French soccer clubs are set to strike after President Francois Hollande held his ground in the face of growing anger from team owners, declaring they would have to pay the 75 percent tax.
The socialist president stood strong in a meeting with the head of the French Football Federation and representatives of the country’s top clubs, saying that the levy on salaries over 1 million euros ($1.4 million) will apply to clubs.
“The need to redress the public finances fully justifies the effort asked of companies who choose to pay annual salaries to such a level,” a statement from the Elysée Palace said.
Jean-Pierre Louvel, president of UCPF, the union of professional football clubs, confirmed the strike would go ahead at the end of November, which would be the first footballer strike since 1972.
But this is likely to be seen as a victory for Hollande who has been forced into a series of tax U-turns this month. On Monday the government suspended the introduction of a new “ecotax” on large vehicles.