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Higher UK Taxes Could Deter Top Players
Guardian, November 25th, 2008 11:30AM
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Increased tax rates for high earners, announced by the U.K. ruling Labour Party Monday, could deter soccer stars from playing in the English Premier League, writes Matt Scott. "England has traditionally been one of the most attractive football destinations," he writes, "where big incomes have been buoyed by one of Europe's softer tax regimes and the strength of the pound against the euro."

As agents tend to negotiate their clients' contracts in net figures, clubs will likely have to find extra money to lure or retain big names before the higher tax rate is introduced in 2010. Adding to the clubs' burdens is the current economic downturn, with clubs struggling to raise credit to cover existing borrowing.

"The clubs will have to pay a bit more because European players only talk in net," one agent told Scott. "And when you are earning £3-4 million (around $4.6 to 6 million) a year that is not insignificant money net." Also, the pound has plummeted in value against the Euro in the past three months, costing European players remitting their salaries back to the Euro-zone another 20 percent. Heartbreaking, isn't it?

 

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