Nothing illustrates this more than the current exemption from the salary cap of two marquee players – or “excluded players”, one overseas, and one English, as the Premiership likes to call the big-money signings who are in the process of creating a two-tier top league.
The top earners within the 13team Premiership cartel are headed by Charles Piutau, the former All Black full-back/wing, who is reportedly on a £1m annual salary at Bristol, with Saracens’ England lock Maro Itoje second with £875,000 a year. Itoje’s cub captain/fly-half Owen Farrell banks £750,000 although he is not a marquee man. That honour goes to Sarries’ Springbok world champion tighthead Vincent Koch (Overseas) on £300k.
The idea that this fiscal loophole promotes anything but wage inflation, as well as an unequal funding model, is laughable.
The self-congratulatory claptrap on Premiership rugby’s website makes claims about grasping “the importance of salary caps and/or financial regulation”. If salary caps are so important, why does it allow any exemptions?
Its claims to be “ensuring the financial viability of all clubs and the Premiership Rugby competition” flies in the face of reality, with all Premiership clubs bar one trading in the red at the last audit.
Even more bogus is Premiership Rugby’s claim that the salary cap is “controlling inflationary pressure on clubs’ costs”. The biggest inflationary pressures faced by most clubs is their willingness to pay excessive salaries to marquee players, which then drive wage increases across their squads that are massively in excess of the money the clubs generate from funding, whether from the RFU through their excessive PGA payout, or from broadcasters, sponsors, and gate takings.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Sandersons help put Kirkham on the map
Brendan Gallagher continues his series looking at rugby’s great schools
Rees-Zammit is truly fast but Slade is just too quiet
The five players highlighted in this column – Wales winger Louis Rees-Zammit, France fly-half Matthieu Jalibert, England outside centre Henry Slade, Ireland lock/blindside Tadhg Beirne, and Scotland openside Hamish Watson – are there because they have contributed in different ways in this Six Nations, and I’ve enjoyed watching them. Even more credit is due because each has raised their game despite the difficulties of the emotional bypass involved in playing in empty stadiums during lockdown.
Welsh luck ran out but future looks much brighter
For some it could have been the ‘Lucky 13th’ Grand Slam, but in the end the luck ran out. Fair play to the French, they kept going and going and going and deserved their win in the end.
No protests this time about unequal TV cash!
It’s amazing how time and circumstances can change people’s ideals and position on any number of things, even those that are supposedly ‘cast in stone’. Just around 25 years ago the RFU were removed from the Five Nations Championship on a point of principle that was agreed by the Celtic nations (Wales, Scotland and Ireland) and then after protracted discussions and negotiations, reinstated.
Lions turned hoses on Bevan and Gibson
ALLAN MARTIN THE FORMER WALES, LIONS AND ABERAVON LOCK
England's Lions hopefuls hit skids with Triple Frown
A very strange thing happened over the last week or so. It started with Anthony Watson straight after the France game, followed by Jonny May and then Ben Youngs, with all three being refreshingly candid in interviews in which they conceded England’s poor form in the Six Nations before the France game had been down to them.
Lack of relegation is not causing a loss of edge
It’s five weeks since the moratorium on Premiership relegation was announced, and if the doom-mongers were to be believed, some teams would by now be swanning around with their players demonstrating a couldn’t-care-less attitude. We were told that the lack of ‘jeopardy’ would be damaging to the league, and that fans would lose interest, but so far nothing could be further from the truth.
Getting inside head of Gatland not easy
S0 the 2021 Six Nations is all but done and dusted and our thoughts turn afresh to Lions selection regardless of exactly what format that ‘tour’ will take.
Dusautoir feels the pain of World Cup failure
Brendan Gallagher delves into some of rugby’s most enduring images, their story and why they are still so impactful
Premiership's treatment of Lions is a scandal
THE Premiership is on its way to becoming the biggest pariah in Rugby Union. Hallmarks of its blinkered, divisive selfishness, highlighted by its ring-fencing agenda, have surfaced again in its latest fight with the British & Irish Lions.