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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 LondonTiger on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:54 am

carpet baboon wrote:Just listening to the BBC rugby pod. Brendan Venter is very adamant that Saracen's did nothing wrong ( but did some things wrong )and have been unfairly treated, yet then says he dosent have all the information and is going on what he has been told.
Does he still work for Saracens or just a super fan?

I suspect he is taking any attack on Saracens as an attack on his legacy.

Then you have people like Stephen Jones in the Times whomswears blind that Saracens have done nothing wrong, and that this technical rule breaking deserved 10 point deduction max.

Cases like this polarise opinion so much with no one willing to offer any middle ground in case the argument is lost. On the one side this is a punishment driven by jealousy that weakens English rugby, that the offences occurred only because Saracens produce so many quality players. On the other extreme this is the most heinous event in sporting history, with Saracens being the sort of scum who should be banished for good.

Fact is, as always, the truth sits in between the two. Saracens are a club who have done so much right. They are giving back to the local community in a way most Premierhip clubs should be ashamed they get no where near. They have developed a strong core of English players who were key to us making the WC semi final. However in so many ways they have alienated fans through perceived arrogance. This comes from both the players but more especially the management.

Along with Bruce Craig, Wray behaved like a bully in 2015 and some have been actively looking g forward to the day he would be put in his place. There is some schadenfreude amongst fans and owners. That Saracens have been cheating the cap pretty much non stop for at least 7 years is one thing, the bullying, strident proclamations of innocence and constant declaration of the "sarries values" serve to rub people's nose in it.

That we are to have a review of the Salary Cap is good. It is needed but currently not fit for purpose. The marquee system has failed to bring in global superstars, but has created massive wage inflation. There is insufficient reward for developing home grown players or producing players for England.

I suspect the salary cap mechanic will look very different by 2021/22 season.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:54 am

Why are people still harping on about the titles?

There is no rule for the cap breech that says titles are stripped. Even if you did strip them, what are you going to do? Give it to the runner up? They'd not want the title that way!

You cant change the rules for punishment after a crime has been committed. The rules were a 35 point deduction. That punishment was handed out. Sarries were then stupid/confident enough that they could then continue to operate above the cap so the league have punished them for continuing to offend so they are now relegated.

There’s a whole load of pound of flesh stuff going on at the moment.

Another thing that isn’t being discussed is who wrongfully benefits from this relegation. Why should Tigers or Irish (potentially) be saved from relegation because a team that no matter how you cut it, would be nowhere near the relegation zone, are going down?

For my tuppence worth there should be two teams going down at the end of the season, sarries being one, and whoever finishes lowest in the league. Then Newcastle and Cornish Pirates could come up.
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Post by TJ on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:07 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Toulouse for the bye. Dont think anyone can really throw them out now though. There will be a few people hoping they dont win it though else it'll be a bit of farce not having them in next year.

Yo wouldn't have to give toulouse a bye - you just disqualify Sarries and put the 9th placed team from the groups thru. Thats why its easy to do at this stage. NO byes needed

As regards titles - yes they should be stripped but maybe do what they did in cycling with some of Armstrongs TDF "wins" - just declare them void

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:10 am

Dont think it would be fair on the 10th team though. They would have surely be playing thinking about saracens record. Out of interest who would have benefitted...

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:14 am

Going further it would hardly be fair on the teams in saracens group. Alters so much. Given the prl have no handed out their punishment theres no need to go further.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:38 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I've not asked a question to you regarding whether saracens cheated. These were the questions you havent answered: Again  what has it to do with the rfu. What jurisdiction do they have? In terms of saracens having tentacles in the prl what do you mean exactly?
Are Exeter guilty as they form part of the prl?

I've not asked you to prove anything.

How can I back up speculation? I've already said I can't prove anything, but wouldn't be surprised if it were true.

What part of my previous post didn't you understand?


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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:40 am

Saracens have just released a statement:

"Our goal is to find a way to continue these over-the-salary-cap payments in a way that will elude the investigation of the relevant authorities", a Saracens spokesperson commented. "This way we can rebuild the broken confidence while secretly continuing to cheat all our rivals".

