Footballers may strike over tax

Managers of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 say they will protest against the application of 75% tax on football

Managers of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 say they will protest against the application of 75% tax on footballers’ income

FOOTBALLERS in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 may strike over the government’s 75% tax rate.

The Union of Professional Football Clubs (UCPF) wants to demonstrate its opposition to the tax, which is due to come into force for two years in 2014 and 2015.

The most likely action, according to the newspaper Journal du Dimanche, would be a boycott of the 11th day of Ligue 1 and the 12th day of Ligue 2 on October 26.

A vote will be taken on the strike on October 24.

The 75% tax, coupled with France’s wealth tax and social charges, is seen as a major reason why the country struggles to attract top footballers other than to Paris.

Footballer Eric Cantona, recently lambasted the state of the sport in the country.

In an interview with L’Equipe he said: “There are six clubs in Rio, the same in London. In other big cities like Rome, Barcelona, Milan, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Manchester, Istanbul, they have at least two but in France, we've never been able to have two viable clubs in Paris.”

"It's not only unique to Paris either. France is the only country in which there aren't two top-level clubs in the same city.

"I'm talking about the top league. We have to face up to the facts: France doesn't have a football culture, doesn't have passion for football. That's the situation today anyway. Perhaps it will change."

France’s national team received a blow ahead of their World Cup qualifying matches, when a survey found 82% of French had a bad opinion of them.

The public have still not forgiven the team for the rows and strike action that became a national embarrassment during the last World Cup in South Africa.

A poll by BVA for Le Parisien-Aujourd'hui found 52% thought the team would fail to qualify. Given words to describe the team, 84% agreed that they were selfish and 73% poorly-behaved.

The team must win through in the play-offs to qualify for the World Cup. The draw to choose their opponents takes place on October 21 ahead of home and away games on November 15 and 19.

Photo:flickr/WiLPrZ

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