Thiriez slams approval of French football tax

The head of the French Professional Football League (LFP) has criticised the approval of government plans for a 75 per cent tax on high earners.

Despite vehement protests from France's professional football clubs, the Constitutional Council voted to give the green light to president Francois Hollande's proposals, which will see employers taxed on all salaries in excess of €1million.

The tax will affect salaries paid out in 2013 and 2014, and it is estimated it will generate €210m for the government.

Approximately €44m of that sum is expected to come from football clubs, although Monaco are exempt from tax, while Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain's Qatari owners are likely to have little difficulty covering the additional costs.

Still, LFP president Frederic Thiriez believes the measure will have grave consequences for a number of clubs across the country.

"The Constitutional Council's decision is profoundly regrettable," Thiriez said in a statement.

"Everyone recognises that the 75 per cent tax is absurd in economic terms, ineffective financially and socially unfair.

"The consequences will be very heavy for our clubs in the years to come.

"French football will effectively be paying the price of a policy that is, first and foremost, demagogic."

The Union of Professional Football Clubs, which fears the measure will prompt an exodus of France's top players, called off a strike scheduled for late November in protest of the tax, but the prospect of a lock-out has been mooted for later in the season.