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:44 am

tigertattie wrote:

For my tuppence worth there should be two teams going down at the end of the season, sarries being one, and whoever finishes lowest in the league. Then Newcastle and Cornish Pirates could come up.

They tried that before - Cornish Pirates' ground was deemed 'not up to code' for the Premiership, despite Prates winning the right for promotion.

This despite that Bath are allowed to play at The Rec.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:46 am

Read the questions again Khan. I'm not asking you to prove anything. I'm asking for detail on your own opinion.

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Post by Old Man on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:49 am

In my view this is going too far. How many people players, staff, etc is getting punished and many might lose their livelyhoods due to the decision makers, administrators are to blame.

The management and dsicion makers are the ones that must be punished as they are the ones who actively cheated.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 11:09 am

TJ wrote:
and says all routes to remedy the situation were closed off
They are now in January.  they were not at the beggining of the season.  Signing Daly may well have been the last straw.  Overspend the salery cap then recruit more expensive players?

Does anyone else think they should be thrown out of the european cup as well?  BY being in breech of their home leagues rules they are not eligible for the euro cup.  It could be done now with no disruption to the cup

This is getting a bit silly I think.

No, they shouldn't be thrown out of the European Cup.....I hope they go on and win the thing to be honest.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 11:27 am

Khouli Khan wrote:Saracens have just released a statement:

"Our goal is to find a way to continue these over-the-salary-cap payments in a way that will elude the investigation of the relevant authorities", a Saracens spokesperson commented. "This way we can rebuild the broken confidence while secretly continuing to cheat all our rivals".

Their using the word 'elude'? Seems a bit strange. "escape from or avoid (a danger, enemy, or pursuer), typically in a skilful or cunning way"
Why don't they say transparent or compliant?

The scramble to restructure, remove or shutdown independent non-rugby-playing-related co-investment endeavours sounds a bit like those schemes were linked to rugby play rather than being self-sufficient, stand alone business ventures.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 11:29 am

LondonTiger wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Just listening to the BBC rugby pod. Brendan Venter is very adamant that Saracen's did nothing wrong ( but did some things wrong )and have been unfairly treated, yet then says he dosent have all the information and is going on what he has been told.
Does he still work for Saracens or just a super fan?

That we are to have a review of the Salary Cap is good. It is needed but currently not fit for purpose. The marquee system has failed to bring in global superstars, but has created massive wage inflation. There is insufficient reward for developing home grown players or producing players for England.  

I suspect the salary cap mechanic will look very different by 2021/22 season.

Thats my view LT. You have hit the nail on the head.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 12:42 pm

Old Man wrote:In my  view this is going too far. How many people players, staff, etc is getting punished and many might lose their livelyhoods due to the decision makers, administrators are to blame.

The management and dsicion makers are the ones that must be punished as they are the ones who actively cheated.

I agree. You literally have a team who pummels everybody and make up the core of the England team, it's probably not a good idea to destroy that when it seems to be the fault of the board and owners.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 1:10 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:In my  view this is going too far. How many people players, staff, etc is getting punished and many might lose their livelyhoods due to the decision makers, administrators are to blame.

The management and dsicion makers are the ones that must be punished as they are the ones who actively cheated.

I agree. You literally have a team who pummels everybody and make up the core of the England team, it's probably not a good idea to destroy that when it seems to be the fault of the board and owners.

Well at least that's a problem the Welsh will.never have to face

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 1:22 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
TJ wrote:
and says all routes to remedy the situation were closed off
They are now in January.  they were not at the beggining of the season.  Signing Daly may well have been the last straw.  Overspend the salery cap then recruit more expensive players?

Does anyone else think they should be thrown out of the european cup as well?  BY being in breech of their home leagues rules they are not eligible for the euro cup.  It could be done now with no disruption to the cup

This is getting a bit silly I think.

No, they shouldn't be thrown out of the European Cup.....I hope they go on and win the thing to be honest.

I am also unaware of any salary cap restrictions for the European cup.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 1:54 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:In my  view this is going too far. How many people players, staff, etc is getting punished and many might lose their livelyhoods due to the decision makers, administrators are to blame.

