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New 75% tax 'would kill French football'

July 31, 2013
By Andrew Scott

The president of the French football league (LFP) has said he believes the country's proposed 75% tax rate for millionaires would signal "the death of football in France".

Frederic Thiriez
GettyImagesFrederic Thiriez fears for the future if the new law is implemented.

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Frederic Thiriez made his comments after receiving an offer from the finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, to talk about the LFP's concerns.

Thiriez said clubs would find it impossible to cope with the increase in costs brought about by the law, proposed by Francois Hollande's Socialist government.

"Nothing has been decided yet. We are talking, which is important," he said in quotes reported by RMC. "What is certain is that, if this tax were applied in the terms presented, it would be the death of football in France - let's be clear about that.

"There would be an increase in costs of 30% in one fell swoop, and no company could withstand that. It would be even more unfair given that individual sportsmen and women in golf, tennis and Formula One, would escape it, as would artists.

"The only ones to really have to pay this tax would be football clubs. From the bottom of my heart I hope that, along with the government, we can find a solution. I think that is the minister's wish – and, in any case, it is mine."

The LFP warned that the new tax could cost French clubs €80 million but, as well as querying that figure, Moscovici stressed that it would last for only two years.

He told L'Equipe: "My minister's calculations make it around €45 million. This tax is an effort requested for a limited period, of companies that pay extremely big salaries, in virtue of the effort that everyone has to make to help the country recover."

Meanwhile, Thiriez said the reasoning behind moves to force principality club Monaco to adhere to the same tax laws as all the other clubs in the French league by 2014 were sound.

He added that he hoped the LFP and the club could find an amicable solution, but stressed: "If the tax laws don't change, Monaco would be €50 million better off every year. That is the equivalent of the budget of a club like Montpellier.

"We have given ourselves a year to implement the same rules for every club in the league. We gave Monaco a one-year delay. Let's use that year to talk."

Currently, Monaco benefit from a 19th-century agreement that means foreign players do not have to pay income tax - a rule that has helped the Ligue 2 champions splash out more than €145 million on players such as Radamel Falcao and Joao Moutinho this summer.

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