Imagine Rugby Blogs

RFU To Retain Salary Cap

Top clubs must continue with current regulations

Posted Apr 07, 2011 by Shaun Edwards

Chris Ashton has become a vital player for Saints and England

This week the RFU announced that the salary cap currently in place in the Aviva Premiership would not be raised from its current £4.2million per year.

Four of the top Premiership clubs: Leicester Tigers, Saracens, Northampton Saints and Bath, all want the salary cap to be raised to around £5million, or abolished altogether, allowing them to attract the top players in world rugby to their clubs.

Of the remaining Premiership clubs, many accept that a change may need to be made to balance out the ambitions of the clubs with expenditure, while others fear that an increase in the salary cap may see them cast adrift at the foot of the table and a greater difference between the clubs at the top and bottom.

Clubs are allowed an additional 10% of the salary cap, (£420,000), a season to cover for players who suffer long-term or serious injuries. If a club is found to have broken the salary cap, they can be fined up to £300,000, be docked points or even, in an extreme case, expelled from the Premiership.

The teams pushing for the change to the salary cap are keen to raise it or abolish it in order to keep their international players at the clubs, and also to bring in new talent to cover for the internationals during periods such as the six nations. Northampton, for instance, lost players such as Ben Foden, Courtney Lawes and Chris Ashton for the competition and consequently suffered a dip in form domestically, as the Premiership campaign does not take an international break.

Keith Barwell, Chairman of Northamton said, "We are bound to the salary cap because it was passed in a majority vote. Most clubs are not making any money so their vision is to survive rather than progress. That is not the way forward for sustainable rugby."

The decision to keep the current salary cap in place will be in effect until at least the 2012/13 season so the top clubs will have to try and improve their young talents - which can't be a bad thing for the British game.

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