The management and dsicion makers are the ones that must be punished as they are the ones who actively cheated.

I agree. You literally have a team who pummels everybody and make up the core of the England team, it's probably not a good idea to destroy that when it seems to be the fault of the board and owners.

Well at least that's a problem the Welsh will.never have to face

Yes we don't breach the salary cap. I doubt we can even reach it. Let me guess, you're another one who wants to break up the team so they can redistribute their players? Join the queue.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:02 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
TJ wrote:
and says all routes to remedy the situation were closed off
They are now in January.  they were not at the beggining of the season.  Signing Daly may well have been the last straw.  Overspend the salery cap then recruit more expensive players?

Does anyone else think they should be thrown out of the european cup as well?  BY being in breech of their home leagues rules they are not eligible for the euro cup.  It could be done now with no disruption to the cup

This is getting a bit silly I think.

No, they shouldn't be thrown out of the European Cup.....I hope they go on and win the thing to be honest.

Don't be daft.

There isn't a cap in the European Cup, but Saracens are playing with a team that's been bought with stupid money and cheating. The only reason Saracens are in Europe in the first place is because they cheated to gain league success.

Anyone wishing them well ought to have their head examined.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:27 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:In my  view this is going too far. How many people players, staff, etc is getting punished and many might lose their livelyhoods due to the decision makers, administrators are to blame.

The management and dsicion makers are the ones that must be punished as they are the ones who actively cheated.

I agree. You literally have a team who pummels everybody and make up the core of the England team, it's probably not a good idea to destroy that when it seems to be the fault of the board and owners.

The senior coaches are undoubtedly complicit as well, not just Wray and the board. Coaches are involved in all discussions about putting squads together and deciding what wages meet value in their opinion. There's no way that McCall didn't put 2 and 2 together. He's an excellent coach but complicit in it.

The cap exists largely to prevent a young professional game going bankrupt. I often feel that many fans (not accusing you personally here Mikey) willingly ignore that rugby is in a fragile financial state, only 25-years into professionalism.

In the last 2 seasons in England we have had Wasps and Newcastle being forced cutting wage bills massively whilst in the Premiership. The Championship meanwhile has vast financial issues of it's own.

In Scotland the SRU brought in Dodson largely with a remit to make the Scottish set-up more viable due to consistent losses. He has overseen quick improvements at the higher levels but many Scotland fans will tell you it's been to the detriment of their club set-up below Edinburgh and Glasgow.

As a knowledgeable Welsh fan you are no doubt more informed than me on the financials issues of the regions and WRU.

The cap has been in place since 1999 when the Richmond and London Scottish partnership went under. Sarries flaunting the cap has played a big role in rapid wage inflation that most Premiership clubs are struggling to keep up with. Personally I think the punishment fits.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:36 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:In my  view this is going too far. How many people players, staff, etc is getting punished and many might lose their livelyhoods due to the decision makers, administrators are to blame.

The management and dsicion makers are the ones that must be punished as they are the ones who actively cheated.

I agree. You literally have a team who pummels everybody and make up the core of the England team, it's probably not a good idea to destroy that when it seems to be the fault of the board and owners.

Well at least that's a problem the Welsh will.never have to face

Yes we don't breach the salary cap. I doubt we can even reach it. Let me guess, you're another one who wants to break up the team so they can redistribute their players? Join the queue.


I meant you wont have to worry about having a club team who can pummel everyone.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:37 pm

It seems to be important to some on the Saracens side - for instance, Brendan Venter - that Saracens are seen as having sinned but not through malicious intent.

In this reading, Saracens looked for legal, or grey area, ways to tweak their budget to keep all their players on board as their value increased over time. Venter says Wray got a legal opinion on the co-investment schemes which said they would not contribute to the cap.            

Let's assume Venter is right about that legal opinion. Why would Saracens have asked for it? If they wanted to know whether the co-investment schemes would be regarded as part of the cap, surely the best way of finding out, would have been to ask the Premiership cap compliance team.

