Premiership players concerned over possible exodus

Planet Rugby

Mid-ranking Premiership players are fearing for their futures because of the reduction in salary cap for the 2022/23 campaign.

Due to the financial impact of Covid-19, it is dropping from £6.4million to £5million, while teams will only be allowed to have one marquee player rather than two.

Although the top talents and those exciting individuals coming through the academy are unlikely to be affected, the squad players that often perform vital roles, particularly during the internationals, could lose their jobs.

Rugby Players’ Association chief executive Damian Hopley is concerned and admits that it is an uncertain time for many in the English game.

“There are a lot of nervous people out there and the situation is very precarious at the moment,” he told the Daily Mail.

“With a 28 per cent cut in the salary cap, as well as all the significant cuts which took place during the Covid lockdowns, there is concern among mid-ranking players that they could be culled as part of squad reductions.”

Clash between agents and club

Another issue has been the spat between clubs and agents over fees, leading to contract talks being put on hold for a number of players.

“We’ve had this impasse between the clubs and the agents for the last quarter,” Hopley added. “It’s like football — clubs are no longer paying agents because they say agents work for players so players have to pay agents themselves.

“For months, there’s been a stand-off between the agents and the clubs and as time goes by players get more and more nervous — and clubs get more nervous about recruitment.

“Ordinarily, most clubs would have done their recruitment by now. This is putting players in a really difficult position. We’re trying to find a way through.”