Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - Page 18 News List

AS Monaco to fight new rules, but stay in France

AFP, PARIS

AS Monaco vice-president Jean-Louis Campora said on Tuesday that his club will do everything in their power to fight the passing of a new rule that threatens to bring an end to their financial advantages.

However, he ruled out any possibility that the Ligue 2 club might seek to play in the Italian league in future if their appeals against the new tax rules are dismissed.

Up until now, foreigners playing for the principality club have not had to pay any income tax, while French players have paid less in national insurance contributions.

However, a decision taken last month by the French soccer league (LFP) means Monaco will be subject to the same tax laws as all French clubs as of June next year.

The club itself — seven time French champions — have denounced the new rule as a witch-hunt against them by rivals frightened of their wealth.

“People want to bring us to our knees, but we will do everything in our power to fight this,” Campora told RMC radio.

“It makes things difficult for us when it comes to the transfer market,” he said. “To be able to sign players, we need to be sure of our future. If we don’t know our rights, we can’t agree costly contracts if we have to stop playing football in a year’s time.”

Monaco are currently in Ligue 2, but are on course to win promotion and appear well-placed to challenge toward the top of Ligue 1 thanks to the backing of their billionaire Russian president Dmitry Rybolovlev.

“The owner has a project for the club and for French football, but if tomorrow people don’t want Monaco any more that will all stop,” Campora threatened, although the club’s future appears to be in France come what may.

“Play in Serie A? No, no way. We must be clear on this,” he said. “Our history is linked to that of the FFF [French Football Federation], but there is no question of us going back on our word on this issue.”

“You can’t deal with these problems by holding a gun to our heads and giving us this date of June 2014,” he said.

Monaco’s case could be studied by the FFF today at a meeting of its executive committee.

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