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French clubs call off strike

French clubs have postponed a strike planned for the end of this month to protest against a n protest at a soon-to-be-introduced 75 percent tax rate on high earners.

The UCPF, the union that represents France’s professional clubs, made the announcement after a meeting in Paris, meaning that games scheduled between Friday November 29 and Monday December 2 will now go ahead.

UCPF President Jean-Pierre Louvel said in a statement the clubs wanted to discuss how the future of the sport in France would be preserved.

“We decided to put off the day of action and come back to talks on ‘sustainable football’,” Louvel said of talks.

The postponement comes after talks began on Wednesday evening between UCPF representatives and Socialist MP Jean Glavany at the headquarters of the French Football Federation in Paris.

The talks, described as “very constructive”, came after the clubs walked away with nothing from a meeting last month with French President Francois Hollande, who refused to exempt them from the proposed new tax.

Glavany said that the government would “not go back on the principle” of the new tax but did raise the prospect of carrying out a study into how it could best be applied to football.

The new tax would see all earnings over one million euros taxed at 75 percent but it would be the clubs themselves who would be liable rather than their employees.

Fourteen of the 20 Ligue 1 clubs are to be affected by the tax on 2013 and 2014 salaries, including Qatar-funded Paris St Germain. Players at Monaco, backed by a Russian billionaire, will be exempt as they do not fall under French tax laws.

A recent poll by Tilder-LCI-OpinionWay showed widespread support for the tax, with 85 per cent of those questioned not wanting clubs to be exempt from the tax.

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