play in France’s top echelon (Ligue 1), has agreed to pay the league’s authorities (LFP) a one-off payment of €50 million to settle a tax dispute. In a sport where success is dictated by spending power as much as goal scoring, clubs based in mainland France, who threatened strike action over the proposed 75 per cent tax rate last year, fear an unlevel playing field if Monaco remains exempt from French tax law.
‘Monaco have found an agreement with the LFP which guarantees the club their participation in the championship while keeping their headquarters in the principality,’ the Ligue 1 team said in a statement, reported by Reuters, that explained Monaco will pay the league a ‘voluntary, single lump sum of €50 million’.
AC Monaco, who play just yards from the French border, threatened legal action in May last year against a league edict demanding they trade out of France.
Tax is a sensitive issue for players, clubs and owners in the LFP, as star players follow competitive wages. Unsurprisingly Monaco’s Russian billionaire owner, Dmitry Rybolovlev, has spent lavishly, last year signing Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez and star Colombian striker Radamel Falcao for a total of around £110 million.
Monaco are currently second in Ligue 1 behind Paris San Germain, who were bought by Qatari Sports Investments in 2011. Last year the Daily Mail reported PSG pays top goal scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic £47.5 million before tax, of which he takes home £11.2 million. To earn the same salary in England, Ibrahimovic would be paid £24.9 million before tax. In Monaco, it would be just the £11.2 million.