Leicester co-operating over possible salary cap breach

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League leaders Leicester Tigers have confirmed that they are co-operating with a Premiership Rugby investigation into historic image rights payments.

The club have met with representatives from the umbrella organisation for the Premiership to discuss the potential breach of salary cap regulations.

Tigers have responded to a report stating that salary cap director Andrew Rogers is looking into their association with a company called Worldwide Image Management (WIM).

Possible salary cap breach

WIM was shut down in February but it is claimed that it previously made payments to Leicester players.

Rogers’ investigation will look to clarify whether the payments constituted an increase in individual salaries, thereby breaking the salary cap.

The development comes in the season that Saracens returned to the Premiership after a year spent in the second tier of English rugby as punishment for repeated salary cap breaches.

“The agreed policy is that we will never confirm nor deny if there is or is not an investigation under way,” a Premiership Rugby spokesperson said.

“The salary cap director is continually looking at matters relating to the salary cap and it would be inappropriate, and could potentially undermine an investigation, if we were to confirm anything.

“However, if the salary cap director concludes that a breach has occurred, he shall charge the club (and/or player, club official, agent) and this charge shall be made public.”

English rugby will be hoping Leicester are not engulfed in the type of salary cap scandal that disgraced Saracens.

The Tigers have rebuilt under head coach Steve Borthwick and have won all 12 games played this season, establishing an eight-point lead at the summit of the Premiership and placing one foot in the knockout phase of the Champions Cup.

But if any wrongdoing is found, that progress could be derailed by the type of sanctions imposed on Saracens almost two years ago.

The north London club were deducted a total of 105 points to ensure their relegation for the 2020/21 campaign and fined £5.36million.

Rogers found that they exceeded the salary cap by in excess of £2million across the 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons through the use of contributions to property co-investments with players, image rights deals and hospitality payments.

The investigation found that some of the 2018/19 overspend was based on the valuation of the image rights payment to a player.

George Ford heaps praise on Tigers boss Steve Borthwick

Meanwhile, Leicester Tigers fly-half George Ford has lavished praise on head coach Steve Borthwick following the club’s outstanding start to the Premiership season.

Their latest 28-26 victory against Bristol Bears saw Tigers make it 10 victories out of 10 in the league, which matched Harlequins’ impressive feat in 2011.

And with Leicester having finished the 2019/20 campaign in 11th place, it represents a remarkable turnaround led by Borthwick who came in 18 months ago.

The article Leicester co-operating over possible salary cap breach appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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