Club presidents have been queuing up to announce the impending death of football in France due to the government's proposed 75 per cent tax plans, but even such a drastic prospect appears unable to improve the general public's opinion of the game in the country.
There are good reasons for all of the country's 43 professional clubs to unite against president François Hollande's proposal to introduce the new tax on earnings over €1 million (£847,000), but few are prepared to offer them any sympathy as football continues to suffer from low popularity ratings in France. That is in large part due to the fall-out from the disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign in South Africa but is not helped by the likes of Patrice Evra's recent outburst in a television interview.
Last week, attempts to persuade Hollande to at least offer some concessions on the new tax - such as having it applied only to future contracts - ended in failure and the consequence is that there will be no games in Ligue 1 or Ligue 2 on the weekend of Saturday November 30.
The clubs - with the sole exception of Guingamp - are united in their desire to stand up against a tax that they see as having little benefit to the state while further deepening their own financial woes. They are not describing the action as a strike, instead insisting that they will open their doors to fans to try to convince them of their reasons.
The bare figures show why they are so displeased. They already contribute €700 million to the government every year while coping with mounting losses and decreasing television revenues. Now they are faced with having to cough up a collective sum of over €40 million in extra tax costs, although in reality only 15 clubs will be hit, with PSG having to pay around half.
These extra financial pressures come when it is already a challenge for clubs to attract leading players to France. But, more than anything, the new tax will inevitably lead to even greater inequality within the French game. PSG may have to foot much of the bill, but they can afford to. Meanwhile, Monaco, at least as it stands, are not concerned at all. The very rich get even richer as the rest fall further behind.
In 2007, French league president Frédéric Thiriez declared that a French club would win the Champions League by 2012. We are still waiting, and the success of PSG has masked the poor recent showings of Marseille, Lille and Montpellier. Ligue 1 - traditionally considered to complete the Big Five European leagues - is now behind Portugal in the UEFA rankings.
We can accept that the likes of OM and Lyon will continue to exist at the top level, but for others it might not be so easy. Below the current elite there are plenty of examples of famous old clubs who have crumbled completely under financial strain. The most recent is Le Mans, who finished in the top half in Ligue 1 in 2008 under Rudi Garcia but who fell apart following their relegation from Ligue 2 at the end of last season and have since been demoted to the sixth-tier regional league system.
Sedan, the two-time French Cup winners, endured a similar fate, while even Strasbourg, champions in 1979 and representing a prosperous, heavily-populated part of the country, have disappeared from the elite and are working their way back slowly.
These clubs have all been mismanaged, but their counterparts at the top are constantly looking over their shoulders. "Myself and many others battle to help clubs from provincial towns survive," says Jean-Pierre Caillot, the president of Reims. "People must not take us to be what we are not."
At least the clubs have received some support from the players, with the few who have spoken out on the issue siding with their employers.
"We earn a good living compared to the rest of society but over a short period. And the state already earns a lot of money thanks to footballers. This measure has been taken to win elections, to go along with public opinion," says Julien Sablé of Bastia.
But the standard reply came from one former minister from Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP government, who said: "I have no particular sympathy for professional football." Meanwhile, in a recent France Football poll, 67 per cent of participants disagreed that the strike was necessary.
The fall-out from this is set to have further consequences for the image of football in the country. That image will also undoubtedly come in for a battering if Les Bleus fail to win their World Cup qualifying play-off against Ukraine. Whatever happens next, the coming weeks could be critical for the French game.