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Taxing problem for financial fair play


Gabriele Marcoti makes an interesting point in an article in The Times yesterday about how different tax regimes across Europe undermine the fairness of Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) ruiles.

His thoughts on the subject were stimulated by France's 75 per cent tax on higher earners, struck down by the Constitutional Court but likely to come back once the law has been re-written to deal with the court's objections.

At Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) Zlatan Ibrahimovic currently makes just over £400,000 a week before tax. With the 75 per cent tax rate in effect, his pay would have to increase to £825,000 for his take home pay to remain unchanged,   PSG would need to increase their wage bill by 50 per cent.   It would become very difficult for French clubs to comply with FFP.

Marcotti illustrates the differences across countries in the following terms.   If a player decides he wants £15m a season after tax, it would cost Monaco just £15m as foreigners pay no income tax in the principality.   At Anzi Makhachkala, where foreigners play a flat rate 13 per cent, £17.25m.   At Manchester United £30m.   And at PSG under the new tax regime no less than £60m.

Uefa could, of course, adjust FFP parameters to take account of take home pay, but they have enough trouble with the complexities of the scheme already.