The Premiership leaders were found to have spent above the cap in four consecutive seasons

Leicester fined for salary cap breaches

Leicester Tigers have been fined £309,841.06 by Premiership Rugby for salary cap non-compliance between the 2016/17 and 2020/21 seasons.

The Gallagher Premiership leaders were found to have not declared payments to players’ image rights companies in each season from 2016/17 to 2019/20, and did not declare certain expenditure in 2020/21.

The club will not appeal the decision and have avoided a points deduction, meaning an investigation that began last December has concluded.

Leicester were deemed to have not disclosed arrangements where the club and at least one of their commercial partners paid money to the image rights companies of Tigers players.

They should have signalled these deals to Premiership Rugby’s salary cap director Andrew Rogers, who possesses increased sanctioning powers following a review of the protocol in November 2020.

However, Leicester were sanctioned under the old regulations because their misdemeanours were committed before this date.

The club has been fined £122,750 for 2016-17, £64,718.05 for 2017-18, £30,886.69 for 2018-19 and £73,586.32 for 2019-20.

They were also charged £17,900 for failing to declare payments for the 2020/21 season, though they did not breach the cap here.

The fines were calculated by how much Leicester broke the salary cap in each season. They were fined half of the amount they overspent up to £50,000, and the full amount for anything over this threshold.

In all four seasons involving a breach, Leicester were below the ‘overrun limit’, preventing harsher punishment.

The limit was never below £325,000, and the most the Tigers exceeded the salary cap was £147,750 in 2016/17.

As a result, the club has avoided the fate of Saracens, who were automatically relegated from the Premiership in 2020.

The North London club’s breaches were far more severe, with an overspend of £1.1m in 2016/17 alone, and stimulated the rule changes in 2020.

Leicester, who are 12 points clear at the top of the Premiership, are eager to move on from their period of scrutiny.

Andrea Pinchen, the club’s chief executive, said: “We are thankful this matter has been brought to a conclusion and pleased that we can now focus all of our energy and efforts on the future of the club.

“We accept the decision and the acknowledgement that there was no overrun in the most recent season of the review.”

Rogers added: “Leicester Tigers have cooperated with my investigation and accepted the findings.

“While we are satisfied that the arrangements which resulted in the overspend have been brought to an end, we will continue to assess all spending as part of our ongoing monitoring process at every club.”

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