French Football Clubs Put Strike On Hold, Plan Talks For More 'Sustainable Football'
French football clubs "have postponed a strike planned for the end of this month to protest against a controversial French super tax on million-euro salaries," according to Mark John of REUTERS. Union of Professional Football Clubs President Jean-Pierre Louvel said in a statement that the clubs "wanted to discuss how the future of football would be preserved." Louvel said of talks on the sector being mediated by a senior Socialist ally of French President Francois Hollande, "We decided to put off the day of action and come back to talks on ‘sustainable football.’” Fourteen of the 20 Ligue 1 clubs "are to be affected by the tax" on '13 and '14 salaries, including Qatar-funded Paris St. Germain. Players at Monaco, backed by a Russian billionaire, "will be exempt as they do not fall under French tax laws" (REUTERS, 11/14). ESPN reported the boycott "appears likely to be called off, at least temporarily, when the union's executive committee votes on the matter on Thursday." Louvel: "I don't think we'll abandon it completely. Perhaps postpone it to give everyone the necessary time to talk it through." The pressure on Monaco to "fall into line with their Ligue 1 rivals was increased by the Senate on Wednesday." Socialist senator Francois Marc proposed an amendment to the 75% tax law so that it would affect "foreign sports clubs affiliated to a French federation and participating in French leagues" (ESPN, 11/14).