Wage cap - Updated with news on Saracens Punishment

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:30 pm

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 TightHEAD on Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:52 pm

Top teams always cheat.

New England Patriots, Man City, etc........

I think Sarries should do the honourable thing and take the points deduction and just get on with it, they could still make playoffs and are still in Europe.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:23 am

Quick question, given that most the beneficiaries of Saracens "special arrangements" are still playing for the club even if this punishment is for the period up to the start of this season, is it likely that Saracens are currently in breach of the cap this season already?
If that's the case where do they stand - on one side they have contracts with their players which presumably they'll have to honour at least until they get them off the books to reduce their wage bill - but on the other every week the current arrangements continue they are in breach again and possibly likely to be charged again next season.
Will shutting down the various off field side ventures alone be enough to bring them back under the cap and following from that will the players want to stay with them with what effectively will be a reduction in wages if they can't make extra money from the off field stuff - is the off field stuff in their contracts ?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:32 am

Listening to the Maul Over Rugby podcast, and Doug was giving Saracens a real kicking.

Listening to him, I understood how wide apart views can be on this topic. To Saracens - and some of their fans - they played to the letter of the rules, much as someone might look to exploit the tax code. They believe they have a legal opinion supporting that view.

To Doug, and probably to the owner of Exeter, the salary cap wasn't something to be gamed for maximum advantage: it was an agreed level playing field on which the teams would compete. Even if there's legal support for what Saracens did, people like Doug will still regard it as cheating.

I suspect the way this plays out depends on which opinion is more widely held. If the view is Sarries thought they were just being cleverer than anyone else, rather than active trying to skirt rules, and hide what they were doing, then there'll be more willingness to rehabilitate them.

If instead, Sarries are seen as serial offenders, never being honest with the other clubs, despite the shadow hanging over the Premiership, then I'd imagine more people than Doug and Tony Rowe will want them fully held to account.



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Post by Heaf on Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:42 am

Irish Londoner wrote:Quick question, given that most the beneficiaries of Saracens "special arrangements" are still playing for the club even if this punishment is for the period up to the start of this season, is it likely that Saracens are currently in breach of the cap this season already?
If that's the case where do they stand - on one side they have contracts with their players which presumably they'll have to honour at least until they get them off the books to reduce their wage bill - but on the other every week the current arrangements continue they are in breach again and possibly likely to be charged again next season.
Will shutting down the various off field side ventures alone be enough to bring them back under the cap and following from that will the players want to stay with them with what effectively will be a reduction in wages if they can't make extra money from the off field stuff - is the off field stuff in their contracts ?

Good point - if they are still over the cap then all points from games played so far should be wiped - it's bad enough LI were robbed by the ref at the end but if they are still over the cap then the game should be forfeit ...

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Post by Irish Londoner on Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:48 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Listening to the Maul Over Rugby podcast, and Doug was giving Saracens a real kicking.

Listening to him, I understood how wide apart views can be on this topic. To Saracens - and some of their fans - they played to the letter of the rules, much as someone might look to exploit the tax code. They believe they have a legal opinion supporting that view.

To Doug, and probably to the owner of Exeter, the salary cap wasn't something to be gamed for maximum advantage: it was an agreed level playing field on which the teams would compete. Even if there's legal support for what Saracens did, people like Doug will still regard it as cheating.

I suspect the way this plays out depends on which opinion is more widely held. If the view is Sarries thought they were just being cleverer than anyone else, rather than active trying to skirt rules, and hide what they were doing, then there'll be more willingness to rehabilitate them.

If instead, Sarries are seen as serial offenders, never being honest with the other clubs, despite the shadow hanging over the Premiership, then I'd imagine more people than Doug and Tony Rowe will want them fully held to account.



To a point it doesn't really matter now, everyone knows they've cheated and lied and even if they've cheated and lied in such a way that they haven't broken the letter of the law, they've certainly done it in a way that has broken the spirit of the law, like Bloodgate at Harlequins, the stench of this will hang around long after the actual event and whatever outcome there is.
More to the point this has put the final nail in the coffin of the idea that there is anything superior about the way "rugby people" conduct themselves compared to other sports such as "wendyball", whatever high ground this sport held has been levelled this week.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:57 am

Irish Londoner wrote:Quick question, given that most the beneficiaries of Saracens "special arrangements" are still playing for the club even if this punishment is for the period up to the start of this season, is it likely that Saracens are currently in breach of the cap this season already?

