Lucrative TV, Sponsorship Deals Allow Premiership Rugby To Bump Salary Cap
Premiership Rugby's salary cap of around £5.2M ($8.5M) per club "is set to rise" by almost 10% this year -- the first increase in two seasons -- now that the money from the BT Sport TV contract and other sponsorship deals "is kicking in," according to Hugh Godwin of the London INDEPENDENT. It "will be up to each club to decide" whether to put the extra £500,000 ($821,000) into the pockets of one or two players, or spread it so that, for example, 10 younger players earn an extra £40,000 ($66,000) -- "head-turning figures in most walks of life although peanuts compared with football." As a result, playing for England "will continue to be the carrot that keeps the best young players at home." However, Harlequins Dir of Rugby Conor O’Shea believes that the spending power of French clubs thanks to their new €355M ($480M), five-year contract with TV broadcaster Canal+ "means more England players will head over to France after the 2015 World Cup" (INDEPENDENT, 1/19).