Wage cap - Updated with news on Saracens Punishment

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 05 Mar 2019, 9:30 am

First topic message reminder :

Saracens have made the following statement.
"
Club Statement - Co-investment partnerships between the Saracens owner and players.

Following a newspaper article, the Club would like to make the following statement: 

“Firstly, we would like to reiterate that the Club readily complies with Premiership Rugby salary regulations and information relating to remuneration is declared to the salary cap manager. Although co-investment partnerships between owners and players are not a prerequisite of the salary regulations, we disclose these transactions to Premiership Rugby and will continue to do so. 

“Currently, 57% of the men’s squad is comprised of home grown talent - the highest in the Premiership. These players not only produce results on the pitch, they help entitle the Club to £1.2m in credits above the baseline salary cap from the RFU and Premiership Rugby. This is a direct result of our significant investment in the Saracens Academy which nurtures and develops Saracens and England players of the future. 

“A professional playing career in rugby can be short. We have a responsibility to help our players fulfil their potential, not just on the pitch but off it too.  It is why our Academy incorporates an education programme that actively prepares players for life beyond the sport. We are encouraged that many of our senior players are exploring business opportunities away from rugby.”

To me it just seems to be we're doing good work for the England team so don't pry!


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Post by Brendan on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 4:36 pm

The way around it is the player signs a two year contract and then signs an agreement that if the player wishes he can get an add on year for silly money.  That way the small part is the only part of the contract. The third year would be a new agreement.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 4:49 pm

They review actual salary rather than contract so a sudden increase in salary would be averaged.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 7:04 pm

LondonTiger wrote:They review actual salary rather than contract so a sudden increase in salary would be averaged.

Exactly this to stop NFL style front or rear loading of contracts to get round the cap.

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Post by Brendan on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 11:34 pm

Is there any end date announced for the review. While I think its important to not announce during the WC the Clubs should be informed before the season starts.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 03 Nov 2019, 10:36 am

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/saracens-salary-acing-potential-35-point-reduction-and-a-real-threat-of-relegation/

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Post by carpet baboon on Sun 03 Nov 2019, 10:48 am

Well this will be fun

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 03 Nov 2019, 11:20 am

My guess, based on the number of leaks is that Sarries will be found guilty but......

They will receive a medium fine.
They will get a smallish points deduction
There will be no reduction in their future cap.
The guys who have left will be blamed.

Anything bigger will see Saracens take it to court and try and apply bully boy tactics.
Anything less will create major issues for the other 12 clubs.

Sarries will then issue a statement stating they always follow the letter of the law as explained to them, will abide by this decision and then point out they are unfairly penalised for the number of England players they have.
They will then hire some forensic accountants to dig up dirt on other clubs.

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Post by Heaf on Sun 03 Nov 2019, 12:27 pm

Think you're probably pretty close there LT ...

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 03 Nov 2019, 1:38 pm

They always get off the hook somehow.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 03 Nov 2019, 2:40 pm

LondonTiger wrote:My guess, based on the number of leaks is that Sarries will be found guilty but......

They will receive a medium fine.
They will get a smallish points deduction
There will be no reduction in their future cap.
The guys who have left will be blamed.

Anything bigger will see Saracens take it to court and try and apply bully boy tactics.
Anything less will create major issues for the other 12 clubs.

Sarries will then issue a statement stating they always follow the letter of the law as explained to them, will abide by this decision and then point out they are unfairly penalised for the number of England players they have.
They will then hire some forensic accountants to dig up dirt on other clubs.

This is what I expect to happen. Sarries get a minor points deduction that won't stop them making the playoffs and fine that will be slightly more than a slap on the wrist. Anymore than that and they will launch the legal eagles and the forensic accountants in order to play merry hell in order to get their own way.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 04 Nov 2019, 3:01 am

Premiership Rugby will need to be seen to be doing something as the other clubs won't let it slide this time. I could easily see Sarries getting fined enough to be near relegation. But the last thing anyone wants is them relegated, they are too good for the comp to lose.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 04 Nov 2019, 8:34 am

Didn't it used to be the size of the overspend determined the size of the penalty?

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 04 Nov 2019, 8:52 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Didn't it used to be the size of the overspend determined the size of the penalty?

Yes but......

There is a caveat that states that Premiership Rugby may increase such penalties or as more relevant decrease as they see fit.

