Young calls for salary cap rethink


Published: Monday 6th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Dai Young has called for a “rethink” of the salary cap to help Aviva Premiership clubs bridge the gulf in class with France’s superpowers in European rugby.

Wasps boss Young hailed his side’s resolve in squeezing Toulon despite ultimately slipping to a 32-18 defeat in Sunday’s Champions Cup quarter-final at Stade Mayol.

The former Wales front-rower lamented the absence of match-turning talents like Christian Wade and Nathan Hughes to account for superstar-studded Toulon’s triumph.

Young believes top English clubs already struggle to challenge France’s moneyed elite, and conceded Premiership bosses may have to extend the salary cap to continue to compete at continental level.

“The salary cap has produced what it was there to produce,” said Young.

“But there probably needs to be a little bit of a rethink in terms of how important Europe is to English teams.

“On a domestic front it’s achieved what it was set out to achieve, it’s produced a lot of young English players because they are getting exposure at that level.

“But I suppose there probably needs to be a bit of a rethink in terms of how that leaves English teams when it comes to playing in Europe against French teams that pretty much have unlimited budgets.”

Premiership Rugby chiefs will review the £5million salary cap in the coming months after striking a record television rights deal with BT Sport.

The English clubs with wealthy backers like Bath and Saracens have long been pushing for further loosening of the salary cap constraints.

Saracens chairman Nigel Wray went as far as to try to push for a complete removal of the cap in November, but that lobbying failed to find the requisite support.

At least four of France’s Top 14 clubs will boast a playing budget in excess of 30million euro (£22million), underscoring the sizeable gap in squad investment on opposite sides of the Channel.

Young admitted while change may be required to chase European glory, the salary cap has played a pivotal role in forcing English clubs to remain close to self-sufficient.

Wasps have come closest to hitting the administration wall in recent years, with Young himself buying medical supplies and paying the bill for club bus travel as stark economic realities bit.

New owner Derek Richardson has secured a reversal in fortunes however, with Wasps’ relocation to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena already paying dividends.

Young knows as well as anyone the threats to solvency then, but not even that could lead him away from pondering salary cap change.

“The reality of it is that it’s pretty much out of the hands of all the directors of rugby,” said Young.

“There are pros and cons for everything, why the salary cap is there, it’s worked.

“All the clubs have been sustainable for a long period, the threat of teams financially going to the wall isn’t really there.

“It’s the most competitive league in Europe by any stats you’ll see, there are more one-score games in the Premiership than any other league and there have been two or three different winners the last couple of seasons.”

Published: Monday 6th April 2015 by The News Editor

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