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French socialists slam Zlatan's 'indecent' wages

AFP/The Local · 19 Jul 2012, 14:55

Published: 19 Jul 2012 14:55 GMT+02:00

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He has been hired on a reported annual net salary of about €14 million ($17 million) -- the most ever paid to a player in France.

But with France struggling to avoid recession and unemployment on the rise, Socialist politicians have reacted angrily to the figure, denouncing it as a sign of rampant excess.

Even one former sports minister from the right-wing UMP party has denounced the salary.

France's new Socialist government is insisting that Ibrahimovic will have no choice but to pay the 75-percent tax rate it intends to impose on annual salaries in excess of one million euros from next year.

"These numbers are not impressive, they are indecent," Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac told Europe 1 radio Thursday when asked about Ibrahimovic's salary.

"They are indecent at a time when everyone in the entire world is making efforts and knows the terrible consequences of a crisis," he said.

Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron attacked the salary as "astronomical and unreasonable" while government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said the sum "shocked a lot of people".

Vallaud-Belkacem said there was no way Ibrahimovic would "escape" from paying the 75-percent tax rate. Some ministers even rejoiced that his salary would bring so much revenue to state coffers.

"I am delighted that he will be paying taxes in France," said Benoit Hamon, a junior economy minister. "This is a demonstration that this tax was not an argument to prevent great players from coming to play in France."

Former sports minister Roselyne Bachelot of the right-wing UMP also expressed her "indignation, almost disgust" with the vast sums involved when asked about Ibrahimovic's transfer.

Even President Francois Hollande joined the fray.

Although he didn't criticize Ibrahimovic's salary itself, he pointed to the relatively modest salaries at French league champions Montpellier as an example.

"There are teams that manage to win... without necessarily having very significant salaries," Hollande said during a visit to France's national sport institute.

PSG President Nasser al-Khelaifi told reporters Wednesday that the club's owners, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), would follow French law when it came to paying Ibrahimovic's taxes.

"As we have already said, we respect French laws. We do it today and we will do it tomorrow. Ibrahimovic's signing is very positive for PSG but also for French football," he said.

Story continues below…

Tax experts said that to guarantee Ibrahimovic a €14-million net salary the club will have to set aside enormous amounts.

"If you want the part taxed at 75 percent a year paid entirely to the player, the club will have to pay four times that much," said French tax lawyer Frederic Naim.

Experts said Ibrahimovic would be required to take French residency and pay French taxes, though he might benefit from a deduction for temporary residency allowing him to cut his taxable income in half.

Hollande defeated right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in a presidential vote in May with vows to tackle France's economic problems by boosting taxes on the wealthy and spending to promote growth.

The 75-percent tax rate has been derided by the right, who say it will lead to an exodus of top earners from France while doing little to address the country's fiscal problems.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:20 July 19, 2012 by rsmehdihasan
why everyone is paying so much money for him and wasting so much money...same thing did by Barcelona...not worthy ...
15:57 July 19, 2012 by matona1
go to china ibra ibra
16:30 July 19, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Monaco, M-o-n-a-c-o, Monaco. Borg did it, as did many other athletes and artists.
16:36 July 19, 2012 by millionmileman
Only idiot, die-hard Socilists could complain about Zlatan's high wages. Their liberal education in arithmatic has made them mind-numb to the fact that he only keeps a 25% stipent from the French Government. The other 75% feeds the protesting pigs at the trough!
17:04 July 19, 2012 by Engelkott
What a lot of people don't know is the wages footballers are quoted to be paid is after tax! So, for example, Ibra is on £100,000 a week it will be in his pocket and any tax increase would be picked up by the club not him.

This was made well known because when Arshavin (sp) went to Arsenal his agent incorrectly negotiated his wages so in his contract it the figure was before tax and he was actually on less money than before he joined Arsenal. He tried to renegotiate the contract after a year but Arsenal refused.
17:21 July 19, 2012 by GLO
Fools rush in, the French govt will end up in the crapper. HaHa.....
19:46 July 19, 2012 by Swedishmyth
Ah yes, a high salary mutually agreed to among private parties is "indecent", but having those who never earned it forcibly taking 75% of it is not.

How's that for a switcheroo?
20:43 July 19, 2012 by tadchem
It is interesting that socialists seem to resent everybody who earns more money than 'average' (i.e. "the Rich"), in spite of the fact that under progressive income tax plans they pay a higher percentage and a much larger gross amount of the taxes that that same 'average' person.
22:24 July 19, 2012 by Rishonim
So typical of the French dwarf to feel resentment and complain about his salary. In France if you have money drive anything a notch above a Twingo you are a bad person and they hate you for that. Swedish born Slatan, move to Monaco or CH and enjoy your dough.
22:49 July 19, 2012 by Smokebox
Ha. I guess he didn't read the fine print????
02:17 July 20, 2012 by Eric1
Welcome to the People's Republic of France, comrades.
10:06 July 20, 2012 by inthenovel
Anyone who is successful and has some upward mobility will not stay in France under this new French government. . I know some friends who are leaving for Canada because they do not want 75% of their income to go to the government. Soccer players and other sports people who are in demand will always pull in the big salaries. It is only the minions who complain! The minions who are jealous.
17:06 July 20, 2012 by james_g
Yes, as our dearly beloved UK Prime Minister David Camoron (oops! Freudian slip in the spelling there...) says, "We're all in this (austerity thing) together." Just some more than others. I can't believe some of these comments here. Of course it's obscene! Nothing to do with jealousy - simple common sense!
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