The precedent for decreasing was already set with London Welsh. While not a salary cap breach it was still a breach of rules for which the set penalty would have been about 36 points, but this was reduced to 12 iirc.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 04 Nov 2019, 8:53 am

Shame.

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Post by Rinsure on Mon 04 Nov 2019, 9:46 am

Having seen the announcement about Joel Kpoku signing for Saints, is this an indication that Sarries might be looking to take pre-emptive action in reducing the size of the wage bill?

Given their substantial depth, there is the opportunity for them to offload several "middle" earners, as it were, and not suffer too much pain. An opportunity for other clubs to pick up quality players on the "cheap"?

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Post by demosthenes on Mon 04 Nov 2019, 11:09 am

yappysnap wrote:Premiership Rugby will need to be seen to be doing something as the other clubs won't let it slide this time. I could easily see Sarries getting fined enough to be near relegation. But the last thing anyone wants is them relegated, they are too good for the comp to lose.

And I doubt that the Championship clubs would be overjoyed either - a whole season of hidings and virtually no chance of promotion for anyone else.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 04 Nov 2019, 1:56 pm

LondonTiger wrote:My guess, based on the number of leaks is that Sarries will be found guilty but......

They will receive a medium fine.
They will get a smallish points deduction
There will be no reduction in their future cap.
The guys who have left will be blamed.

Anything bigger will see Saracens take it to court and try and apply bully boy tactics.
Anything less will create major issues for the other 12 clubs.

Sarries will then issue a statement stating they always follow the letter of the law as explained to them, will abide by this decision and then point out they are unfairly penalised for the number of England players they have.
They will then hire some forensic accountants to dig up dirt on other clubs.

This is apparently what's happened in football with investigations into transfer dealings and FFP - the clubs with very rich owners basically say to the governing body - OK you've caught us and we'll pay a fine, however if you impose a sanction we don't like we'll drag you and the sport through the courts for years and cost you a lot of time, money and goodwill.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 10:54 am

No official announcement but it's being reported that Sarries have been docked 35 points and issued a £5m fine.

Oooft.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 10:56 am

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:No official announcement but it's being reported that Sarries have been docked 35 points and issued a £5m fine.

Oooft.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/nov/05/saracens-docked-35-points-and-5m-fine-for-salary-cap-breach

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:01 am

I really thought PRL would compromise. We wait to see Sarries statement and whether they will appeal.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:02 am

Wow that's a statement and a half. In waiting for the Saracens legal challenge to commence. Sky Sports News reporting it now as well. £5.36m fine and a 35 point deduction.

If this goes through then expect an exodus next summer as they try and get their squad back under the cap. A number of the non-key internationals will be on the market. Players like Liam Williams and Vincent Koch could well be released to drop to the cap limits.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:04 am

Being reported that they will, going for a reduction to 20 points.

Trouble is, what will the other clubs' response be?

Will they be stripped of any titles won whilst in breach of the cap?

I can't see this as being done and dusted by any stretch.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:09 am

Well you can't sneer that judgement! So hopefully they stick to it and fight any fight that comes their way. I've been heavily critical of PRL admin habits but you have to applaud good actions when they happen.




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Post by Heaf on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:13 am

Let's see if it sticks ...

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Post by Irish Londoner on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:32 am

Heaf wrote:Let's see if it sticks ...

I'l lay odds that it'll be reduced on appeal - probably halved but with the rest suspended. I suppose it really depends on how strongly the other teams feel about it.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:33 am

That is a big statement if true

Good for the league and PRL

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:42 am

Great news Bath are not bottom, nice welcome home for their world cup hero's!
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:48 am

Well 4 years too late but welcome news. Guess bath cleaned up their act enough not to get done this time. Is it bad to keep refreshing the bbc comments waiting for beshocked s crying?

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:55 am

TightHEAD wrote:Great news Bath are not bottom, nice welcome home for their world cup hero's!

I was thinking the same. The timing of these things can be bloody weird. Even had they won the WC, what a sobering headline to stand on top of an opened top bus to. But even now, the mood must be: "Jesus, they kick you even when you're down".

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Post by R!skysports on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 11:56 am

Premiership and European champions Saracens have been docked 35 points for breaching salary cap regulations.

In all honesty, I think we all knew that this was an issue and I thing it is a good thing it has been finally addresses?

Any other clubs looking over their shoulders?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/50300756

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 12:00 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well 4 years too late but welcome news. Guess bath cleaned up their act enough not to get done this time. Is it bad to keep refreshing the bbc comments waiting for beshocked s crying?

