French football cries foul on 75% supertax

France's new 75% supertax could hit its football prospects. French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët claims he was reassured that President François Hollande's new tax - which applies on earnings more than €1m - would not apply to football players.

Not anymore. Will the ruling seriously inflict France's football prospects?%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%


"This new tax will cost first division teams €182  million (£154  million)," the head of France's professional football league, Frédéric Thiriez, is quoted in the Telegraph. "With these crazy labour costs, France will lose its best players, our clubs will see their competitiveness in Europe decline, and the government will lose its best taxpayers."

It's thought French team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), France's wealthiest club, will feel the most heat; it contains at least 10 players on more than an estimated €1m a year. However David Beckham's tax arrangements during his five month sojourn with PSG will not be affected.

Good living

"I don't think it's good for French football, it's not good for French clubs and it's not good for the place of (France's) Ligue 1 in the world," Nasser al-Khelaifi, PSG's chairman, told French radio station France Info in an interview.

French football players that earn around the €1m threshold still earn a very good living. Hollande introduced the move to raise revenues in an attempt to lower France's public deficit - the European ceiling is 3% - though currently he's likely to miss this target.

What Hollande has also done is trigger a debate about how much very well-off people will pay towards the common taxation pot; clearly he's going in a different direction to that of the Coalition, which recently lowered the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p for those earning more than £150,000 a year, dragging many more professionals on far more modest salaries into the 40% tax band.

Moral salute

"I want to salute the values of those who no doubt have lots but agree to pay their taxes in France," said Holland recently, "to produce in France, to create jobs in France, to serve their country."

High earner author JK Rowling agrees. The writer told the Times last year she wanted her children to have proper roots "in a culture as old and magnificent as Britain's; to be citizens, with everything that implies, of a real country, not free-floating ex-pats, living in the limbo of some tax haven and associating only with the children of similarly greedy tax exiles."

Top 10 highest paid footballers
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French football cries foul on 75% supertax

Little surprise that football's wonder-kid is in at number one, with a whopping £27.5 million of earnings over the last year. As well as some truly astounding performances for Barcelona, Messi has a signature clothing range with Adidas and is set to become the new cover star for EA sports games.

The Portuguese captain is not only the most expensive player in the world, he's also got more followers of Twitter than any other sportsman. Combine that with an huge ongoing deal with Nike and he's raking in £24.3 million.

The Cameroon international made his name in La Liga, playing for Barcelona, but sees his earnings shoot up in a multi-million pound deal with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala which brings his pay to £19.4 million.

Recently retired Beckham is the highest earner in British sport, according to the Sunday Times Sport Rich List. 'Brand Beckham' that has seen the 38-year-old amass a fortune of £165 million from endorsement deals and salary payments from his company, Footwork Productions, over the last decade. But Beckham is still some way off the richest sportsman in the world - golfer Tiger Woods, who is worth a staggering £570m.

Despite a year of scandal for Manchester United's star striker, he's in the top five highest earners for the first time in his career - and his pay? A healthy £17.2 million.

The Argentinian is one of the real high-rollers at Manchester City, and has made his performances match his impressive salary. Combine that with a Puma sponsorship and he's on £15.7 million.

Aguero's team mate is another top performer at City, and he also has deal with Puma. One of football's good guys, Toure donates all his Puma boot sponsorship money to charity - which still leaves him with £14.7 million.

The baby-faced Spaniard might have had a tough time of things since his move to Chelsea, but the tidy sum they pay him means he's in the top ten for the first time - with £13.9 million of earnings from wages and sponsorship from Nike and Pepsi.

With a very tidy pay cheque from Real Madrid and sponsorship deals with EA sports and Adidas, Kaka is on a very comfortable £12.9 million.

The new German captain and a star at Bayern Munich, his recent success has propelled him into the top ten for the first time, with a very tidy £11.9 million.


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