The RFU have issued a warning to Premiership clubs that the ever-increasing salaries for their players are unsustainable.
The salary cap for Premiership clubs currently stands at £7 million, this figure was established last season when the cap was increased by £500,000.
A caveat of this salary cap was that clubs could sign two ‘marquee players’ who would not contribute to this salary cap.
The league has seen some high-profile additions this summer with Charles Piutau’s move from Ulster to Bristol reportedly earning him £1 million per year.
Inflation of salaries has also been compounded by the increased funding provided by the RFU to Premiership clubs, a deal which was struck last year on the condition that the RFU would have greater access to England’s players.
When asked whether players must be realistic in terms of the means in which they are paid in a tough financial climate, RFU Chief Executive Steve Brown said:
“I think they have to be [realistic]. England can afford the England player salaries, but lots of countries can’t afford to keep their players within the country,” Brown told Sky Sports.
“Our wage caps are really important. There is not enough money in the system… unless we see something radical commercially.
“Certainly in England and France, the salary inflation has gone beyond the affordability of some clubs and some nations as well.
“That is a challenge that we have in the game as a whole. In England it is high, but reasonably well contained.”
11 of the 12 Premiership clubs recorded losses last year and suffered combined losses of about £20 million.