Ligue 1: Evian coach Pascal Dupraz opposed to proposed strike
Evian coach Pascal Dupraz has voiced his opposition to the proposed strike against a new super-tax on footballers' pay.
Last Updated: 31/10/13 1:56pm
French president Francois Hollande, who on Thursday was set to meet a delegation of club presidents, has pledged to stick to his plan to impose a 75 per cent tax on all incomes exceeding 1million euros (£850,000) per year.
Employers will be responsible for paying the tax, and clubs have argued in favour of an exemption for football without success - and without much public support.
Last week the president of the Union of Professional Football Clubs (UCPF), Jean-Pierre Louvel, threatened to boycott the round of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 games scheduled for November 29 through to December.
But Dupraz, whose Evian side have competed in Ligue 1 since 2010, says he does not understand the "anger" that has inspired the strike and is worried his club will ultimately be forced to field youth-team players to fulfill the fixtures.
Quoted in L'Equipe, the 51-year-old told radio station RTL: "I think that if our corporation goes on strike, we'll have to go into hiding, I mean really go into hiding.
"I'm not totally for (the strike) personally, what worries me of course is that there is this tax, however all French people suffer from having to pay taxes.
"I just don't understand the anger from the club presidents, I just don't get it at all.
"If we surround ourselves in ridicule by going on strike we will find every trick in the book so that our players do not go on strike during that period.
"We have 29 professionals, we'll have to bring in kids to play in the stadiums on Saturdays and Sundays."
Hollande last week told reporters at a European Union summit that "the law must be the same for all" once the plan to implement the new tax rate is approved.
The law would mainly affect the clubs rather than the players as it is geared toward making employers bear the tax burden.
Once the plan is voted into law, Hollande said "it will be the same for all companies, whatever they may be".
The last time games were boycotted in the French league was in 1972, but that was at the initiative of the players.
The tax was a campaign promise from Hollande, who pledged to rein in what he said was excessive executive pay out of line with the struggling economy.
The tax is only supposed to be in place for two years, starting retroactively this year, and the government expects it to net 420million euros (£360 million). It would cost clubs 44million euros (£37 million) over that period.
"Each must know the rule, and the rule is the same for all," said Hollande, whose government is suffering from low approval ratings.