Clubs in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 plan to go on strike for the first time since 1972 to protest the French government's plan to raise taxes on the country's highest earners to 75 percent. The strike is planned for the end of November and is designed as more of a statement of disagreement than a long-term holdout to force the government's hand.
From the AFP:
The president of the French professional clubs union (UCPF), Jean-Pierre Louvel, said: "We are involved in a historic protest and have a real determination to save football by having a weekend without games at the end of November."
Clubs in France's first and second division -- Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 -- were "confirming their firm opposition to the 75 percent tax proposal" on annual incomes over one million euros ($1.3 million) by staging a walk-out between November 29 and December 2, he added.
Under the proposals, companies rather than players would be liable to pay the high tax rate on the part of their employees' salaries that exceed one million euros.
Despite the strike, fans will not be shut out of stadiums that week, Louvel added. Instead, clubs would invite them in to explain their position. No word on whether this would be achieved through a Zlatan Ibrahimovic martial arts demonstration, though.
French clubs are worried that the high tax rate will prevent them from signing top players and competing with the rest of Europe. Ligue 1 leaders PSG, meanwhile, likely find this to be nothing more than a minor annoyance since there is no tax rate for which the club's owners (the Qatar Investment Authority) can't compensate.
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