They are over the cap because of things not reported withing their submission's to the Salary Cap Manager. These are unlikely to be part of their playing contract (including things like, but not only, the joint companies). Cancelling these arrangements is possible, perhaps.

If they do end up exceeding the salary cap again, then that probably cannot be determined until the end of the season when all payments have been made and accounted for, thus they coudl start next season with a 35 point deduction as well.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:01 am

It should be noted that Saracens have admitted the rules were broken, but not to the level to deserve this punichment. Their appeal will be held by teh same organisation that determined the original findings (I assume different people though) and by the terms of the PRL Playing Agreement there are no grounds by either side to appeal that verdict.

Premiership Rugby have not determined the punishment, that has been made by the independent body who oversaw the "trial" and applied the penalties as laid down by the rules of the tournament. They have applied the maximum permissible penalty 35 points and £3 for every £1 that the cap was exceeded by. No additional penalties are allowed and all clubs signed up to that agreement (hence why I believe Tony Rowe is being pathetic when he demands relegation).

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:33 am

LondonTiger wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Kingshu wrote:Certainly an advantage over the English teams that stayed within the cap, but not an advantage over French or Irish teams who didn't have a cap.

The French do have a salary cap.


Yes, but with so many loopholes and allowances that while the cap was 11.7m Euro in 2018, some clubs were spending 20m Euros a year.

Sorry, that is absolutely untrue. The top 14 is rigorously policed, and finances completely audited. Teams have been fined and relegated for overspending in the past. You have plucked that figure out of thin air.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:37 am

I am no fan of Saracens and certainly don't mind them being weakened, but what is wrong with buying success? Is that not a fundamental part of professional sport?
The concept of a salary cap is against the idea of excellence because it attempts to bring the elite down to the level of the mundane. Maybe it should be called the Harold Dawson cap because it should fight for the weakest in the Division, at the expense of the highest performing club in England? Col. Nathan R. Jessep's words from a Few Good Men spring to mind - "You ****in' people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today"!

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:51 am

The Great Aukster wrote:I am no fan of Saracens and certainly don't mind them being weakened, but what is wrong with buying success? Is that not a fundamental part of professional sport?
The concept of a salary cap is against the idea of excellence because it attempts to bring the elite down to the level of the mundane. Maybe it should be called the Harold Dawson cap because it should fight for the weakest in the Division, at the expense of the highest performing club in England? Col. Nathan R. Jessep's words from a Few Good Men spring to mind - "You ****in' people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today"!

Clubs need saving from themselves. Too many don't run in a business way as is and rely upon the support of wealthy individuals. Saracens are one of those clubs as well. If it takes a salary cap to ensure club owners act responsibly then so be it.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:58 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Kingshu wrote:Certainly an advantage over the English teams that stayed within the cap, but not an advantage over French or Irish teams who didn't have a cap.

The French do have a salary cap.


Yes, but with so many loopholes and allowances that while the cap was 11.7m Euro in 2018, some clubs were spending 20m Euros a year.

Sorry, that is absolutely untrue. The top 14 is rigorously policed, and finances completely audited. Teams have been fined and relegated for overspending in the past. You have plucked that figure out of thin air.

I actually looked it up and no I did not make it up. Salary Cap in England includes everything a player may get including childcare. French Cap excludes sponsorship, commercial rights payments, ancilliary benefits etc. The T14 release the numbers every year and while direct salary stays below teh cap there are a plethora of other payment that stretch the bill significantly and by more than I said above.


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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:00 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:I am no fan of Saracens and certainly don't mind them being weakened, but what is wrong with buying success? Is that not a fundamental part of professional sport?
The concept of a salary cap is against the idea of excellence because it attempts to bring the elite down to the level of the mundane. Maybe it should be called the Harold Dawson cap because it should fight for the weakest in the Division, at the expense of the highest performing club in England? Col. Nathan R. Jessep's words from a Few Good Men spring to mind - "You ****in' people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today"!

Clubs need saving from themselves. Too many don't run in a business way as is and rely upon the support of wealthy individuals. Saracens are one of those clubs as well. If it takes a salary cap to ensure club owners act responsibly then so be it.

Salary Cap was brought in, I think, after the Richmond/London Scottish debacle. As it is if Wray does decide to walk because of this Saracens will fold.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:08 am

LondonTiger wrote:

I actually looked it up and no I did not make it up. Salary Cap in England includes everything a player may get including childcare. French Cap excludes sponsorship, commercial rights payments, ancilliary benefits etc. The T14 release the numbers every year and while direct salary stays below teh cap there are a plethora of other payment that stretch the bill significantly and by more than I said above.

