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SBD Global/July 20, 2012/International Football

The Impact Of The Possible New Tax Law On Ibrahimovic's PSG Salary

Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, of Sweden, plays with a ball in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Wednesday.
Ligue 1 Paris St. Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's €14M ($17.1M) salary net of taxes could bring France between €32M ($19.2M) and $56M ($68.6M), depending on whether President François Hollande's tax law goes into effect, according to Guillaume Errard of LE FIGARO. Using the €14M ($17M) salary figure and taking into account the 75% tax law that Hollande wants to put in place, Ibrahimovic's arrival in the country's capital would "bring back" €56M ($69M) to the state: €40M ($49M) in taxes and €16M ($19.6M) in social charges. If the 75% tax does not go into effect, the striker would "bring back an estimated" €19M ($23.3M) to the state -- €11.4M ($14M) in taxes and €7.5M ($9.2M) in social charges. Altexis fiscal lawyer Marylene Bonny-Grandil explains that in his contract, the player asked for a salary "net-net," meaning net of taxes and social charges. Bonny-Grandil: "The particularity in this contract is that the salaried pushed for a net-net salary. Therefore, he must have required that in case of fiscal changes, the employer [PSG] would take care of the changes" (LE FIGARO, 7/18). In Portugal, O JOGO reported that since '01, Ibrahimovic has represented seven clubs and "never has a player moved so much money with transfer fees." When adding up the sum of each transfer fee, the total comes to €142M ($173.9M) (O JOGO, 7/19). In Barcelona, MUNDO DEPORTIVO reported that the player's salary represents a "figure that is well above the total budget that France has invested" for the London Olympic Games. That number is €11.3M ($13.8M), with premiums included (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 7/18). In Paris, LE FIGARO noted that Ibrahimovic's salary is "90 times more" than French President Francois Hollande (LE FIGARO, 7/18).

REACTIONS: LE FIGARO reported President Hollande did not believe it was "necessary to have such large remunerations to win in professional sports." He also warned athletes who try to evade taxes. Hollande: "They are fiscal procedures to find them." Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron said Ibrahimovic's salary at PSG was "astronomical and unreasonable" (LE FIGARO, 7/18). EUROSPORT.fr reported that Professional French Football League President Frédéric Thiriez "did not understand the reaction of the elites." Thiriez said of the transfer: "Super good news for everybody. For Paris obviously. But also for French football in general and the Ligue 1 particularly, which will see itself pulled to new heights in terms of audience, influence and image" (EUROSPORT.fr, 7/19).
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