Since being promoted to Ligue 1 at the end of last season AS Monaco never seem to be too far from the back page of a newspaper, whether it be with the big money signings of Falcao and company or the tax regulations that are threatening the club.
Firstly, to explain, Monaco is an oddity in that the team is domiciled in the principality and tax haven of Monaco and is not a part of France. Because of this AS Monaco can take advantage of the tax haven status and players do not pay taxes on salaries they receive. Hence why you will see a number of big name stars moving there in the coming months.
However, an extensive legal battle is looming for the club that is widely renowned as one of the most successful clubs in France. Monaco themselves have launched legal proceedings against the French football authorities after rival clubs threatened to refuse the club’s entry to the country’s top division next season.
The reason all of this has come to a head is undoubtedly because of financial fair play rules that UEFA are putting in place. However, with Monaco having the advantage over its rivals due to them not paying tax on player’s wages, a number of Ligue 1 clubs have complained. So in March of this year the Ligue Professionelle de Football (LFP) voted to exclude Monaco unless the club moved its head offices to France to register with the country’s financial regulations, thus paying taxes.
Obviously Monaco was not best pleased with this ruling, so the French Football Federation stepped in to try to thrash out a deal with the club which resulted in Monaco being asked to pay an amount of 200 million euros (£168m) over seven years, for their base to remain in Monaco. The club stated that they believed the payment to be an ‘outrageous’ amount and refuse to pay that much.
With this legal battle still rumbling in, and with an outcome that is unlikely to please all parties in the coming months, I have two questions: will we get to see Monaco’s big name signings light up the French ligue? If not I can’t imagine Falcao will be happy to see his career go to waste, no matter how much money he will be earning. Secondly, will the uncertainty around Monaco put off more big names from flooding into the club, or can we expect a huge influx of players?