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Gonzalo Higuain sued Naples, his old club, for salary arrears

by Gianni Dragoni

Gonzalo Higuain does not celebrate when he scores against SSN Napoli but for sure he did not hesitate to sue his old club for money. He is looking to receive some arrears of salary, or more specifically to recoup the money he had to pay out to the Italian Revenue Agency for a levy on the highest salaries on the league, a tax introduced in 2011 by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The overall request amounts to about €680,000. Less than 10% of the current salary that the Argentinian striker gets from Fc Juventus, which stands at about €7.5 million a year (which for the club translates into a €15 million per year cost). Football players negotiate their contracts net of taxes. When he was playing for Naples, Higuain was making €5.75 million net a year.

However in 2011 a new law passed by the Berlusconi government introduced a 3 year solidarity tax for all salaries above €90,000 a year and then the threshold was raised to gross €300,000. The Neapolitan club applied the levy on Higuain’s net salary and used the money to pay the IRS. Now the striker wants his money back.

The amount of money in contention is minimal compared to what Higuain makes every year and also compared to the overall cost structure of the club. But the relationship between Higuain and his former president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has soured after the striker decided to sign for Juventus last summer.

De Laurentiis didn’t take it well even though he forgets to mention that he pocketed €90 million thanks to that transaction. Millions that he did not spend to buy better players for his team, which is now ranked third, two points behind As Roma and 10 behind Juventus.

The controversy will be decided by a three-arbitrator committee: it will be up to them to play the referees in this match.