You'll be able to provide a link to that £20m figure then.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:13 am

https://www.lnr.fr/sites/default/files/lnr_-_dnacg_rapport_annuel_2019.pdf

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:14 am

I seem to have underestimated how much they manage to spend.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:14 am

The Great Aukster wrote:I am no fan of Saracens and certainly don't mind them being weakened, but what is wrong with buying success? Is that not a fundamental part of professional sport?
The concept of a salary cap is against the idea of excellence because it attempts to bring the elite down to the level of the mundane. Maybe it should be called the Harold Dawson cap because it should fight for the weakest in the Division, at the expense of the highest performing club in England? Col. Nathan R. Jessep's words from a Few Good Men spring to mind - "You ****in' people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today"!

It depends on whether you want a sustainable sport in which every team has a fighting chance or do you just want a sport where the person with the most money wins? Given Saracens metrics they are only the "highest performing club in England" because they spend more than anyone else. If Rosslyn Park had the same money they be the best club in England and at least they own their own ground !. Also it stops clubs getting into so much debt that if the sugar daddy walks away they don't collapse in a heap afterwards.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:17 am

LondonTiger wrote:https://www.lnr.fr/sites/default/files/lnr_-_dnacg_rapport_annuel_2019.pdf

At least give me a page number

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Post by Scottrf on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:34 am

Page 65.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:37 am

Scottrf wrote:Page 65.

I'm not seeing anything of the sort on that page. It just shows last years budgets and a 10 season breakdown.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:38 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:https://www.lnr.fr/sites/default/files/lnr_-_dnacg_rapport_annuel_2019.pdf

At least give me a page number

Probably try page 57.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:42 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:https://www.lnr.fr/sites/default/files/lnr_-_dnacg_rapport_annuel_2019.pdf

At least give me a page number

Probably try page 57.

So that gives the biggest salary spend as £11.5m (Stade Francais).

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Post by Scottrf on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:44 am

€13.4m vs €11.3m cap. Rigorously policed?

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:45 am

Scottrf wrote:€13.4m vs €11.3m cap. Rigorously policed?

Eh?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:02 am

Chris Robshaw quoted at length in the Telegraph.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2019/11/06/chris-robshaw-warns-saracens-scandal-has-caused-lasting-damage/

A passionate Chris Robshaw believes English rugby union has suffered lasting damage after Saracens were found guilty of breaching the Premiership salary cap.

The Harlequins captain, who has won 66 England caps, also explained that Saracens’ domestic success over the past three seasons, comprising two Premiership titles, has been undermined and that such a finding is “tough to take” for rivals.

“As a sport, we pride ourselves on being cleaner than other sports,” Robshaw said at Wednesday’s European Champions Cup launch, less than 24 hours after Saracens were fined £5.3 million and docked 35 league points for breaches in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

“We look down on football for diving and athletics for cheating. Our grass is no longer greener. We’re as dirty as everyone else. The sport is in an extremely bad place and it’s going to be tough to recover from this.”

Saracens responded by calling the sanctions “heavy-handed” and maintain that the co-investments made between chairman Nigel Wray and certain players “do not constitute salary” under Premiership regulations.



However, Robshaw suggested that Tuesday’s news was more difficult to accept, in his opinion, because Saracens have developed the most dominant club squad in English domestic history.

He pointed out that any goodwill from England’s run to the final of Rugby World Cup 2019, featuring Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje among other Saracens stars, could evaporate quickly.

“You look at the high that the World Cup has given,” Robshaw added. “Of course, we didn’t quite get there in the end, but you can look at the buzz it created in the country.

“Now we have the most successful team this country has ever produced – that’s taking Leicester and Wasps into account because this team is better – and we know they have done it by abusing the salary cap and cheating.

“There is no other way of putting it. It’s cheating. And it’s tough to take.”

Robshaw stressed that Saracens players, some of them former international teammates, should not be blamed. “They are not the ones who agree what X, Y and Z earn. As players, you don’t know what one another earn.”



However, he did underline how he believes the league competition may have been compromised.

“They are a good side,” Robshaw said. “But it’s not fair on the rest of the league who scrape and scrap to squeeze every penny into the salary cap and get the best out of a squad.