I just went through 22 pages of comments to find him, without success.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 12:01 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Well 4 years too late but welcome news. Guess bath cleaned up their act enough not to get done this time. Is it bad to keep refreshing the bbc comments waiting for beshocked s crying?

I just went through 22 pages of comments to find him, without success.

Dedication. Dedication.... Dedication, that's what you need.

Either that or you're just crazy!

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 12:02 pm

Crazy, I am most definitely crazy.

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Post by poissonrouge on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 12:33 pm

Is there likely to be any repercussions with past season results - seeing as the judgement states this occurred in at least 3 previous seasons?
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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 12:34 pm

Saracens wrote:SARACENS RUGBY CLUB IS SHOCKED AND DISAPPOINTED BY THESE HEAVY-HANDED SANCTIONS AND WILL LAUNCH AN APPEAL AGAINST ALL THE DISCIPLINARY PANEL’S FINDINGS.
The Club is pleased the Panel acknowledged it did not deliberately attempt to breach the salary cap and steadfastly maintains that player co-investments do not constitute salary under the regulations. This view is supported by independent legal and professional experts.

The Club will continue to vigorously defend this position especially as PRL precedent already exists whereby co-investments have not been deemed part of salary in the regulations.

As previously stated, the Club made administrative errors relating to the non-disclosure of some transactions to PRL and for this we apologise. We are pleased to confirm we now have a robust governance framework in place and this will be overseen by an external counsel to ensure the Club follows best practice.

Furthermore, it is the Club’s belief that the Panel’s narrow interpretation of the regulations is detrimental to player welfare across the league and is damaging the development of elite level rugby in the UK.

Saracens is proud of its pioneering, innovative approach to player welfare, developing their talents and supporting their entrepreneurial spirit for life beyond rugby.

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Post by Kingshu on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 12:35 pm

Can see Scarcens cutting players hopefully this can bebefit the Pro 14.
Moves like Williams to Scarlets, Willemse, Koch to Cheetahs/SKs. Taylor and Maitland to Glasgow/Edinburgh. Adding quality players will help the league. Most Prem teams have filled thier squads so its unlikely they will have room in thier caps to afford these players, so Pro 14 seams a likely destination, if the teams can afford them.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 12:37 pm

This is a surprise. I read that Nigel went through loopholes with regards to salaries, ie investing in players businesses outside of rugby. That wasn’t against the rules as far as I know. That’s a huge statement from Premiership Rugby though.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 12:39 pm

Kingshu wrote:Can see Scarcens cutting players hopefully this can bebefit the Pro 14.
Moves like Williams to Scarlets, Willemse, Koch to Cheetahs/SKs. Taylor and Maitland to Glasgow/Edinburgh. Adding quality players will help the league. Most Prem teams have filled thier squads so its unlikely they will have room in thier caps to afford these players, so Pro 14 seams a likely destination, if the teams can afford them.

That would be good, but Koch will likely be back in Super Rugby. Not sure about Williams, I guess it would depend on how his girlfriends modelling career is going - he could end up at one of the other ‘London’ teams.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 12:44 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Saracens wrote:SARACENS RUGBY CLUB IS SHOCKED AND DISAPPOINTED BY THESE HEAVY-HANDED SANCTIONS AND WILL LAUNCH AN APPEAL AGAINST ALL THE DISCIPLINARY PANEL’S FINDINGS.
The Club is pleased the Panel acknowledged it did not deliberately attempt to breach the salary cap and steadfastly maintains that player co-investments do not constitute salary under the regulations. This view is supported by independent legal and professional experts.

The Club will continue to vigorously defend this position especially as PRL precedent already exists whereby co-investments have not been deemed part of salary in the regulations.

As previously stated, the Club made administrative errors relating to the non-disclosure of some transactions to PRL and for this we apologise. We are pleased to confirm we now have a robust governance framework in place and this will be overseen by an external counsel to ensure the Club follows best practice.

Furthermore, it is the Club’s belief that the Panel’s narrow interpretation of the regulations is detrimental to player welfare across the league and is damaging the development of elite level rugby in the UK.

Saracens is proud of its pioneering, innovative approach to player welfare, developing their talents and supporting their entrepreneurial spirit for life beyond rugby.

