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Messi more than a dream signing, says Ibrahimovic 75% tax ‘profoundly unfair’: union

DOHA, Dec 30, (AFP): Signing Lionel Messi would take French champions Paris Saint-Germain to the next level, according to their current star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Press rumours in France suggest the big-spending Qatari-backed Parisians are in the market for a record bid for the Argentine wizard. And Ibrahimovic, who failed to strike up a particularly successful partnership with Messi during his one season at Barcelona, believes signing the four-time Ballon d’Or winner would not just allow PSG to dream of bigger and better, but would make them a whole new force to be reckoned with in European competition. “If he’s up for sale then the whole world will be after him, not just PSG,” said Ibrahimovic from the French champions’ winter training camp in Doha. “I don’t know the situation but I think he’s very happy at Barcelona.

“The press creates this but only he knows the truth. “PSG’s project is to dream bigger but if you buy Messi, you don’t dream bigger, you are bigger.” Signings such as that of Ibrahimovic, Brazilians Thiago Silva and Lucas and Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani have got many people believing PSG can genuinely challenge for Champions League honours this season. Last year they reached the quarter-finals where they lost on away goals to Barca, while their best result in the competition remains their semi-final run in 1995. And although PSG are champions of France and leading the way in Ligue 1 this season too, Ibrahimovic is determined to go further.

“I’m never satisfied, I want to win. We’ve progressed well and quickly. The team has come on very quickly in the right direction,” he said. “We play very good football, we have the ball, we create chances. “There’s a high level of collective quality, our mentality is progressing. Everything’s going in the right direction and I’m delighted.” PSG will play Real Madrid in a friendly in Doha on Thursday and Ibrahimovic is taking that match very seriously. “Unfortunately it’s a friendly match but we’ll treat it like a competitive match. It would be good for confidence to win.”

Also:
PARIS:
French football clubs union UCPF has blasted the new French high-earners tax, describing it as “profoundly unfair”. France’s top court on Sunday approved plans for a new 75 percent tax on annual salaries over one million euros ($1.35 million). According to the government of President Francois Hollande, it will affect around 470 companies and about 1,000 employees. But 13 of those companies are expected to be Ligue 1 clubs and while the government expects to generate 210 million euros from the tax, 44 million euros of that will come from football clubs. “The decision of the Constitutional Council to approve the 75 percent tax is sad news for French football,” said UCPF in a statement sent to AFP on Monday. “UCPF continues to consider this tax as profoundly unfair and anti-economical.”

UCPF also called on the government to reform the law to improve “the competitiveness of French clubs”.
The law would see high earners such as Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, rumoured to be on around 14 million euros a year net, suddenly hit with up to 7 million euros of extra tax to pay. Given his contract it would probably fall on PSG to stump up the extra funds but in a league where clubs are already losing money, such commitments could force teams to sell off their top stars and highest earners to balance the books, thus weakening the league on the European stage.




  
 

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