Premiership officials clamp down on salary cap


Premiership officials have been turning up at clubs’ training grounds and questioning players in an effort to ensure that the salary cap is not being broken, according to the Daily Mail. The cap has long been a bone of contention between clubs, with some claiming that others must break it.

“They’re obviously trying to crack down on this,” said one player, who asked to remain anonymous. “There will be a few nervous guys out there.”

Officials have been questioning players on matters such as declared income, free housing, payments to family members and overseas investments. The salary cap is set at £4.25 million and is designed to level the playing field in the Premiership, but in recent years some in the game have expressed their concerns.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond was involved in a spat with his Leicester counterpart Richard Cockerill about it earlier this season, while winger Mark Cueto said last year: “There’s no way you can tell me that certain clubs in the Premiership are sticking to the salary cap. Not all, but I certainly think there’s a couple. We’ve all got friends at other clubs and we all know what sort of money players are on.”

Premiership Rugby director Phil Winstanley says these checks are all part of the process that is designed to increase vigilance on clubs.

“We have an independent auditor and a salary cap manager who goes around the clubs to pick out a couple of players,” said Winstanley. “That’s been happening for a couple of seasons now and it’s part of the ongoing audit and assessment process.”

“There are a lot of anecdotal comments about the salary cap, but until we’ve got evidence then there are no breaches. If we have any evidence, then there are significant sanctions in place.”

You can find out more about the salary cap here.

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

2 thoughts on “Premiership officials clamp down on salary cap

  1. “a salary cap manager who goes around the clubs to pick out a couple of players”

    I would expect a 100% reveiw of at least 2 clubs each year on a random basis. You are not looking at hundreds of people as squad sizes are limited. As an accountant and previous auditor I can’t see this being excessivly onerous for PRL/and external auditor.

    This would give a much greater level of comfort.

    It should be part of all player contracts that they agree to participate fully with any audits by the external auditor appointed by PRL.

    PRL should be publishing results of the audits. these do not have to include details of individual pay or total club salary cost. They can detail compliance, or any breaches.

    Surely this is neither excessive nor rocket science. Any club not agreeing to this has to be under immediate suspicion of infringement.

    1. The problem is, if one club gets a full going over, then all the clubs will have to have a full going over, otherwise it’s not fair and your just targeting 2 clubs. Bear in mind that it would include academy players and in the cases of the big clubs, you’re probably looking in the direction of 50 players each. That then becomes a lot to audit. I also don’t see the need to make the results public. I only think details need to be made public in the event of any evidence of infringement.

      My problem with the plans put forward by the PRL is that they will investigate two players from each club, which surely doesn’t give you an overall view of what the club is spending. I suppose if the club say they’re paying a player 100k per year and the investigation shows he’s on more like 150k it raises questions, but it only puts you in a position to suspect something is wrong and the whole club would have to be gone over to prove it still. Furthermore, if they’re investigating a player’s accounts, it’s not going to give evidence of proposed methods of dodgy dealings such as payments to families.

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