If any salary cap violations arising from the ongoing investigation of Leicester Tigers, Premiership Leaders, occurred before 2020 law changes, they will be saved automatically from relegation
The Premiership will not automatically relegate the English rugby powerhouses, Leicester Tigers, if there are no potential violations of the league’s salary caps that occurred prior to 2020.
Andrew Rogers, Premiership Rugby’s salary director, is currently investigating the club over alleged offenses that occurred between 2016 and 2020.
Rogers is said to be particularly interested in Leicester’s relationship to Worldwide Image Management (WIM), which may have been used by players to circumvent the wage cap.
These accusations are similar to the infringements that saw Saracens relegated at end of 2019/20 season. After which, the Premiership adopted harsher punishments for salary cap violations.
For such offenses, automatic relegation was possible as well as the removal of titles.
It is understood that Leicester would still be subject to the existing measures in place at the time they were accused of the offence, even if they are convicted, and not the new, more stringent laws.
Steve Borthwick’s side is currently nine points clear of the top table. After winning each of their 11 games this term, they are well on course for a challenge for the Premiership title.
There are 16 points in between the Tigers, fourth-placed Gloucester and the final spot that can qualify for the play offs in June.
The disruption caused by Covid-19 has forced the league to suspend relegation. However, serious violations of salary caps could still result in that suspension.
Saracens were fined £5.4million and initially handed a 35-point deduction following the results of their own investigation two years ago, though the point penalty was increased to 105 in order to ensure relegation.
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That initial punishment adhered to the Premiership protocols in place at the time—five points for a breach of between £350,000 and £399,999 above the cap, or up to 35 points for a breach of more than £650,000.
Following the Saracens debacle, Premiership powers agreed to increase those penalties to 15 points for a breach of between £200,000 and £399,999, or up to 50 points if clubs break the cap by more than £650,000.
Borthwick, who took over Leicester in 2020, has said that the club is stable. “co-operating fully”Discuss with investigators the alleged breaches believed to have occurred prior to he joined their ranks.
Alex Sanderson, Sale Sharks director rugby was also a Saracens player during their relegation nightmare. Sanderson recently asked about the merits of penalizing a club for historical off-field offences.
“I was in it with Saracens and I wouldn’t want anyone to go through that again. Now I’ve got through the grief cycle, to a certain extent I just think let sleeping dogs lie,”Reporters were informed by him.
“I don’t think it’s anything to do with that current (Leicester) management or those current players and it seems like they could be punished if they are found guilty, for the acts of predecessors.
“It’s not going to be of any benefit to drag someone else through the mud.”
In order for any resulting punishment to apply to the current 2021/22 campaign, i News noted the charges (including any subsequent appeal) must be finalised before the regular season ends in June.
Failure to meet that deadline means sanctions would instead apply to the following season.