French Clubs To Strike Over Tax Row.

Football clubs in France’s top two divisions have called a strike at the end of next month in protest against the French government’s 75% tax rate for players, says the nation’s professional clubs’ union (UCPF).

French President Francois Hollande in his pre-election manifesto last year promised to introduce a new tax, which applies to earnings over one million euros.

Companies, rather than individuals, will be liable to pay the 75% rate for the part of employees’ annual salaries that exceed €1m.

“There will be a weekend without a game at the end of the month (of November), Jean-Pierre Louvel, the UCPF president said.

Olympique Marseille's Stade Velodrome Will Be This Empty on November 31st and December 2nd.
Olympique Marseille’s Stade Velodrome Will Be This Empty on November 31st and December 2nd.

The strike will affect Ligue 1 and 2 matches on 29 November and 2 December.

According to a study carried out by the French Football League (LFP), the new tax rate will implicate 115 players and raise an extra 44 million euros for the government.

French champions Paris St. Germain, who boast highly paid stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani, are expected to cough out a large chunk of the proposed tax.

Football clubs in France are of the opinion that the introduction of the tax could have adverse effect on French Football (like dissuading players from moving to France for pro football) and have resulted to embarking on the industrial action after the annual general meeting of the UCPF.

Hollande has agreed to meet club presidents next week, but the clubs have pushed ahead with industrial action as a signal for their disinterest in the super tax.

“We’ve been demanding this meeting for a long time,” Louvel told Le Perisien before the AGM. “But for the moment it doesn’t guarantee anything.

“Until we meet him, our schedule and our position will remain unchanged.”

The clubs began what could be a series of smaller protests on Wednesday by withdrawing from a government working group on competitiveness in French football.