14th November, 2013
Clubs in the top two divisions of French football announced on Thursday that they have postponed a strike planned for the end of this month in protest at a soon-to-be-introduced 75 percent tax rate on high earners.
The UCPF, the union that represents France’s professional clubs, made the announcement after a meeting in Paris, meaning that games scheduled between Friday November 29 and Monday December 2 will now go ahead.
However, UCPF president Jean-Pierre Louvel added that the idea of a strike was “not cancelled” and action could still be taken if “negotiations on the 75 percent tax fail”.
The postponement is not a surprise, coming as it does after talks began on Wednesday evening between UCPF representatives and Socialist MP Jean Glavany at the headquarters of the French Football Federation in Paris.
The talks, described as “very constructive”, came after the clubs walked away empty-handed from a meeting last month with French President Francois Hollande, who refused to exempt them from the proposed new tax.
Glavany said on Wednesday evening that the government would “not go back on the principle” of the new tax but did raise the prospect of carrying out a study into how it could best be applied to football.
The new tax would see all earnings over one million euros ($1.34m, #837,000) taxed at 75 percent but it would be the clubs themselves who would be liable rather than their employees.
The clubs, who were unhappy that the tax would be applied to existing contracts rather than only to future ones, have said that the new levy would cost them a collective sum of more than 40 million euros.
The last football-related strike in France took place in 1972.