The top-flight clubs have agreed to implement recommendations from the Lord Myners review

Premiership Rugby salary cap changes agreed

Premiership Rugby clubs have agreed to make changes to the salary cap regulations following a recent report.

Lord Myners, a former government minister, was commissioned by Premiership Rugby to conduct an in-depth review into the salary cap late last year following the revelations surrounding Saracens’ breaches.

In total his report made 52 recommendations to improve the salary cap and the Premiership Rugby Board has unanimously agreed to support those proposed changes.

Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs said: “It’s a credit to our clubs that they have acted so quickly to support these recommendations and take the Premiership Rugby salary cap into a new era. We want to create the gold standard for delivering sporting integrity, financial viability and competitive balance.

“The next stage is for us to consult with our clubs, RFU and RPA and to enshrine these new regulations for the start of the 2020-21 season, which will be created for the long-term benefit of our sport.”

Lord Myners’s recommendations include greater sanctions for salary cap breaches, including the stripping of titles, and making players, agents and club boards more accountable so there is greater onus on individuals to ensure regulations are not being broken by specific deals.

Premiership Rugby salary cap

Sign of times: Gloucester supporters react to the Saracens scandal (Getty Images)

Plus, Lord Myners believes the salary cap manager – or salary cap director, which is a proposed title change – should have more power to investigate clubs as well as more resources at their disposal. This includes having access to players’ tax returns and club’s “raw accounting data”.

Making the regulations easier to understand is another recommendation, while greater transparency is also strong theme.

Lord Myners’ review involved gathering feedback from 450 individuals and organisations, with damning verdicts delivered by some Premiership club supporters. One said: “From the whole Saracens affair, the most frustrating part was a lack of transparency. No one within rugby has come out of this looking good.”

Another said: “This whole affair has done huge damage to our sport. It has dragged the sport and its reputation into the gutter.”

Rebuilding the trust that has been lost by recent events is seen as an important objective, with transparency key to that. Lord Myners recommends announcing that a charge has been brought within seven days and publishing decisions in full.

You can read the full report via this link.


Lord Myners also raised concerns about the marquee player system, which allows two players to sit outside the salary cap. From the 2012-13 season, clubs could have one marquee player, with a second permitted from 2015-16. He says the marquee exemptions have “completely cut across the objectives of equality and competition, and create unhelpful inflationary pressure on wages”.

His report points out that in 2013-14 there were only five players in the Premiership who cost their club at least £300,000 while this season there are 99 players. That’s a huge increase in a few years and he proposes a review of the marquee player rule.

However, changing the level of the cap or the marquee players rule were not part of his recommendations so these will remain in place unless the clubs decide to review those areas.

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