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France's supertax 'to drain country of footballers'

Wednesday, 03 April 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: SAIT Technical
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By Henry Samuel (Irish Independent)

Executive summary

The proposed super tax of 75% will result in France losing its best footballers. The supertax has already sent several Gallic public figures, including Gerard Depardieu, the actor, running for fiscal cover.

Full article

France will lose its best footballers due to President Francois Hollande's "crazy" 75pc tax on millionaire earners, the country's football league warned yesterday after a failed attempt by leading players to avoid the levy.

The supertax, a key electoral promise, has already sent several Gallic public figures, including Gerard Depardieu, the actor, running for fiscal cover.

The levy, which looked like it was going to be shelved, was revived last week by the Socialist president, who stipulated that companies, not individuals, will now foot the bill. But his TV announcement left hanging the question of whether self-employed artists and athletes would be taxed, or whether a football team was regarded as a company.


The head of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, told 'Le Parisien' newspaper yesterday that he had received assurances that the tax would not apply to football clubs.

"The prime minister, to whom I have already asked the question, was clear: only large companies will be taxed. And professional clubs are considered as small and medium-sized businesses, so they will not be affected," he said. But hours later the government contradicted his claims.

"The new system will apply to all businesses that pay salaries of more than €1m," said the office of Jean-Marc Ayrault, the prime minister, which includes football clubs. The government added that it had not spoken to Mr Le Graet "since December".

Fleur Pellerin, the minister for small industries, said: "Football clubs are a bit above the revenue that one would use to define a small business." But she added that "non-salaried artists and non-salaried athletes won't be affected".

The confirmation infuriated France's professional football league, whose head Frederic Thiriez warned: "This new tax will cost first division teams €182m. With these crazy labour costs, France will lose its best players, our clubs will see their competitiveness in Europe decline, and the government will lose its best taxpayers."

Hardest hit by the tax will be Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), France's wealthiest club, at least 12 of whose players earn more than €1m a year.

They include Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish striker, on €15m a year, and Carlo Ancelotti, the Italian coach, on €12m. David Beckham, the former England captain, would escape the supertax because his five-month stint at PSG ensures he does not qualify as a French tax resident



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