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Premiership Rugby salary cap rise

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Premiership Rugby has confirmed that the salary cap for Aviva Premiership clubs will rise to £5 million from the start of the 2014-15 season, plus an unlimited allowance for one player who is excluded from the cap per club.

The total salary cap comprises:
  • £4.76 million salary cap from 2014-15 season, up from £4.26 million
  • £240,000 Academy credits
  • 1 Excluded Player (salary is not included in salary cap)
  • Injury Replacement
  • Clubs can also benefit from the £200,000 academy cap which supports the development and retention of home-grown talent.

"The Premiership Rugby clubs have approved this increase following the financial boost given by the new contract with BT Sport and the renewal of the competition's title sponsorship, with Aviva," said Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty.

"This reflects the policy agreed by the clubs in 2011 to align the salary cap to the financial distributions Premiership Rugby makes to the clubs.

"The objective of the salary cap is to control inflationary pressures on clubs' costs and to provide a level playing field for clubs to ensure a competitive Aviva Premiership Rugby competition.”

These objectives are borne out in the financial success the league is now seeing with more clubs breaking even and a healthy turnover of teams at the top of the league with three different winners in as many years. Aviva Premiership Rugby is the most competitive league in world rugby (highest number of games finishing in less than one score compared to any other rugby competition in the world).

In addition to the salary cap rise, Premiership Rugby recently announced the Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs are now subject to a new, more transparent, salary cap monitoring and investigation system. Following a detailed consultation by the salary cap manager with all of the Premiership Rugby Clubs, the Premiership Rugby Board has approved increased monitoring, investigation and transparency systems to support this important area.

Premiership Rugby may now undertake an Investigatory Audit in addition to the current annual salary cap audit which can involve using independent experts, to access relevant records held by a club who are suspected of breaching the regulations. There will also be clear sanctions to deal with any club failing to co-operate.

The Premiership Rugby Salary Cap was set up to achieve the following objectives in an appropriate and proportionate manner:
(a) ensuring the financial viability of all clubs and of the Aviva Premiership Rugby competition;
(b) controlling inflationary pressures on clubs' costs;
(c) providing a level playing field for clubs;
(d) ensuring a competitive Aviva Premiership Rugby competition.

The new system also means that any clubs suspected of breaching the cap will be subject to a confidential disciplinary hearing with the sanction of both a points deduction and fine available. Any breach and the sanction will be made public.

Sport Resolutions will run the disciplinary procedure, appointing an independent panel of legal experts and overseeing any appeal procedure.