Rugby

On This Day in 2022: Leicester fined after breaching salary cap regulations

Undisclosed payments to Leicester players were made over a four-year period.

Leicester Tigers were punished for salary cap breaches in 2022
General view of Welford Road Leicester Tigers were punished for salary cap breaches in 2022 (Nigel French/PA)

Leicester Tigers were fined £309,841.06 but avoided a points deduction for breaches of salary cap regulations on this day two years ago.

The punishment came after it emerged the Premiership club had entered into an arrangement whereby a third party made payments to the image rights companies of Leicester players.

The payments were made over the four seasons from 2016-17 to 2019-20 and should have been declared as part of the Tigers’ salary cap obligations, but were not disclosed.

The undisclosed payments to Leicester players were made over a four-year period
General view of Welford Road during a game The undisclosed payments to Leicester players were made over a four-year period (David Davies/PA)

Leicester, who led the Premiership at the time and went on to win the title in 2022, avoided a harsher sanction because the salary cap was exceeded by less than the ‘overrun’ limit.

It is when this ceiling – which ranges from £325,000 to £350,000 each season – is breached that more formal charges are triggered.

Leicester’s highest ‘overrun’ during the period was £147,750 in 2016-17 and their total across the four seasons was £391,941.06.

The Tigers accepted the outcome of Premiership Rugby’s investigation into the matter and did not appeal against the punishment.

Premiership Rugby had been given stronger powers to act two years previously after a review of salary cap regulations in the wake of the Saracens affair.

Saracens were fined more than £5million and relegated in 2020 for repeated breaches of the rules.

Leicester chief executive Andrea Pinchen said: “We accept the decision and the acknowledgement that there was no overrun in the most recent season of the review.

“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.”