The Ligue Nationale de Rugby last season changed the Top 14’s salary cap regulations.
Although it largely went unnoticed in the English speaking world, last July the Ligue Nationale de Rugby changed the regulations governing the salary cap in France.
The change stipulated that players could only receive bonuses worth between 10% and 40% of their salary. While bonuses can be used to incentivise players, some clubs in France have been accused of using a bonus system as a means of defying the salary cap.
In an article published in Rugby World last January, Gavin Mortimer wrote that while Dan Carter will earn a salary of about €500,000, he will also receive an estimated €300,000 in image rights ‘from the operating company of Arena 92, Racing’s new home from 2016 that will also host concerts and business conferences’.
Indeed, in an article published by Le rugby Nistere today, Toulon owner, Mourad Boudjellal, admitted that, ‘on average, my players receive 10-20% of their income in bonuses, but for some it is 50%.
While he does not list the players who receive 50% of their salaries in bonuses, it would not be difficult to imagine that many of Toulon’s star players earn much of their income through this means.
Although Boudjellal’s admission seems to put him on a collision curse with the LNR, he is right to point out that the changes to the salary cap regulations have occurred too suddenly. However the manner in which he expressed his argument is sure to win him no favours.
This makes me a big brothel, because it was decided from one season to the next while I already had commitments with my players.
With the new salary cap regulations set to come into force on April 20, it could leave Toulon in the strange position of having to throw potential Top 14 and European Champions Cup semi finals in order to comply. As a result Boudjellal claimed,
I can’t take the risk of seeing RCT qualifying for a final. This means that if the regulation is in place, RCT cannot play in semi finals this season.
Although the Toulon owner also told Rugbyrama, ‘If RCT qualifies for finals, what am I to do?’, fines of up to ten times the salary cap over-run can be issued by the LNR.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena