Rugby Football Union Raises Salary Of England's National Team Players
The Rugby Football Union "has agreed an inflation-busting pay deal with the England squads for the next four years designed to prevent a repeat of problems before the 2011 World Cup, when players threatened to boycott events in a dispute over remuneration for commercial activities," according to Paul Rees of the London GUARDIAN. The new deal "will be worth an estimated" £100,000 ($160,000) a year on average to the 33 players in the elite squads. Together with the money paid to clubs to release players for int'l duty, it means the Rugby Football Union "will be spending" some £10M ($16M) a year on the senior national team, the Saxons and the U20 squad. The RFU "is confident it will not face a revolt by its players over fees and bonuses." It has spent months "negotiating a new four-year agreement with the Rugby Players' Association." RFU CEO Ian Ritchie said, "The agreement recognises the importance of the elite squad and our relationship to it" (GUARDIAN, 1/16).