“Then when you have two or three injuries, you play a guy who is straight out of school and you put your faith in them.

“It’s not ideal, and I think it’s something that will damage our sport for some time and rumble on.”

Saracens have indicated that they will demand a review of the decision, which was settled on by an independent panel following charges that were brought by Premiership Rugby on the back of a nine-month investigation.

In a statement, Sarries said that “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.”

But Robshaw revealed that an allegedly lop-sided playing field was one of the reasons for Conor O’Shea leaving his post as Harlequins director of rugby in 2016.



“This was one of the reasons Conor left back in the day. It’s been rumbling on for a long time. You can speak to Exeter, who have suffered the cruellest fate – losing to them in finals.

“We look at cheating in other sports and we can’t believe it. In our sport we kind of go, ‘let’s brush this out of the way’. It’s put our sport in a very bad light.

“We like to put it on a pedestal and say, ‘we’re better than this, we’re better than that’. We’re not. We’re as bad as anyone else and we need to be open about that.”

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t spoken about,” he added. “[Players ask] ‘how can they do that, get them to come in, have an international bench?’ It’s tough to compete against.

“You look at other teams that will have a couple of academy kids on the bench. For it to be finally addressed is good, but it’s going to take a while for our sport to recover from one of its most successful and dominant teams ever getting caught cheating. We’ll see where we go from here.”

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Post by Scottrf on Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:08 am

“We look down on football for diving and athletics for cheating. Our grass is no longer greener. We’re as dirty as everyone else. The sport is in an extremely bad place and it’s going to be tough to recover from this.”

Says lifelong Harlequins 'Bloodgate' RFC player.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:46 am

Ok, if you're Saracen's how do you appeal this?

Do you go anti-competition from the EU courts angle? Does Brexit take that off the table?

Do you say that this was investigated in 2015, no action was taken (well the investigation wasn't concluded) so that would imply that the actions weren't £5m and 35 points in severity or it the PRL would have done it back then. So that was a green light at the time to continue with creative arrangements.

Or that because there was no conclusion in 2015, this is a first offence. Only now have they been told the right way to do things, they will correct it immediately and the fine should be reduced 50% for first offence and good behaviour etc.

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Post by Poorfour on Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:26 am

Scottrf wrote:“We look down on football for diving and athletics for cheating. Our grass is no longer greener. We’re as dirty as everyone else. The sport is in an extremely bad place and it’s going to be tough to recover from this.”

Says lifelong Harlequins 'Bloodgate' RFC player.

How's that relevant? He points out very clearly that he doesn't blame the Saracens players, and he wasn't personally involved in Bloodgate other than being on the pitch at the time.

We only know of one Quins player who was party to Bloodgate, and it was a tactic cooked up between the then DOR and the physio (both long gone). It was used in a small number of games, and did not change the outcome of the Leinster match. Quins took their punishment and moved on. Since then - and it was over ten years ago - their biggest infringement has been a £12k technical breach of the salary cap as result of an injury dispensation, which they declared to the Salary Commissioner and paid the penalty.

The Dallaglio report (executive summary "Fox declared henhouse 'totally secure'") found enough professional players across all the clubs who had seen similar tactics that it was very clear that although Quins were caught they weren't the only ones doing it, and conveniently skirted over Wasps' tactic of mysteriously finding injuries to two props whenever their scrum wasn't going well, while recommending that an additional prop got added to the bench. Because that really helps with fake blood injuries.

Meanwhile, Saracens have been found to have broken the salary cap by around £600k per year - 4 international class players - over at least the last 3 years, and I have had it directly from coaches at other clubs with connections to Sarries that they have been doing it for a lot longer than that. Their string of trophies is pretty strong evidence that it did influence their results.

There really isn't any comparison in terms of the magnitude of wrongdoing.
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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:37 am

Poorfour wrote:
Scottrf wrote:“We look down on football for diving and athletics for cheating. Our grass is no longer greener. We’re as dirty as everyone else. The sport is in an extremely bad place and it’s going to be tough to recover from this.”

Says lifelong Harlequins 'Bloodgate' RFC player.

How's that relevant? He points out very clearly that he doesn't blame the Saracens players, and he wasn't personally involved in Bloodgate other than being on the pitch at the time.

We only know of one Quins player who was party to Bloodgate, and it was a tactic cooked up between the then DOR and the physio (both long gone). It was used in a small number of games, and did not change the outcome of the Leinster match. Quins took their punishment and moved on. Since then - and it was over ten years ago - their biggest infringement has been a £12k technical breach of the salary cap as result of an injury dispensation, which they declared to the Salary Commissioner and paid the penalty.