In brief:  
We at Saracens Rugby Club do hereby declare our fury at not getting our way.  We insist on getting our way eventually when PRL finally understands that the best thing for English Rugby is that they would continue to turn a blind eye to any and all loopholes we choose to exploit.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 12:58 pm

Years and years of being called out on it and promising to change finally PRL stands up.

Bottom 3 clubs ..Saracens, Bath, Tigers.

Expect a ring fenced franchised league to be announced for 20/21

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 1:03 pm

We'd still be bottom if we were in the prem though... Laugh Laugh

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Post by nlpnlp on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 1:15 pm

Saracens will threaten to appeal.  To avoid costly litigation PRL will compromise to a level that Saracens are happy that they still have the opportunity to sneak into 4th spot.

If players leave, then I think France is a more likely destination than Scotland or Wales.  Why?  Because they have a much more generous salary cap.

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Post by Scottrf on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 1:27 pm

Feels to me that they should review the cap with regard to home grown players. They have a lot of players now that they have developed, are now playing international rugby and commanding big salaries. We don't want to disincentivise clubs from investing in this and being forced to sell players they have brought through; Saracens have contributed a lot to the current England team. The current level of cap benefit is low, and the players are unavailable for a lot of the games.

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Post by carpet baboon on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 1:29 pm

If beshocked does surface on the BBC can someone copy and paste his response on here for me.

Thanks in advance

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Post by Kingshu on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 1:31 pm

Bottom 3 are Bath, Scarcens and Tigers the same 3 that were suspected of breaking the rules in 2015, Feels like a kind of justice lol.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 1:54 pm

Kingshu wrote:Bottom 3 are Bath, Scarcens and Tigers  the same 3 that were suspected of breaking the rules in 2015,  Feels like a kind of justice lol.

Excuse me, only two teams were investigated in 2015.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 2:00 pm

Scottrf wrote:Feels to me that they should review the cap with regard to home grown players. They have a lot of players now that they have developed, are now playing international rugby and commanding big salaries. We don't want to disincentivise clubs from investing in this and being forced to sell players they have brought through; Saracens have contributed a lot to the current England team. The current level of cap benefit is low, and the players are unavailable for a lot of the games.

There are allowances for home grown players:

Home Grown Senior Player Credits
In respect of the Senior Ceiling for the 2019-20 Salary Cap Year, a Club shall be entitled to Home Grown Senior Player Credits of up to £600,000

And players playing for England:

Senior EPS and International Player Credits
1. Where a Club is unable to select a Player in its squad for either an Gallagher Premiership or European Champions or Challenge Cup match as a result of that Player (i) being selected in a match day squad by his national union and released in accordance with World Rugby Regulation 9 or (ii) are absent under the terms of the Heads of Agreement (or any successor of this agreement) (which includes EPS Rest and Blocked weeks as defined in the Professional Game Agreement (or any successor of this agreement) or (iii) released in accordance with any relevant PRL Board Policy, and subject to Regulation 3.2(b)4 below, there shall be:

A. For any International Qualified Player, who is not a Senior EPS Player, a £10,000 per Gallagher Premiership or European Champions or Challenge Cup match credit (“International Variable Player Credit”);
2019-20 Regulations – Board Approved (updated 5 February 2019) Page 13 of 57 For avoidance of doubt, an England Player who is not a Senior EPS Player may qualify for an International Variable Player Credit if his Club is unable to select the Player pursuant to Regulation 3.2(b)1. above.
B. For any International Qualified Player, who is a Senior EPS Player, a £5,000 per Gallagher Premiership or European Champions or Challenge Cup match credit (“Senior EPS Player Variable Credit”);


2. In addition to Regulation 1(b) above, where a Senior EPS Player is an International Qualified Player at a Club the Club shall be entitled to a fixed credit of £40,000 (“Senior EPS Player Fixed Credit”) for that Player in the Salary Cap Year.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 2:01 pm

I cannot see the penalty being reduced to allow Saracens a shot at the play-offs. It hardly looks good if a team that's been found to have cheated wins the tournament.

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Post by Scottrf on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 2:02 pm

I know, I don't think they are large enough.

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Post by Heaf on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 2:12 pm

Trouble is Scott that would mean rich clubs like Bath would continue to plunder poorer ones like LI ... the fact that Bath got investigated previously and nothing happened while they continued to asset strip LI really sticks in the throat ... unless of course you mean they wouldn't be included in the 'home-grown' allowance.

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