Ligue 1 - Presidential hopeful blasts football salaries

Sun, 04 Mar 19:03:00 2012

The Socialist frontrunner for France's presidential election, whose plan to introduce a 75 percent tax rate has drawn groans from France's football association, has questioned whether the quality of the national league merited such high salaries.

FOOTBALL 2012 PSG Carlo Ancelotti - 0

Hollande, who leads President Nicolas Sarkozy in polls ahead of France's two-round election in April and May, sparked a debate over the wages of top earners this week with his proposal for the new top tax rate for those earning more than 1 million euros a year.

Sportsmen are among the best paid people in France - although their salaries are generally dwarfed by the amounts handed out to their counterparts in Britain, Italy and other European countries.

France's highest paid footballer is Lyon's Yoann Gourcuff with an annual salary of 6.8 million euros, according to L'Equipe magazine.

"Football managers should impose a bit of order: do we have a championship whose level justifies such astronomical salaries?" Hollande asked during an interview on France 3.

Frederic Thiriez, president of France's Professional Football League (LFP), said this week that the measure would trigger the departure of up to 150 players from the top division - around a quarter of the total - sowing the seeds of the "death of French football".

But Hollande singled out the recently appointed manager of Paris St Germain: Italian Carlo Ancelotti.

"I have just learned that the coach of PSG earns 6 million euros a year: do PSG - a good team which I like a lot - have such good results that their trainer should earn that much?" he asked.

Ancelotti has not lost a game since he took over at the club more than two months ago - but PSG have drawn their last two matches.

Hollande said only 3,000 people in France would be affected by the tax.

Reuters

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