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French Soccer Goes Galt

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four goals, including a rocket volley that clocked in at 93mph, yesterday as his team, Paris St. Germain, triumphed over Anderlecht and put one foot in the next round of the Champion’s League. But “the Zlatan,” as he is sometimes called, and his team have a serious problem: François Hollande.

“Clubs in France’s top two divisions have called a strike at the end of next month in protest against the government’s plan to introduce a 75 percent tax rate for players,” ESPN reports. Nearly half of the projected revenue from the tax would come from PSG’s players. Hollande’s critics say the tax will do irreparable damage to French soccer by preventing some teams from attracting top players.

France’s soccer clubs are the latest source of opposition to Hollande and his taxes. The renowned actor Gerard Depardieu already left the country (for Russia) and renounced his French citizenship in protest. “More than 70 per cent of the French feel taxes are ‘excessive’, and 80 per cent believe the president’s economic policy is ‘misguided’ and ‘inefficient’,” reports Britain’s Telegraph. “The government thinks France’s entrepreneurs are pigeons,” the founders of an anti-tax group wrote on Facebook, using the French slang word for “suckers.” “Anti-economic policies are crushing the entrepreneurial spirit and exposing France to a big risk.”

The French could be in for perhaps the most disturbing event in Hollande’s tenure yet: a weekend without soccer. That’s what’s in store if the top two leagues follow through on the plan to strike next month. No Depardieu, no soccer… What’s next, a bakers’ strike?

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  • crocodilechuck

    Football, Walt.


    Not soccer.

    • Andrew Allison

      Did you fail to note that the subject was the European version of men kicking balls about. The name of that game is soccer. I understand that there’s a bastardized version called “footy” played in the Antipodes [grin]

  • Fat_Man

    The week with out soccer will end in a 0-0 tie. The fans will discover that they can get drunk and have fist fights without the teams. It will be like the government shutdown.

  • Clayton Holbrook

    I’ve also head of this on the domestic front. Why play in Cali with their state income tax when one can play in Houston?

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