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French football clubs to strike over wealth tax


French football clubs to strike over wealth tax


Footballers in France will hope for a winning strike of a different kind next month when they protest over a controversial super tax.

They will walk out at the end of November over President Francois Hollande’s plans to tax top earners 75 per cent.

The strike, the first football walkout for more than 40 years, will affect Ligue 1 and 2 matches from November 29 to December 2.

Jean-Pierre Louvel, the president of the professional clubs’ union, told a news conference: “We are involved in a historic protest and have a real determination to save football by having a weekend without games at the end of November.”

Nearly three-quarters of Ligue 1 clubs will be affected by the tax, with Qatar-funded Paris St Germain the hardest hit while Monaco, backed by a Russian billionaire, will be exempt as they do not fall under French tax laws.

PSG, who have spent more than 200 million euros on transfers since being taken over by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, are expected to pay some 20 million euros – just under half of the total the clubs would pay annually.

The 75 percent tax rate was initially to be paid by those earning over one million euros a year.

After protests by top French executives and actors such as Gerard Depardieu, the government changed the law so that it would be payable by the companies offering such salaries.

The tax is applicable to annual revenues above one million euros although there is a five percent cap of a company’s turnover.

Hollande is to meet French clubs’ representatives next week to discuss the tax.

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