There are a couple of reasons why they might have chosen not to do that:

1) They didn't want any other teams finding out about the loophole. If this was indeed the motive, then that would indicate Saracens wanted to use the schemes to improve their competitive position, not just reward their own players. This would be important, as I have heard some claim that Wray is a generous man, and would have probably have helped out non-Saracens players if they had come looking for finance. If Wray really did have goodwill to all in mind, then he would have let the other owners know they could use co-investment to look after key players.  

2) Another reason not to ask the Premiership, while soliciting an independent legal opinion, is that Saracens were willing to rely on it to take action, should the Premiership claim the schemes did not comply. Initially, this is what it sounded like Saracens were planning to do when the initial points penalty was handed down.

In this scenario, Saracens were always taking a combative approach to the whole principle of the cap. It's possible that they assumed breaches by other teams - notably Bath in 2015 - indicated that others also found the cap impractical, and they would have support from other sides. Meanwhile, perhaps they also wanted to wield the threat of going to court as a means to cower any Premiership sides who just want a quiet life. Again, this is all guesswork but it fits the situation where Saracens sought a legal opinion without asking the Premiership.  

Ultimately, it seems to me to be fruitless for anyone to hope that Saracens will seen as having broken the salary cap out of love, or ignorance, rather than malicious intent. I would imagine a large part of the rugby public doesn't care what motivated the breach, while some will never be convinced it was anything other than malicious. The only reason it really matters, is the narrative Saracens is permitted to tell itself, in order to keep all its stakeholders onside.

And yet, if that is important, you'd imagine Saracens would be in the forefront, arguing for full transparency, so everyone could also understand the unfortunate series of assumptions and events which brought us here. They are not.

It looks a lot to me, as if Saracens gambled on the Premiership being in a very different commercial space in 2020, compared with 2015. They kept pushing the envelope on the assumption that the cap would be increased or abolished, or ring-fencing introduced. perhaps they hoped some major changes would be enacted which would make the breach irrelevant; something everyone else did anyway; or a matter into which no-one would want to look to hard, as happened in 2015.

As it turns out, the game has grown but life has got more precarious for everyone, with no immediate propect of rugby suddenly showering riches on everyone. In trying to stay ahead of the pack, Saracens ended up alienating the people they needed to keep onside.


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Post by king_carlos on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:38 pm

A final more general point that has been bugging me during these debates on a day to day basis rather than just on the boards.

I've often heard sympathy for Sarries breaking the cap due to producing their own players, who they shouldn't lose due to the cap.

My first issue with this is that the academies are hugely funded and aided by the RFU. Each club puts a lot into academies no doubt in terms of nurturing talent and coaching but the RFU has largely funded the infrastructure. The RFU also does a lot of scouting work through the age group set-ups that the academies then benefit from if a player falls within their catchment area.

By signing up to the PRL regulations the clubs benefit from the Professional Game Agreement between the RFU and PRL. This gives them huge academy funding and vitally a catchment area for their academy to allow them to lock in young talent.

Sarries have no doubt done great work in building a their development pathway on top of this but without signing up with PRL (and as such the salary cap regs) they wouldn't have had the infrastructure on which to build.

My second frustration with fans feeling sympathy for Sarries losing their stars due to the cap is that Sarries themselves have profited hugely by signing players away from other clubs with a wage structure we now know was breaking the rules. Off the top of my head - Mako (Bristol), Billy (Wasps), Lozowski (Wasps), Daly (Wasps), Ashton (Saints) and Strettle (Quins).

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:39 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:In my  view this is going too far. How many people players, staff, etc is getting punished and many might lose their livelyhoods due to the decision makers, administrators are to blame.

The management and dsicion makers are the ones that must be punished as they are the ones who actively cheated.

I agree. You literally have a team who pummels everybody and make up the core of the England team, it's probably not a good idea to destroy that when it seems to be the fault of the board and owners.

Well at least that's a problem the Welsh will.never have to face

Yes we don't breach the salary cap. I doubt we can even reach it. Let me guess, you're another one who wants to break up the team so they can redistribute their players? Join the queue.


I meant you wont have to worry about having a club team who can pummel everyone.

