PARIS (AP) — France's professional football clubs will meet next week to decide the next step in their campaign against government plans for a super-tax on players' salaries, but they have no immediate plans to strike, the president of their union said Thursday.
Jean-Pierre Louvel said the Union of Professional Football Clubs is still negotiating with the government about the tax on all French salaries, in and out of sport, over 1 million euros ($1.35 million).
In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Louvel said talk of a possible football strike is "premature." "We're in a period of discussion and negotiation with the public authorities," said the union president, who is also president of second-tier club Le Havre.
The union has convened an extraordinary general meeting for next Thursday where the clubs could decide what action to take next. "When you're on the edge of a cliff and being pushed into the void, what will you do to avoid falling? That is the question," he said.
Louvel called the measure "a tax too far" and said it will cost French clubs at least 44 million euros ($60 million). He said it will directly hit about 10 to 12 clubs that have players paid more than 1 million euros. He said about 110 players in France earn more than that. Their clubs would be taxed on amounts over that threshold.
"With the exception of Paris Saint-Germain, the clubs aren't in a position to pay," Louvel said. "It will cause clubs to drown and create very grave difficulties for French football."