The Dallaglio report (executive summary "Fox declared henhouse 'totally secure'") found enough professional players across all the clubs who had seen similar tactics that it was very clear that although Quins were caught they weren't the only ones doing it, and conveniently skirted over Wasps' tactic of mysteriously finding injuries to two props whenever their scrum wasn't going well, while recommending that an additional prop got added to the bench. Because that really helps with fake blood injuries.

Meanwhile, Saracens have been found to have broken the salary cap by around £600k per year - 4 international class players - over at least the last 3 years, and I have had it directly from coaches at other clubs with connections to Sarries that they have been doing it for a lot longer than that. Their string of trophies is pretty strong evidence that it did influence their results.

There really isn't any comparison in terms of the magnitude of wrongdoing.

Whilst in the main I agree I doubt you'd get four internationals at £150k a pop. If you're talking international prop ala Koch or Mako then you aren't getting much change from £350k. Itoje is rumoured to be on more than that as well. You might get someone like Duncan Taylor who's a sicknote for £150k but Sarries haven't taken many punts like that.

The Robshaw statement sounds very self righteous. I can't recall many rugby players looking down on other sports. Football and the diving thing certainly but that type of banter has been going on for years, we call them dim diving fairies they call us knuckle dragging egg chasers. Most rugby players I know play multiple sports. I'm sure he meant well but it's not a statement that really shows rugby or Chris in a particularly good light. He'd have been better off keeping his mouth shut.

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Post by Scottrf on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:21 am

Poorfour wrote:
Scottrf wrote:“We look down on football for diving and athletics for cheating. Our grass is no longer greener. We’re as dirty as everyone else. The sport is in an extremely bad place and it’s going to be tough to recover from this.”

Says lifelong Harlequins 'Bloodgate' RFC player.

How's that relevant? He points out very clearly that he doesn't blame the Saracens players, and he wasn't personally involved in Bloodgate other than being on the pitch at the time.

We only know of one Quins player who was party to Bloodgate, and it was a tactic cooked up between the then DOR and the physio (both long gone). It was used in a small number of games, and did not change the outcome of the Leinster match. Quins took their punishment and moved on. Since then - and it was over ten years ago - their biggest infringement has been a £12k technical breach of the salary cap as result of an injury dispensation, which they declared to the Salary Commissioner and paid the penalty.

The Dallaglio report (executive summary "Fox declared henhouse 'totally secure'") found enough professional players across all the clubs who had seen similar tactics that it was very clear that although Quins were caught they weren't the only ones doing it, and conveniently skirted over Wasps' tactic of mysteriously finding injuries to two props whenever their scrum wasn't going well, while recommending that an additional prop got added to the bench. Because that really helps with fake blood injuries.

Meanwhile, Saracens have been found to have broken the salary cap by around £600k per year - 4 international class players - over at least the last 3 years, and I have had it directly from coaches at other clubs with connections to Sarries that they have been doing it for a lot longer than that. Their string of trophies is pretty strong evidence that it did influence their results.

There really isn't any comparison in terms of the magnitude of wrongdoing.

It's relevant because he says 'our grass is no longer greener' 9 years after such a scandal.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:33 am

Rob Baxter:

Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has said that if the decision to punish Premiership champions Saracens for breaching salary cap regulations was upheld, then their title triumphs in 2018 and 2019 were illegitimate.

European and English champions Saracens were docked 35 points and fined £5.36 million by the Premiership Tuesday after being found guilty of breaching salary cap regulations.

Saracens, who said they would appeal the Premiership's decision, beat 2016-17 champions Exeter in the final in both years.

"If this is upheld, it's pretty obvious those titles have been won unfairly," Baxter said at the Champions Cup launch in Cardiff on Wednesday.

"If you're asking me would I like to walk into Sandy Park and see three Premiership trophies there, I would love to.

"I believe the way we played in the final last year would have beaten any other team in the Premiership... The whole truth is if Saracens had been operating with a different group of players last season, they may not have got to the final."

Baxter also said that clubs should not be looking for loopholes in the salary cap regulations.

"We're supposed to be working within the salary cap to create a level of fairness and competition," he added. "You shouldn't be paying outside the salary cap. And to dress it up in player welfare and developing the game sticks in the craw.