Obvs not, you have to breach the cap to do that according to all of you in here? There are those who can pummel others without cheating, so to speak.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/42622827
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40056082

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:42 pm

king_carlos wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:In my  view this is going too far. How many people players, staff, etc is getting punished and many might lose their livelyhoods due to the decision makers, administrators are to blame.

The management and dsicion makers are the ones that must be punished as they are the ones who actively cheated.

I agree. You literally have a team who pummels everybody and make up the core of the England team, it's probably not a good idea to destroy that when it seems to be the fault of the board and owners.

The senior coaches are undoubtedly complicit as well, not just Wray and the board. Coaches are involved in all discussions about putting squads together and deciding what wages meet value in their opinion. There's no way that McCall didn't put 2 and 2 together. He's an excellent coach but complicit in it.

The cap exists largely to prevent a young professional game going bankrupt. I often feel that many fans (not accusing you personally here Mikey) willingly ignore that rugby is in a fragile financial state, only 25-years into professionalism.

In the last 2 seasons in England we have had Wasps and Newcastle being forced cutting wage bills massively whilst in the Premiership. The Championship meanwhile has vast financial issues of it's own.

In Scotland the SRU brought in Dodson largely with a remit to make the Scottish set-up more viable due to consistent losses. He has overseen quick improvements at the higher levels but many Scotland fans will tell you it's been to the detriment of their club set-up below Edinburgh and Glasgow.

As a knowledgeable Welsh fan you are no doubt more informed than me on the financials issues of the regions and WRU.

The cap has been in place since 1999 when the Richmond and London Scottish partnership went under. Sarries flaunting the cap has played a big role in rapid wage inflation that most Premiership clubs are struggling to keep up with. Personally I think the punishment fits.

In which case then perhaps McCall and others should walk away, or be shown the door. The players have been dragged through it enough and have had the 35 point deduction, quite a significant amount.

I understand the cap is there to ensure a level playing field for prem teams, among other reasons. There probably should be one for Europe as a whole though.

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Post by BamBam on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:43 pm

I think this has to be looked at independently of the England team, and any consequences for it.

If the breach before the 2015 RWC had been dealt with properly at the time, there has to be a decent chance that this would never have happened. Saracens would have suffered publicly, and perhaps wouldn't have been so arrogant with their approach to the cap for the last few seasons. Sadly it was apparently covered up due to the negative effect it would have on the perception of rugby in this country in the lead up to the tournament

England may suffer some effects, but with 4 years until the next RWC, I think ensuring the integrity of the club game is more important at this stage. Sarries players aren't stupid, they will have known there was something not quite right, and now they will have the opportunity to move clubs, just as players all over the world do.

Its the fans and support staff are the ones I feel sorry for - none of them are at fault for anything beyond loyalty to their side. The guys at the top controlling the club are the ones who should be punished, but other than relegation there just isn't anything that can be done

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:58 pm

Largely agree BamBam. Must admit though that the more partisan Saracens fans (think beshocked on amphetamines) I see on some comments section are reducing the sympathy I have for the fans. The biggest losers will be the support and admin staff who will not have gained from this cheating (players got higher wages, fans got trophies).

Mikey the Cap is not designed to level the playing field, more to try and prevent bankruptcies.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 3:11 pm

We have been pondering how the Salary Cap mechanic will look after the review at work.

My feeling is that:

1) Marquee player allowance has not brought in hlobal stars and has helped drive the wage inflation
2) Teams should not be "punished" for developing their kids into international players (ie Quins unable to pay Sinckler a rise and stay in the cap)
3) Teams should be rewarded for developing England players.

So if I were in charge, and thank god I am not, I would massively reduce the salary cap BUT England qualified players who have come through the academy or have never been on the books of another PRL side would not come under the cap. In addition players that have been recruited from outside and are uncapped would see a portion (50%?) Sit outside the cap if they are turned into England players. There would continue to be an allowance for payers 8n the England squad as now.
This would mean that the salary cap effectively covers players recruited from other teams. For Tigers for example Cole, Youngs, Ford and Manu would lie outside the cap, Genge would be half and half while Jonny May would have to sit within the cap.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 3:16 pm

LondonTiger wrote:We have been pondering how the Salary Cap mechanic will look after the review at work.

