Premiership Rugby announces rise in salary cap

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Premiership Rugby today confirmed that the salary cap for Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs will rise to £5 million from the start of the 2014-15 season (plus an unlimited allowance for one player who is excluded from the cap per club).

The total Salary Cap comprises:

– £4.76 million – Salary Cap from 2014-15 season, up from £4.26 million
– £240,000 – Academy Credits
– 1 Excluded Player (Salary is not included in Salary Cap)
– Injury Replacement

An ‘Academy credit’ is defined as a player who has joined the club before the age of 18, is still under the age of 24 at the beginning of the season, and earns more than £30,000. Every club will be entitled to eight £30,000 such credits. As an example, if one such player earns £35,000, only £5,000 would be counted in the club’s salary cap.

The injury replacement is a player recruited by a club when one of their current players is injured for a period of 12 weeks or longer. The player can then remain with the club for the rest of the season, and his salary will sit in a separate £400,000 cap containing the club’s other injury replacements. The injury replacement must be the same position as the injured player, must not be given a higher salary, and must not be deemed to be “more experienced than the injured player”.

“The Premiership Rugby clubs have approved this increase following the financial boost given by the new contract with BT Sport and the renewal of the competition’s title sponsorship, with Aviva,” said Premiership Rugby Chief Executive Mark McCafferty.

“This reflects the policy agreed by the Clubs in 2011 to align the Salary Cap to the financial distributions Premiership Rugby makes to the clubs. The objective of the Salary Cap is to control inflationary pressures on clubs’ costs, and to provide a level playing field for clubs to ensure a competitive Aviva Premiership Rugby competition.

“These objectives are borne out in the financial success the league is now seeing with more clubs breaking even, and a healthy turnover of teams at the top of the league with three different winners in as many years. Aviva Premiership Rugby is the most competitive league in world rugby (highest number of games finishing in less than one score compared to any other rugby competition in the world).”

A new, more transparent, salary cap monitoring system has recently been approved by the Premiership Rugby board, to “increase monitoring, investigation and transparency systems and support this important area of Premiership Rugby business”.

Premiership Rugby can now undertake an ‘Investigatory Audit’ in addition to the current salary cap audit, which will include the use of independent experts and will look at all club records if a club is suspected of breaching the regulations.

Any club found to be breaching the regulations will be subject to a disciplinary hearing with the potential for a points deduction and/or fine available. Any breach will also be made public.

The salary cap was introduced in the Premiership in 1999/2000 to ensure a level playing field across the league, will also ensuring the financial stability of the clubs. It has long been a bone of contention, with Sale Direct of Rugby Steve Diamond the latest to accuse certain clubs of finding ways to break it.

Full details of the salary cap regulations can be found on the Premiership Rugby website.

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

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