AS Monaco and the French soccer league (LFP) clashed in France’s highest court for administrative issues on Thursday, with the newly promoted Ligue 1 club arguing the case for the financial privileges it enjoys for being from the principality of Monaco-Monte Carlo. In March, the LFP decided to eliminate those special privileges, which include excluding foreign players from paying income tax. The Ligue 2 champion responded by challenging the decision in court.
Monaco’s lawyers argued that the club is now being unfairly targeted by the LFP, saying that its transfer dealings have been suspended because of the decision. Tatiana Bersheda, the lawyer of Monaco owner Dmitri Rybolovlev revealed that the $170 million outlay on Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez was actually finalized prior to the March 21 decision, and that the club’s transfer have “frozen” since.
She added: “If those players are with us now, it's independent of our will. We were obliged to take them. It's the selling clubs who forced us to take them by activating the option which existed. If we hadn't done it, they would have applied heavy penalties." This may be one reason why, for instance, the $5 million transfer of Valenciennes defender Nicolas Isimat-Mirin has stalled.
The court will make an initial ruling in the coming days with a definitive judgment being handed down next fall.