Footballers playing in France have planned a November strike, after proposals from French President Francois Hollande.
French football has grown in profile in recent years, largely down to the investment in Paris Saint-Germain. The investment of wealthy Qatar investors has seen PSG tempt some of the world's top footballing talent to the French capital, in the form of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lucas Moura, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.
However, proposals from French President Francois Hollande's Socialist Party to raise the tax rate on those earning over €1m per annum threatens to derail the revival of French football. Hollande's Socialist Party floated the motion to raise the tax rate to an eye-watering 75% on those earning above €1m PA, in a move that has seen the Union des Clubs Professionnels de Football take strike action.
Initial proposals sought that individuals would be forced to pay the new tax rate, however, amendments have seen a move that will ensure that employers are liable to pay the 75% tax on its highest earners wages. Paris Saint-Germain will undoubtedly be the hardest hit by these proposals.
The UCPF today confirmed that the final weekend of November, both Ligue Un and Ligue Deux will take part in strike action at what they perceive to be unfair taxation of footballers.
Speaking on behalf of UCPF, Jean-Pierre Louvel, union president said: "There is already a deficit in our sector and now they impose a new tax. Football has a role in society and that will be affected as a consequence of these new measures."
The matter is due to be discussed in parliament this week, with Francois Hollande having already scheduled a series of meetings with numerous top flight French football clubs.
It is feared that the move could ultimately have a negative affect not only on the sport, but also the French economy. Fears centre around the notion that the noticeably higher tax rate will force out the sport's top earners, meaning some of the leagues' top talent heads overseas to ply their trade. In addition to this, it is believed that in-demand and valuable players from around the world will be deterred from signing for French clubs due to the 75% tax rate.
The move threatens not only the potential transfer activity of France's football clubs, but will also lead to plummeting ticket sales, merchandise sales and access to promotion at the highest level, made possible by the huge multi-national sponsorship deals with France-based players such as Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Jean-Pierre Louvel also called upon the 'silent majority' to make their voices heard, and partake in the strike action: "This unprecedented day is an opportunity for the silent majority of French football to express their opposition."
The strikes are due to take place between November 29th 2013 and December 2nd 2013, affecting matches in both Ligue Un and Ligue Deux.
image: © Jean-Marc Ayrault