My feeling is that:

1) Marquee player allowance has not brought in hlobal stars and has helped drive the wage inflation
2) Teams should not be "punished" for developing their kids into international players (ie Quins unable to pay Sinckler a rise and stay in the cap)
3) Teams should be rewarded for developing England players.

So if I were in charge, and thank god I am not, I would massively reduce the salary cap BUT England qualified players who have come through the academy or have never been on the books of another PRL side would not come under the cap. In addition players that have been recruited from outside and are uncapped would see a portion (50%?) Sit outside the cap if they are turned into England players. There would continue to be an allowance for payers 8n the England squad as now.
This would mean that the salary cap effectively covers players recruited from other teams. For Tigers for example Cole, Youngs, Ford and Manu would lie outside the cap, Genge would be half and half while Jonny May would have to sit within the cap.

It feels like you are trying to engineer a situation that discourages players from moving clubs if they are going to be internationals. I guess any idea is going to create an artifcial situation that somebody will try and game, and so am glad deciding on new rules is somebody else's problem.

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Post by whocares on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 4:53 pm

It will also incentivise poaching at academy level which might not be a good thing....

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 4:53 pm

Players can move, it would just limit how easy it is to tempt away fully developed stars.

There is of course no easy answer.

American sports use salary caps to increase competition and there are minimums as well as maximum. They are also, in the main, closed sports with minimal global competition.

Football are trying to address rampant spending through FFP regs, but police it badly and it is open to abuse with sponsor payments etc. We have seen how certain rugby clubs can engineer a "profit" in a similar way.

I do believe the Salary Cap system will change quite significantly.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 4:59 pm

whocares wrote:It will also incentivise poaching at academy level which might not be a good thing....

Hard to poach players before they are 18 due to how the academy catchment areas are set. Anyone looking to abuse this would need to be planning very early.

As has been pointed out above Saracens fall back on the "we produce England players" ignoring that the likes of Billy, Mako, Daly etc were all recruited from opposition first teams. They have been able to run two full sides that could make the playoffs due to abusing the rules. Yet in the modern game it is perhaps the only way to compete in Europe with the Irish and French teams.

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Post by whocares on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 5:12 pm

Ok didn’t know there were such things as catchment areas for age group rugby.
Kind of agree with your last point but assuming each of England top teams (chiefs, tigers and saints for sake of argument) get 4/5 Saracens players each they would surely be better equipped for the champions cup.
In any case Saracens were almost in a league of their own at European level (with the exception of Leinster and maybe Toulouse now).



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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 6:22 pm

Given Tigers are nearly at the cap as is I can't see us securing four or five Sarries players. TPN is off in the summer so if we haven't already agreed to bring somebody in we could try and get Singleton and if he doesn't want to go Woolstencroft would be a handy and cheaper option. Matt Gallagher would have been a good option for us but it seems likely Munster will poach him for Ireland. Kruis or Isikwe would also be good but if the rumours are true and we'd already got Alemmano lined up we might not have room.

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Post by Heaf on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 7:05 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
whocares wrote:It will also incentivise poaching at academy level which might not be a good thing....

Hard to poach players before they are 18 due to how the academy catchment areas are set. Anyone looking to abuse this would need to be planning very early.

As has been pointed out above Saracens fall back on the "we produce England players" ignoring that the likes of Billy, Mako, Daly etc were all recruited from opposition first teams. They have been able to run two full sides that could make the playoffs due to abusing the rules. Yet in the modern game it is perhaps the only way to compete in Europe with the Irish and French teams.

Anything that would keep Bath away from the LI academy output would get my vote ...

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Post by quinsforever on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:00 pm

Khouli Khan wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:What have the rfu got to do with it?

1) Nothing, as they have only superficial governance of the Premiership

or

2) They are complicit with the club that has perpetrated the biggest heist in sporting history. A club so evil that Kim Jong-Un is a fan. A club so pernicious that even the arch cynic that is SecretFly (love ya really) has grudging respect.


