The Saracens saga has now supposedly finished with the reigning European and Domestic champions relegated into the Green King IPA Championship next season. It follows a long investigation into the North London’s sides co-investments with players for the last three seasons bending the rules of the salary cap regulations.
Saracens have been at the top of English rugby for many seasons and it is now apparent how they managed to sustain their dominance for so long: large amounts of money being invested.
Money within the Premiership isn’t a bad thing, and should be encouraged given the rivalling leagues that have had financial advantages for many seasons. The English Premiership is falling behind, not only financially but in the development of teams, players and stadiums.
The Top14 doesn’t have a set salary cap and many former international players go to the sunny South of France to see out their playing days on a nice pay package. The sun doesn’t always shine in England, but staying in the country does have his perks, especially for younger players hoping to make the international side. There is however, considerably less money if you choose to stay in England.
What English rugby doesn’t have that its European rivals do, is investors. The Premiership lacks multimillionaires who want to invest in rugby, most choose football or no sport at all. Rugby needs to have more money invested into it to stand a chance to compete on the wider stage and having a low salary cap won’t help improve the future of the game.
Saracens’ £2m-a-year sponsorship deal with Allianz terminated in wake of salary cap scandal and relegation from the Premiership https://t.co/4GWSYR1wNF— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) February 13, 2020
Currently, clubs can spend up to £7.2m on player salaries, but can have two marquee players who remain ‘off the record.’ This amount seemly doesn’t seem enough if the Premiership is to attract the best of the rugby world to their clubs.
Opening up the salary cap to around the £10-15m mark would offer the chance for more players to be encouraged to join the league, but not only that, keep English born talent in the Premiership and not taking the trip over the Channel.
If you don’t open up the salary cap, then looking at how club owners and investors can invest in players legally could be a positive step. Saracens co-investments appeared sketchy and aided the decision for them to get relegated at the end of the season. However, if there was a successful way of investing into the players futures then surely that can only be a good thing?
The most important thing with investing more money into the Premiership is to ensure the players are rewarded for their efforts. More money means the players can compete on the European stage and keep their talent within the country.
These players compete in an already crammed season and put their bodies on the line, week in, week out. With a proposed change in the rugby calendar that could potentially lengthen the season, surely these players deserve more money invested into them. Their primary career stops when most start, so what’s the harm in paying them more for the job that they do?