Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola has been trying to defend his clients huge money move to Qatari-backed Paris Saint-Germain as the deal continues to draw criticism throughout France.
New France president Francois Hollande was critical of Ibra’s transfer last week saying:
“There are teams who manage to win, even in professional sport… without necessarily having very large wages.”
According to the Guardian, Ibrahimovic is reportedly set to earn over €250,000-a-week after tax in a country that already imposes a 75% tax rate for individuals with an annual salary of more than €1 million. Read that again. Ibrahimovic gets €250,000-a-week after tax. So his pre-tax wages are €1 million-a-week. That has to make Ibrahimovic the highest paid athlete (gross wages) in the world.
Ibrahimovic’s wage package has enraged politicians throughout France with sports minister Valérie Fourneyron saying the financial package as being “a reflection of everything that is deplorable about football”.
But Raiola issued a firm response, stating that as PSG are a private institution, the government should not criticise or seek to curtail their activities. He also pointed out that the Qatari owners of the club are fully entitled to carry out their plans to fruition.
“You have to understand things. The money spent by PSG is not public money, but a private investor,” he said.
“I believe that France and Ligue 1 should just be happy that the people of Qatar have invested in football. I understand that these gentlemen of Qatar want to invest in other major sectors.
“If I read correctly, they also want to invest by buying weapons and other things and Mr Hollande would do well to be more open.
“Or if they do not want them as investors they should expel them from the country. But remember that the salary of Zlatan produces significant income taxes in France.
“Why do not the Arabs invest in our country [Italy]? It’s something we all need to ask.
“The way it is structured in Italy, politics, lack of infrastructure means that investment goes elsewhere.”
PSG are making even Manchester City look like paupers in this transfer window. In addition to Ibrahimovic they have also bought Marco Verratti, Thiago Silva and Ezquiel Lavezzi this summer. There spending makes a mockery of Uefa’s supposed Financial Fair Play rules, which will be made meaningless if PSG win the Champions League this year, which is a real possibility.