"If the first response is to say the payments... are outside the cap but are OK because the wording of the cap doesn't catch them, the concern is they will move on by finding another way of doing it outside the wording of the salary cap."
https://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/28021719/chris-robshaw-rob-baxter-slam-unfair-saracens-premiership-punishment

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:21 pm

Rob Baxter also said that even if Sarries had their titles removed (having acknowledged the rules do not allow it) they should not be awarded to Exeter.

The whole interview was balanced and pretty fair.

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Post by SecretFly on Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:44 pm

If Exeter pick up a title they didn't win then so too do Leinster! Wink.

Keepin' a Close eye on this one............... Wage cap - Updated with news on Saracens Punishment - Page 8 1347041234

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Post by TightHEAD on Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:46 pm

Not many Sarries fans are arguing this on here!
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Post by Poorfour on Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:54 pm

SecretFly wrote:If Exeter pick up a title they didn't win then so too do Leinster! ;).

Keepin' a Close eye on this one............... :popcorn:

Strictly speaking, no they don't. There's no wage cap in the Champions Cup, and if there were then Saracens would still have spent less than the French teams.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:06 pm

Danny Care sounded frustrated on the BBC podcast. While he didn't blame any of the Saracens players, he pointed out that the whole landscape of the game was changed by financial doping.

He remember who Quins had been unable to hold on to James Johnston and David Strettle, losing both to Saracens. He recalled a match against Sarries when Quins were struggling with injuries and they had a bench full of internationals. Quins almost won it, and he is left wondering whether they would have if Sarries hadn't been able to field that same squad.

Care says winning the Premiership ranks up with getting married and the birth of his children, so he feels for players who might have been denied that experience unfairly. He notes it will have ramifications in the future. An Exeter player with three Premiership wins would arguably have been more marketable than he is with one.


Last edited by Rugby Fan on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:07 pm

Poorfour wrote:
SecretFly wrote:If Exeter pick up a title they didn't win then so too do Leinster! Wink.

Keepin' a Close eye on this one............... Wage cap - Updated with news on Saracens Punishment - Page 8 1347041234

Strictly speaking, no they don't. There's no wage cap in the Champions Cup, and if there were then Saracens would still have spent less than the French teams.

And possibly Leinster

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Post by SecretFly on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:08 pm

Poorfour wrote:
SecretFly wrote:If Exeter pick up a title they didn't win then so too do Leinster! Wink.

Keepin' a Close eye on this one............... Wage cap - Updated with news on Saracens Punishment - Page 8 1347041234

Strictly speaking, no they don't. There's no wage cap in the Champions Cup, and if there were then Saracens would still have spent less than the French teams.

But if Saracens technically mightn't even have been in the Champions Cup but for their cap overspending - and it's of course pointed how well they've done in the Champions Cup as the team now directly accused of breaking their own League's rules - then Leinster might not have met them.

I joke of course about getting a title we didn't win but technically....if the winner of the English Premiership changes, that's suggesting that all games in that Premiership that Saracens won are illegitimate.... that then questions their very qualification for the European Contests they played.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:08 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I seem to have underestimated how much they manage to spend.

Can you run me by this. You initially said the French teams spend £20m on players. I see no evidence of this. Now you say they spend more than £20m on players?

Would be interested to know how much exactly. Thanks


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Post by SecretFly on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:09 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
SecretFly wrote:If Exeter pick up a title they didn't win then so too do Leinster! Wink.

Keepin' a Close eye on this one............... Wage cap - Updated with news on Saracens Punishment - Page 8 1347041234

Strictly speaking, no they don't. There's no wage cap in the Champions Cup, and if there were then Saracens would still have spent less than the French teams.

And possibly Leinster

...... possibly but not probably.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:09 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I seem to have underestimated how much they manage to spend.

Can you run me by this. You initially said the French teams spend £20m on players. I see no evidence of this. Now you say they spend more than £20m on players?

Would be interested to know how much exactly. Thanks


No he didn't, he said euros not pounds which seems about right.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:30 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I seem to have underestimated how much they manage to spend.

Can you run me by this. You initially said the French teams spend £20m on players. I see no evidence of this. Now you say they spend more than £20m on players?

Would be interested to know how much exactly. Thanks


No he didn't, he said euros not pounds which seems about right.

Can you point me to where any French club is spending 20m Euros a year on player wages. Thanks

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Post by SecretFly on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:45 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I seem to have underestimated how much they manage to spend.