The real issue is that the Salary Cap manager has, until now, been required to work only from the information submitted by the clubs. There could be other teams deliberately breaking the cap, though nowhere near to the level Sarries did, who have utilised the same evasion. This though is not an RFU thing, it is a PRL thing. Which we should all remember is owned by the clubs.

In rugby terms, they have - pretty much.

Saracens are cheats, and to some people, that within sport is a truly evil crime - in fact, there can be little worse. And its about time some people woke up to the disrepute they've brought to the sport.
histrionics

who's to say they couldnt have won at least the premiership while staying within the cap? certainly a valid argument given the quality of their academy products, especially if there were not able to make it through to the knockout stages of Chumps Cup with a smaller squad.


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Post by quinsforever on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:04 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:Am I the only one who is concerned that Saracens were even allowed to choose between relegation and opening their books up to inspection and then were allowed to go "OK we'll take relegation but you're not seeing the books"?
So what happens next season when they come back up again and the PRL ask to see their books - are they going to stay in the Championship?
Final point - as anyone asked the Championship clubs - some of whom like Ealing and Pirates are trying to get promoted to the Premiership and now have to cope with the Saracens behemoth landing in their division?
that wasnt their whole choice.

their whole choice involved handing back their premiership wins....

i can understand why they wouldnt want to do that

what they did is NOTHING like doping in cycling IMO. i can see several of you feel the opposite, but the reality is we will never know whether the results would have been any different at the end of the season in the the Premiership had they been within cap...

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Post by quinsforever on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:08 pm

TJ wrote:
and says all routes to remedy the situation were closed off
They are now in January.  they were not at the beggining of the season.  Signing Daly may well have been the last straw.  Overspend the salery cap then recruit more expensive players?

Does anyone else think they should be thrown out of the european cup as well?  BY being in breech of their home leagues rules they are not eligible for the euro cup.  It could be done now with no disruption to the cup
not so

i understand a lot of glasgow fans are angry TJ, but there are no salary caps in Europe firstly, and secondly, a clubs participation in the Chumps Cup is based ONLY on it being in the country's respective league. As Sarries are currently IN the premiership there is nothing to talk about

now if the PRL were able to expel Sarries from the league mid-season they you would technically have a point. However the PRL and 11 other clubs would not survive the lawsuit that that move would lead to...hence why its not even been mooted

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Post by quinsforever on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:13 pm

tigertattie wrote:Why are people still harping on about the titles?

There is no rule for the cap breech that says titles are stripped. Even if you did strip them, what are you going to do? Give it to the runner up? They'd not want the title that way!

You cant change the rules for punishment after a crime has been committed. The rules were a 35 point deduction. That punishment was handed out. Sarries were then stupid/confident enough that they could then continue to operate above the cap so the league have punished them for continuing to offend so they are now relegated.

There’s a whole load of pound of flesh stuff going on at the moment.

Another thing that isn’t being discussed is who wrongfully benefits from this relegation. Why should Tigers or Irish (potentially) be saved from relegation because a team that no matter how you cut it, would be nowhere near the relegation zone, are going down?

For my tuppence worth there should be two teams going down at the end of the season, sarries being one, and whoever finishes lowest in the league. Then Newcastle and Cornish Pirates could come up.
totally agree with that

its rather unfair on whomever might have fancied their chances of winning promotion, to have to beat Saracens for the right to go up...

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Post by quinsforever on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:18 pm

Khouli Khan wrote:Saracens have just released a statement:

"Our goal is to find a way to continue these over-the-salary-cap payments in a way that will elude the investigation of the relevant authorities", a Saracens spokesperson commented. "This way we can rebuild the broken confidence while secretly continuing to cheat all our rivals".
rarely have i seen such confected outrage

are you a devon bot?

why are you so angry?

Saracens have done more good for their community and for the England team than any english club. their success with the England team bit is a major part of their financial problems.

sure, say they are worse than Lance Armstrong. but in doing do you lose all credibility.

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Post by TJ on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:28 pm

On a point of order - I would want them kicked out of the Euro cup no matter who benefited!

For sure their cheating helped them in the euro cup as well. Yes there is no salary cap but having those extra high paid players helped them anyway.

