Former Zamalek and Egypt star Ahmed ‘Mido’ Hossam has called on the government to impose a 50 percent tax on the salaries of players and coaches that exceed EGP 20 million per year.
“I wish my words reach the Minister of Sports to move as soon as possible and present a draft law to the Parliament to impose a 50 percent tax on any player, coach or media person who earns more than 20 million pounds a year, under a new tax bracket," Mido said on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
Players' earnings have come under the spotlight again after Egypt winger Ramadan Sobhi turned down an offer from his boyhood club Ahly to sign him on a permanent basis, preferring to join the big-spending Pyramids FC as they reportedly offered him an EGP 80 million ($5 million) contract over three seasons.
“People in the streets are going crazy after hearing those illogical amounts that are paid to the players," Mido added.
"In France, any coach, player or media person pays up to 75 percent in taxes to the state. And that's in France, where the gaps aren't as huge as here."
In 2013, the French government imposed a 75 percent tax on annual earnings exceeding 1 million euro.
The unpopular "super tax" adopted by former France president Francois Hollande was applied in 2013 and 2014 but was dropped as of January 2015 after causing a lot of controversy.
French clubs opposed the scheme, saying it would force their top players out, with some actors and businessmen leaving the country.
"The top teams in terms of market value and earnings in Africa are Ahly, Zamalek and Pyramids FC. There are no such numbers in other leagues like Morocco or Tunisia," Mido, a former striker of Tottenham Hotspur, Marseille and Ajax, said on a television show that he presents.
"The highest contract in the Moroccan League is worth about $250,000, which is equivalent to 5 or 6 million Egyptian pounds per season. Despite that, they still have two teams in the African Champions League semi-finals and representatives in the Confederation Cup too."
In May, Egypt’s parliament approved a draft law imposing "financial development fees" on contracts related to the buying, selling, loaning or renewing the contracts of Egyptian or foreign athletes and coaches.
The new fees start with 3 percent for contracts under EGP 1 million up to 10 percent for contracts worth EGP 10 million and more.
Egypt's powerhouses Ahly and Zamalek offer their top players contracts worth over EGP 10 million but Pyramids FC have recently set a new benchmark, luring the likes of Abdallah El-Said, Ahmed El-Shennawi, Omar Gaber and most recently Ahmed Fathi with reported deals of around EGP 20 million per season each.
* 1 USD = EGP 15,9 according to the Central Bank of Egypt on Wednesday
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