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Salary Cap Investigations

scotty507

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Yes, but if HMRC do get you in their sights you tend to stay there for quite a while. Once the problem was identified PRL just seem to have failed to get a grip on it.

The overspend was £1.1m in 16/17. That’s not marginal and should have been enough for PRL to have totally been on their case for more than 5 minutes. Overspend reduced to £98K in 17/18 but an overspend nonetheless, back up to £908K in 18/19 and we know they’ll be over again this season.

If PRL weren’t properly resourced to police their own rules that’s no-one’s fault but their own. Whether cock up or conspiracy on Sarries part there were red flags everywhere and if they didn’t have the resources themselves PRL could have bought in auditors. You target risk and while the fault is squarely with Sarries, PRL should never have let it come to this.
16/17 with £1.1M extra still lost to Chiefs in the prem SF :D.
 

Which Tyler

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Yes, but if HMRC do get you in their sights you tend to stay there for quite a while. Once the problem was identified PRL just seem to have failed to get a grip on it.

The overspend was £1.1m in 16/17. That’s not marginal and should have been enough for PRL to have totally been on their case for more than 5 minutes. Overspend reduced to £98K in 17/18 but an overspend nonetheless, back up to £908K in 18/19 and we know they’ll be over again this season.

If PRL weren’t properly resourced to police their own rules that’s no-one’s fault but their own. Whether cock up or conspiracy on Sarries part there were red flags everywhere and if they didn’t have the resources themselves PRL could have bought in auditors. You target risk and while the fault is squarely with Sarries, PRL should never have let it come to this.
IMO it's just a matter of how deep an investigation is wanted as a matter of course. It's not like the cap manager saw that sarries were £1.1M over the cap and decided not to investigate - they were lying and cheating, and gave him figures that showed that they were within the cap.
We do know that it took 8 months to go from PRL being interested (April 2019) to the investigation reporting back (November 2019) - and that's with a better funded, better manned, independent investigation being set up, with asistance from journalists and other premiership clubs (Quins having been name checked as "amongst others").

The salary cap manager is there to give advice to any clever ideas clubs have (Sarries specifically and deliberately chose to spend £3M on independent legal advice in order to avoid letting the SCM have his say); and to tidy up and apply sanctions for administrative error type overspends (extra win bonuses, loan player arriving a week early, player B not missing an England match). He's there to launch an investigation when he has evidence, not to do so in the hopes of finding evidence.

Now you or I may think that he SHOULD be there to do more, especially for a club already found in breach. But as it stands, he isn't.
I don't blame HMRC for looking at everyone's tax returns and saying "that looks about right" rather than launching an 8 month investigation into everybody. I don't blame the salary cap manager likewise.
If PRL want the SCM to be more pro-active, and to launch deeper investigations into previous examples of cheating; then that's fine - they'll need to resource it properly though - which would require, for example, Saracens' agreement. People throughout this have this habit of forgetting that PRL is the clubs. PRL needed to be unanimous to release the report; which meant they needed Saracens agreement, and without it, PRL weren't unanimous - but it got reported as "neither Saracens nor PRL want to release the report - they're both trying to cover things up"
 

The Alpha Bro

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Away from all the real technical stuff stupid opinions like the following mess this up worse and fan flames to misplaced outrage.



Bernard Jackman: “From Saracens’ point of view, Premiership Rugby aren’t exactly neutral in this: they’ve got 12 stakeholders — 11 ‘others’ in whose best interests it is that Saracens fail and Saracens get relegated. You can imagine Wasps, London Irish, Worcester, Bath this season, Bristol aren’t too far away, Leicester — they have been given a reprieve, because Saracens were coming. Saracens were going to stay up despite starting 35 points down, and now they (the other clubs) have been given five or six months to get their houses in order and plan for the future.


“If you look at it from Saracens’ point of view — and I’m not here to fight their case or whatever — but they had legal advice that the payments they were making to players fell within the rules of the cap, okay? Now, obviously, Premiership Rugby’s legal team have decided that’s not the case. But it’s not clear-cut.

“Tax laws and business and sport — there’ll always be varying points of view. Saracens’ legal team could have been right.


“I just feel the relegation is probably too much. The relegation is too much."


Now, I must stress that I know for a fact that Bernard Jackman wears dirty underwear on his head and oughtn't be listened to. But it's hilarious how badly formed his opinion is, they should get reprieve from extensive rule breaking on account of potentially receiving bad advice? What's the point in having rules if you can just pass the buck. It was the same with the Olding/Jackson trial, ex rugby players offering opinions about stuff they're nowhere near well versed enough to do so only makes the game and these controversies look worse.
 

Which Tyler

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“If you look at it from Saracens’ point of view — and I’m not here to fight their case or whatever — but they had legal advice that the payments they were making to players fell within the rules of the cap, okay? Now, obviously, Premiership Rugby’s legal team have decided that’s not the case. But it’s not clear-cut.
There's only one opinion that matters.
That opinion is given for free, and is there for the asking.
It's also OBLIGATORY to ask that opinion.

Sarries opted to spend £3M (allegedly - was it Venter's claim?) hearing the opinion they told the accountants to give them, and then declined to ask the SCM for his opinion.
 
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scotty507

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Ok bad advice....then should have gone to PRL and say this is what we plan to do and get their blessing because there the ones that will kick you in the nuts!

If they went to PRL and said is this within the rules and they said yes and then later decided no then fair enough bad advice you can be pisssed but FFS if you avoid PRL because your scard they will say no and go somewhere else then you have dug your own grave. And not opening their books was the nail in the coffin.

They have what 4 prem and 3 european titles in the last 5 years that still stand. And have to do 1 season in the champion ship....is it worth it? Damn right it is, 5 years of monumental highs and a year to get some young players up to speed because coming back to the prem.

I am ****** off with it all as a Chiefs fan we beat them in 16/17 SF(1.1m over the cap) and every other time lost to them in the final. I mean not saying we win if they didnt cheat but 18/19 final was close. All speculation ofcourse but we will never know because they cheated and still hold the title.

On a side note i still dont like that topping the prem means nothing meaning sarries are happy to have a team of internstionals that they lose most of their big names during the 6N, internstionals and world cup because they only need to get top 4 and they know they will win. I think their should at least be silverware for topping the table aswell as play offs for the champions but this is my personal preference.

Anyone fancies disscussing this last point then make an appropriate thread.
 

Old Hooker

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The more you read about it the more you begin to wonder about the players' roles.

Can a player be sanctioned if it is proven that he took an action which he knew or had reasonable cause to suspect was with the intent of helping his club circumvent the rules?
 

The Alpha Bro

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The more you read about it the more you begin to wonder about the players' roles.

Can a player be sanctioned if it is proven that he took an action which he knew or had reasonable cause to suspect was with the intent of helping his club circumvent the rules?
The former - maybe, but unlikely.
The latter - definitely not.

It's not for an employee to ensure his employer is acting legally unless it's specifically in his employment contract.
 

living sacrifice

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The former - maybe, but unlikely.
The latter - definitely not.

It's not for an employee to ensure his employer is acting legally unless it's specifically in his employment contract.

Legally speaking that is incorrect, although they were breaking a salary cap not law so it’s completely different.
 

duncanb

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The more you read about it the more you begin to wonder about the players' roles.

Can a player be sanctioned if it is proven that he took an action which he knew or had reasonable cause to suspect was with the intent of helping his club circumvent the rules?
In fairness all players have agents they negotiate the salary and recommend the way to go.
For me Wray has stitched the club and to a certain extent the players as their reputations will forever be clouded.
The greatest problem with a sugar daddy club (any sport) they control all.
Premier Rugby could maybe should take a leaf out of NFL books as most obvious Salary cap sport that has transparency.
Players image rights is a whole murky area that wendy ballers have exploited for years.
eg your a company 19% corporation tax.
Payroll 45% tax.
Sell yourself to someone else the sky is the limit just google Messi image rights and who does doesn't own.
The club in its name , fans have been royally stuffed by Wray and its them that are paying the penalty not the real guilty person.
I fully except that the club must be punished for his actions however he is off Scot free for his actions he should be sindie from Rugby.
RFU Wray brings Rugby into disrepute and Hang him out to dry.
 

The Alpha Bro

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Legally speaking that is incorrect, although they were breaking a salary cap not law so it’s completely different.
The last sentence? How so? Any Sarries player would have to have gone way beyond their terms of employment to find the illegality.

Even if they did stumble upon it and suspect something a legal team would have told them it was fine.

