Inter director Beppe Marotta argues it is ‘discriminatory’ to block the Growth Decree from applying to football players and further evidence that the Government looks down on sport as an industry.
The law was introduced in 2019 to help bring fresh investment and talent into Italian business, including football, providing tax cuts and facilitations for anyone coming in from abroad.
Because of these rules, it became more advantageous to buy a foreign player, as they could save 50 per cent on taxes for his salary.
However, it was argued that the benefits did not outweigh the damage done to local Italian talent, who were not considered viable investments.
The Government in Italy is now discussing an amendment to the rule that would remove it from football, which infuriated the clubs, including Inter.
“A specific amendment that only penalises the industry of professional sport is not only myopic and counter-productive, but it is also extremely discriminatory and confirms our sector is considered only residual in this country,” Inter director Marotta told news agency ANSA.
“The Growth Decree is a fundamental law to support economic development in this country for all professionals who come from abroad. Football represents the 13th biggest industry in the country and in the last 13 years football has pumped over €14m in taxes into the Government coffers and has circa 7,700 employees.
“The rule also applies to other professional sporting figures, for example basketball players and coaches, so it wouldn’t even be fair to say this is purely about football.”
Marotta also pointed out that the tax cuts given to football players is ‘only’ 50 per cent, whereas other sectors can get anything from 70 per cent to 90 per cent discounts on their tax bills as part of the Growth Decree.
“We are working every day to make sure Italian football can return to being at least competitive with the most important European Leagues, who have for some time left us behind in terms of attractiveness and revenue.
“Eliminating the ruling for professional football players would be unconstitutional, as it’d make footballers the only category of employees excluded from the fiscal regime that encourages the return of talent from abroad, and therefore would be discriminatory.”
Marotta did suggest potential ways of adjusting the rules to encourage more investment in Italian talent, for example limiting it only to Serie A and B, or setting a minimum salary for the tax discount to apply.
— Calcio e Finanza (@CalcioFinanza) December 2, 2021