Ligue 1 Clubs Set to Strike over Tax Argument
Clubs in the top two divisions of French football, Ligues 1 and 2, will strike at the end of the month in protest at the government's super-tax on high earners.
Per Reuters via Eurosport, the French clubs have agreed upon the action for the weekend of Nov. 29, on which they announced no games will be played.
Jean-Pierre Louvel, president of the Union des Clubs Professionnels de Football (UCPF), said of the decision: "There will be a weekend without a game at the end of the month (of November)."
French professional football clubs announce they will not play at the end of the month in protest against the government's super tax.— Telegraph Sport (@TelegraphSport) October 24, 2013
The action comes after president Francois Hollande announced in his budget last year that all incomes in excess of €1 million are liable for a 75 percent rate of tax—much to the dismay of the country's football clubs, per the Guardian.
With most players having negotiated their earnings as a net post-tax figure, it is a policy that could see France's top clubs soon take on a considerable extra wage burden each week.
To fund a player on a net wage of €50,000 per week, French clubs would be required to part with €200,000 in gross wages, placing them at a severe disadvantage against some of their rivals.
Thus far, though, there has been no indication that the government will consider reversing the policy.
As BBC Sport commented this summer, the tax rules are set to also have an unfair effect on domestic French football, with Monaco exempt from French tax law due to their principality status.
Attempts to force the club to relocate to French soil for tax purposes have thus far been resisted, but it is a topic that is set to cause increasing discontent as the new laws' implementation looms large.
UNFP adamant #Ligue1 strike will go ahead from Nov 30. Similar threats a few years back came to nothing. I'd be surprised if it went ahead.— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) October 24, 2013
Even across European borders it is a topic that has been somewhat overlooked in Michel Platini's Financial Fair Play rules, with Russian clubs among those who would have a major advantage over their rivals.
France's clubs have now decided that they have had enough and will protest against the law change. Whether a strike will change the country's policy on taxing high earners before its implementation is highly doubtful though.
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