AS Monaco will take legal action after the French Football Federation ordered them to pay 200 million euros to enter Ligue 1 in 2013-14.
The principality club, who sit top of Ligue 2 and are primed for promotion to the top flight, are exempt from French tax rules and have already signed a number of players from Ligue 1 sides this year as a result.
A number of other professional clubs in the country believe Claudio Ranieri’s men, who are financed by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, possess an unfair advantage because of their tax-exempt status.
The FFF have therefore told the club they must pay the hefty sum or relocate elsewhere to be allowed into the top flight next season should they achieve promotion.
Monaco have been left stunned by that declaration and were quick to submit an angry retort.
A statement on the club’s official website read: “The position of the club is very clear: ASM FC considers that such a demand is not only outrageous, but also totally unacceptable.
“ASM FC, after consultation with its legal counsel, has decided that it has no other choice but to bring a legal action in order to obtain a judicial resolution of the dispute.
“As part of this legal action, ASM FC will be seeking the annulment of the LFP’s decision of March 21 requiring the Club to establish its headquarters in France, as well as a claim for damages from the LFP as compensation for financial and commercial losses suffered as a result of that decision.”
Monaco are a historically-famous club in French football, having won seven Ligue 1 titles and reached the UEFA Champions League final as recently as 2004. The club’s hierarchy have been keen to stress that fact and feel their contributions have not been fully appreciated.
“ASM FC has been affiliated to the FFF since 1919, and has, over a long period of time, invested significant sums into French football,” the statement continued.
“The Club has contributed many players to the French national team, and proudly represented French football in European competitions. It therefore does not understand the lack of recognition of this contribution from the French football authorities.”
Monaco lead Ligue 2 by five points with three games remaining.