BRUSSELS (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande said on Friday French football clubs would not be exempt from paying a super tax on high salaries, reacting to their decision to strike next month to protest the levy.
Football clubs are staging their first strike since 1972 in protest over the tax, which employers must pay on salaries exceeding 1 million euros. Top clubs complain it will add up to 20 million euros to their tax bill.
Hollande said he had accepted a request to meet the head of France's football federation, Noel le Grat, over the 75-percent supertax, but saw no need to create an exception.
"When the tax law is voted, the law will be the same for all companies regardless of what they are," Hollande told a news conference in Brussels. The bill is due in coming weeks to be passed by parliament.
"This does not stop us from having a dialogue on the difficulties facing professional clubs, but everyone needs to be aware of the rules."
Fourteen of the 20 Ligue 1 clubs will be affected by the tax, with Qatar-funded Paris St Germain the hardest hit while Monaco, backed by a Russian billionaire, will be exempt as they do not fall under French tax laws.
PSG, who have spent more than 200 million euros on transfers since being taken over by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, is expected to pay some 20 million euros - just under half of the total the clubs would pay annually.
Due to the strike, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 football matches will be cancelled for the last weekend of November.
(Reporting By Julien Ponthus; Writing by Nick Vinocur; editing by Mark John)