PARIS: A French football protest against the new superstar being launched by President Francois Hollande appears to have failed.
The president of the French federation, Noel Le Graet, met Hollande on Thursday to rise the game’s concern at the proposal – to be voted into law before the end of the year – to levy a 75pc tax on salaries above €1m per year.
The clubs have called a strike for the end of the month in protest that star players will be temped either to move abroad or not come to France in the first place.
However, in a statement after the meeting, Hollande said: “The need to clean up public finances fully justifies this effort demanded of businesses that choose to pay such high annual salaries.”
The clubs’ association responded: : “Club representatives have not been heard despite several constructive proposals (such as the non-retroactivity of the tax). This tax, which was initially meant for the richest, will in our case impact companies in debt.
“In these conditions, while we are still open to dialogue, clubs remain mobilised until the end of November, when they have decided to organise a ‘blackout'”
Michel Platini, French president of the European football federation UEFA, had cautioned last week that the general public would have little sympathy with millionaire strikers.
His warning has been supported by a national opinion poll showing that 85pc of interviewees were opposed to special treatment for football clubs.
The clubs’ assocation has assessed that 14 of the 20 top division clubs will be affected by the tax, with champions Paris Saint-Germain the hardest hit. The Qatari-owned club is thought to be facing a bill of around €20m, almost as much as the rest put together.
However newly-enriched Monaco are exempt because they do not fall under French tax laws.