I just cannot stand cheating. I would have been much more sympathetic if at the start of this season they had attmpted to reduce the wage bill but they did not

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Post by quinsforever on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:38 pm

TJ wrote:On a point of order - I would want them kicked out of the Euro cup no matter who benefited!

For sure their cheating helped them in the euro cup as well.  Yes there is no salary cap but having those extra high paid players helped them anyway.

I just cannot stand cheating.  I would have been much more sympathetic if at the start of this season they had attmpted to reduce the wage bill but they did not
i hate cheating too

but i think they were screwed from the start once this kicked off. its impossible to offload players at short notice if everyone is at their caps. incoming CEO griffiths thought he could fix it, but was forced to admit he couldnt. so it was impossible for them to get under the cap for this season, most especially because compensation for early termination of contracts counts as current year salary...

cue PRL doubling the points penalty.

fair enough.

but lets not blame it on Saracens not trying to get under the cap after the first penalty was handed down. as that was financially impossible given contracts.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:38 pm

Old Man wrote:In my  view this is going too far. How many people players, staff, etc is getting punished and many might lose their livelyhoods due to the decision makers, administrators are to blame.

The management and dsicion makers are the ones that must be punished as they are the ones who actively cheated.

This is why the whole concept of relegation at the moment is Poopie. Every season the team who goes down has to jettison staff and players. Lives are changed by it and not for the better.

Until the Champ is also fully pro and able to pay its players a decent wage relegation should be done.

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Post by quinsforever on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:43 pm

Bold prediction for the future:

- salary cap rules will be changed, as some have suggested, in favour of those developing England players
- Sarries win promotion back to Premiership on bounce
- Sarries win league 3 out of next 4 years, as their squad is tight like no other, and has had a year away from cap, premiership, and Euro pressure to get their squad right for the next few years


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Post by TJ on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:44 pm

Signing more players this season was basically just sticking two fingers up thio

If at the beginning of the season they had publicly said we need to reduce the wage bill and that they were taking steps but failed - I would have more sympathy. But they didn't. Wray attempted to bluff and bluster his way out of it rather than saying " right lads its 10% of wages accross the board and anyone want to leave / go on loan?

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Post by quinsforever on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:52 pm

true

but as the prl bottled the previous encounter with saracens and bath, i am guessing wray thought he could bully his way similarly this time around...

neither look good. but for this to be 100% wray's fault rather than something in between doesnt cover the 11 other club owners in glory either.

personally, i dont like what saracens did financially
but...
i love what they did with their playing culture (wolfpack etc)
i love what they did with their academy
i love what they did in the community
i love what their players contributed for England

so i am conflicted.


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Post by king_carlos on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:56 pm

The salary cap regulations state that the side being promoted from the Championship have to be able to prove they were within the cap for 2 years prior to being promoted. This rule is clearly in place to stop clubs front loading contracts whilst in the championship to build a squad that can gain promotion.

If Sarries can't get under the cap for this season could that then mean they can't get promoted again until 2022/23?

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Post by TJ on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:03 pm

Yes

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Post by quinsforever on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:32 pm

king_carlos wrote:The salary cap regulations state that the side being promoted from the Championship have to be able to prove they were within the cap for 2 years prior to being promoted. This rule is clearly in place to stop clubs front loading contracts whilst in the championship to build a squad that can gain promotion.

If Sarries can't get under the cap for this season could that then mean they can't get promoted again until 2022/23?
i think you may have that wrong.

they need to provide info about the previous 2 years, but they only need to be under the cap for the last 28 days before going UP. Premiership Salary Regulations section 15.1 and 4.4

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:49 pm

TJ wrote:On a point of order - I would want them kicked out of the Euro cup no matter who benefited!

For sure their cheating helped them in the euro cup as well.  Yes there is no salary cap but having those extra high paid players helped them anyway.

I just cannot stand cheating.  I would have been much more sympathetic if at the start of this season they had attmpted to reduce the wage bill but they did not

Do you feel the same way about Toulon and some of the other French squads? Should everyone be restricted to what the Scottish clubs can afford?

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Post by TJ on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 11:14 pm

Only those that cheat. Cheats should not prosper.


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