With the start of the Serie A season already in jeopardy because of a contract dispute, Italian football players and clubs are now debating who should pay a new "solidarity tax" imposed by the government as part of its austerity package.
The measure has already caused a landslide of protests in Italy, which is trying to clean up its public finances to avoid becoming the next victim of Europe's debt crisis. Citizens face a 5 percent additional tax on income above €90,000 (£78,770) and a 10 percent additional tax on income above €150,000.
The Milan vice president, Adriano Galliani, said the players, not the clubs, should pay. "Those making €90,000 will have to pay it, I don't see why those who make millions shouldn't do it," Galliani said. "Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned the players can go on strike for the rest of their lives."