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Tax Rise 'to Hike Footballer Pay'

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English Premier League clubs may face higher wage demands from European players due to sterling's weakness and the new 50% tax rate, a report said.

Offers to transfer targets and existing players may need to be raised to match the take-home wages offered by European rivals, consultants Deloitte added.

Deloitte said giving a European player a net annual salary of 3m euros (£2.6m) would cost an English club 6.8m euros.

But a Spanish club needs only pay 4m euros to deliver the same net salary.

The UK figure is also higher than clubs in France (6.7m euros), Italy (5.7m euros) and Germany (5.4m euros) would have to pay, according to the Deloitte calculations.

"The summer transfer window opened over a month ago, but Premier League clubs are yet to make significant acquisitions from overseas," said Pete Hackleton, senior manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

"The reduced value of sterling against the euro and the proposed increase in the top rate of income tax are contributing factors to this."

Revenues advantage

The pound is currently worth about 1.15 euros compared with 1.50 euros, two years ago.

And from April 2010, the tax band for top earners in the UK will increase from 40% to 50%. This will impact the vast majority - if not all - top-flight players.

If it helps bring on English players rather than the quick fix of buying foreign players then good.

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