The Belgian press has been heaving a ball since QuickStep's Belgian sprint ace Tom Boonen announced his move to Monaco. Tom had said that he wants more peace when he's home and better weather to train. His popularity in Belgium had made it almost impossible for the star to lead a normal life and to avoid being harassed constantly by nosy fans. His manager Paul De Geyter, his family and friends already living in Monaco had advised him to change his home base.
But some believe that it was purely for financial reasons, something that Quick.Step manager Patrick Lefevere denied strongly. "It's totally wrong to think that Tom won't pay taxes here." Lefevere defended his poulin in Het Nieuwsblad. "Tom will pay 18 percent in Belgium, that amount will be kept from his salary before it's paid out to him. So in case Tom would be earning 1 million euro in 2006, 180 000 euro will be deducted and definitely will go to the Belgian fiscal authorities immediately. I don't think that you would fill the market in Brugghe with people who pay that much tax to the state! So to label his move as purely a fiscal flee is not correct."
Courtesy of Sabine Sunderland