Can you run me by this. You initially said the French teams spend £20m on players. I see no evidence of this. Now you say they spend more than £20m on players?

Would be interested to know how much exactly. Thanks


No he didn't, he said euros not pounds which seems about right.

Can you point me to where any French club is spending 20m Euros a year on player wages. Thanks

Well consider, it's taken how long to conclude that Saracens were indeed paying more for their players than legitimate player payment accounts alluded to?

Evidence?  
Even now Saracens would dispute that there is 'evidence' of paying their players more than the League allows and instead suggest the extra methods of 'assisting' players by putting money in their accounts is not 'payment'.

So if you want evidence about French salary packages where would you look?  At official salary files?  I doubt it, don't you.   You already know the answer.  Evidence will be hidden from view as much as possible by a thing called creative accounting..... like was happening in Saracens.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:25 pm

Is anyone else struggling to get worked up about this? I feel a bit sorry for Saracens actually.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:32 pm

SecretFly wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I seem to have underestimated how much they manage to spend.

Can you run me by this. You initially said the French teams spend £20m on players. I see no evidence of this. Now you say they spend more than £20m on players?

Would be interested to know how much exactly. Thanks


No he didn't, he said euros not pounds which seems about right.

Can you point me to where any French club is spending 20m Euros a year on player wages. Thanks

Well consider, it's taken how long to conclude that Saracens were indeed paying more for their players than legitimate player payment accounts alluded to?

Evidence?  
Even now Saracens would dispute that there is 'evidence' of paying their players more than the League allows and instead suggest the extra methods of 'assisting' players by putting money in their accounts is not 'payment'.

So if you want evidence about French salary packages where would you look?  At official salary files?  I doubt it, don't you.   You already know the answer.  Evidence will be hidden from view as much as possible by a thing called creative accounting..... like was happening in Saracens.

So zero evidence at all then. What a surprise.

The likelihood that French teams are spending 20m Euros on players per year is the same as the likelihood that Leinster are spending 20m Euros per yer on players.


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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:49 pm

"The likelihood that French teams are spending 20m Euros on players per year is the same as the likelihood that Leinster are spending 20m Euros per yer on players."

Which is a possibility.....I would imagine Toulon & Racing are spending more than Leinster though. Aren't Toulon spending over 1 million Euro on Etzebeth alone?

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:55 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:"The likelihood that French teams are spending 20m Euros on players per year is the same as the likelihood that Leinster are spending 20m Euros per yer on players."

Which is a possibility.....I would imagine Toulon & Racing are spending more than Leinster though. Aren't Toulon spending over 1 million Euro on Etzebeth alone?

Toulon are spending £10.5m on players after tax. So nowhere near the 20m Euros that has been wildly and irresponsibly thrown about in this thread.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:55 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:"The likelihood that French teams are spending 20m Euros on players per year is the same as the likelihood that Leinster are spending 20m Euros per yer on players."

Which is a possibility.....I would imagine Toulon & Racing are spending more than Leinster though. Aren't Toulon spending over 1 million Euro on Etzebeth alone?

Toulon are spending £10.5m on players after tax. So nowhere near the 20m Euros that has been wildly and irresponsibly thrown about in this thread.

I'm sure they are Whistle

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Post by Sin é on Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:02 pm

The French salary cap is €13 million Euro (about £10m) which is £3 million more than the English one. The French clubs don't own the image rights of the players and work it that way. As far as they are concerned, its a level playing field for all the clubs in France.

Thats the problem with Saracens - they are making the Premiership less competitive as its not a level playing field and so the interest in sport will be lost.

I saw somewhere that Saracens have said they are going to have to unregister players for the Champs Cup because they will get into trouble for being over the salary cap which would indicate that they are concerned that this will get them in trouble with the Premiership as the Champs Cup does not have a salary cap.
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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:25 pm

Sin é wrote:

I saw somewhere that Saracens have said they are going to have to unregister players for the Champs Cup because they will get into trouble for being over the salary cap which would indicate that they are concerned that this will get them in trouble with the Premiership as the Champs Cup does not have a salary cap.

And that, in a nutshell highlights the absolute farce of salary caps.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:27 pm

You've got to admire the absolute gall of some posters on here, throwing about the term "uncompetitiveness" as regards to the English league, when the 3 Friday night Pro14 fixtures last week yielded an aggregate score of 122 - 22.

That takes some brazen shamelessness.

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