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SBD Global/October 21, 2013/International Football

France Sports Minister Criticizes Strike Talk Of Ligue 1, Ligue 2 Clubs Against 'Super Tax'

France’s Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron "has warned Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs against strike action over the government’s controversial ‘super tax’ proposal," stating the French public would not support such measures, according to SOCCEREX. The government of President Francois Hollande "has long sought to introduce a 75% upper income tax rate" that will apply to anyone earning in excess of €1M ($1.37M) per year. The new tax is seen as a means to aid the ailing French economy, but the French Football League (LFP) and clubs "have repeatedly expressed their concern that its effect on a host of Ligue 1’s top stars could lead to a talent drain from France’s top flight." A report said that Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs "are considering boycotting all games" next weekend. The proposal has come after a meeting of the Union of Professional Football Clubs (UCPF), which will now meet to discuss different scenarios on Thursday. UCPF VP and Saint-Etienne President Bernard Caiazzo said, "For many clubs, it is a question of survival. It’s an alarming situation. It is extremely tense." However, Fourneyron "has given short shrift to talk of strike action." She said, "I would be sorry that we have reached this point. At a time when all French people take part in the effort of recovery of the country, in the fight against unemployment and for the competitiveness of our companies, they would not understand that the world of professional football, which is seen as privileged, would not take part in this collective effort" (SOCCEREX, 10/18).
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