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Top French football clubs may strike over 75% tax

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-21

France’s top football clubs, who employ some of the country’s wealthiest professionals, have said they may go on strike this weekend in protest at plans to tax earnings over a million euros at 75 percent.

French football clubs are ready to go on strike this coming weekend in protest at government plans to impose a 75 percent tax on earnings over one million euros, according to one media report.

The executive committee of France’s Union of Professional Football Clubs (UCPF) decided last week to express a united voice of opposition to the new tax.

They fear that the levy, due be applied in 2014 and 2015 and being debated in the National Assembly this week, will force the best players away from French clubs to the detriment of French football as a whole.

And according to weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche (JDD), the clubs have indicated that if there isn’t a u-turn this week, clubs in both the top Ligue 1 and second-tier Ligue 2 will boycott Saturday and Sunday’s fixtures.

“We have studied a number of different scenarios and we have made our stance abundantly clear,” Jean-Pierre Louvel, president of Le Havre football club and head of the UCPF, told the JDD, adding that strike action was definitely on the cards.

“What we actually do depends entirely on the attitude of the government this week and how the individual clubs react. We will convene an extraordinary general assembly meeting on Thursday to decide how to proceed.”

According to a study by daily newspaper Le Parisien, Ligue 1 football clubs would contribute some 44 million euros in raised taxes on 115 players and eight managers from 14 clubs. Players from Paris Saint-Germain alone would pay an extra 20 million euros.

“But it isn’t just Ligue 1 clubs that are affected by this,” Louvel added. “It threatens the whole of French football, an industry that is losing money and is in debt to the tune of 80 million euros.

“Ligue 1 will not be able to recruit the best players, the TV rights will go up and Ligue 2 will, of course, suffer the consequences.”

Saint-Etienne club President Bernard Caïazzo added: “For many clubs this is a question of survival. It is an alarming situation and the clubs are together on this. Will we go on strike? Everything is possible. The tension is very high indeed.”

Date created : 2013-10-21


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