If they saw Nigel Wray groping Vincent Lock they'd have to report it but with something so technical and administrative the standard expected of them would be lower.
 

living sacrifice

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The last sentence? How so? Any Sarries player would have to have gone way beyond their terms of employment to find the illegality.

Even if they did stumble upon it and suspect something a legal team would have told them it was fine.

If they saw Nigel Wray groping Vincent Lock they'd have to report it but with something so technical and administrative the standard expected of them would be lower.

Sorry should have been clearer.

So I don’t believe the players were breaking the law, so there’s no illegal activity for them to report. But ethically and under their duty to the players association and other bodies, they should have reported Wrays offer to them.

Once you have to ask a lawyer on a technicality you have already gone too far. If they have been approached by Saracens owner with a tax avoidance scheme (which in some way it’s comparable to) they are complicit. They know they’ve been paid (in kind) by the club via the owner while having a lower salary, that makes them complicit.

Sorry if that’s poorly worded, I’m tired after a long week of work.
 

The Alpha Bro

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Sorry should have been clearer.

So I don’t believe the players were breaking the law, so there’s no illegal activity for them to report. But ethically and under their duty to the players association and other bodies, they should have reported Wrays offer to them.

Once you have to ask a lawyer on a technicality you have already gone too far. If they have been approached by Saracens owner with a tax avoidance scheme (which in some way it’s comparable to) they are complicit. They know they’ve been paid (in kind) by the club via the owner while having a lower salary, that makes them complicit.

Sorry if that’s poorly worded, I’m tired after a long week of work.
I get ya! Don't think I agree though vis a vis trying to deal with it internally, but equally I don't care enough to research or argue it. Pints are calling!
 

TheOvalBall

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Wow, Saracens has really been given the boot in more ways than one.
 

Which Tyler

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Courtesy of Bath season ticket holders' Q&A yesterday:


"The salary cap people wanted to talk individually with every Sarries player to find out exactly how much they are/were paid. Sarries refused, so they got demoted. He also said this may not be be finished yet there will be more to come out.
No other team is being investigated all other teams talk and discuss their cap all of the time with them so they are happy with those. Sarries have never had those conversations. All club owners had a long discussion a few years ago that they would all abide by the cap and all shook hands on it. That's why all the other owners are really pee'd off with Wray"
 

duncanb

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Some interesting stuff on Rugby tonight BT after Quins match.
No checks on clubs across board with out a complaint as was put by Kingston actually a whistleblower.
Certainly if nothing else from this fiasco it will have to be independent from PRL audit of all clubs at Start of season on expected salary spend.
Any organisation cannot police itself and expect Us the fans to have belief and faith that rules are being followed.
On the Tax side the laws of the land cover this and HMRC have huge powers to deal with this and see this as their issue not anyone not PRL RFU etc.
A company or individual takes that responsibility themselves to comply or face fines prison etc.
 

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Listening to various podcasts on the subject and the opinion from the pro's is somewhat divided.

Andy Goode claims he's been saying they've been cheating for 4 years and is glad they've been caught.

Tindall and Haskell don't seem to think there's a problem, and Haskell doesn't think that the money has had any bearing on Sarries success.

Chris Ashton seems to think that because houses are more expensive in London, it's alright.

Tindall sounds a right bell tbh.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Chris Ashton seems to think that because houses are more expensive in London, it's alright.
I could see where he's coming from on this if they were legit loans, but they definitely look vveerryy suspect - especially with everything else going on.
I imagine Ashton's 1.4m house in London could be bought in Manchester for a pretty significant amount less.
 

The Alpha Bro

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Listening to various podcasts on the subject and the opinion from the pro's is somewhat divided.

Andy Goode claims he's been saying they've been cheating for 4 years and is glad they've been caught.

Tindall and Haskell don't seem to think there's a problem, and Haskell doesn't think that the money has had any bearing on Sarries success.

Chris Ashton seems to think that because houses are more expensive in London, it's alright.

Tindall sounds a right bell tbh.
Goode - Fair enough. I'd say he was eloquent!

Haskell - presume he went on about their great culture? Sure it's an aspect of it but so is the fact they have far more players who demand very high salaries than anyone else...

Ashton - Not really part of the argument. Should be considered for reform though. Would be hard to be satisfactory.

Tindall - is* a right bell!
 
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