But the clubs providing players to the EPS also get a payment per player on top.
I'm not 100% certain but I believe that the EPS money is split evenly between all 12 clubs each year. Those teams providing England squad players during a RWC year get an extra allowance, on a per player basis, on the salary noose amount. They receive no extra cash but are allowed to spend more if they have it.
The first year the payoffs were introduced (2000/01) co-incided with Zurich becoming the Prem's sponsors and they were brought in mid way through the season as an end of season knockout competition between the top 8 teams. It was suggested that the winner of this end of season knock-out cup were crowned League
champions but sanity eventually took over and the top of the league team were to be crowned champions and received a pot, with a seperate "play off champion" shield being awarded. Tigers won both pots that year. The following 2001/02 season, Tigers finished top of the league again and were crowned Champions. But then in the "Zurich Shield" quarter final at home to Bristol (who'd finished 8th in the league) we put out a reserve team, who duly lost, as we saved the first team for our upcoming HC final. Bristol went on to lose to Glaws(?) in the final.
So, in 2002/03, as teams weren't taking their end of season get together seriously, Zurich insisted that the "Champion" tag be transferred to the payoffs rather than topping the league. In the payoff final, table toppers Glaws lost to 2nd place finishing Wasps who'd beaten Saints in a single semi-final.
In 2003/04, Wasps again finished 2nd in the table after the season proper and won the "Champions" tag by defeating the table toppers (Bath) in the final after a single semi final v Saints. IIRC, that season there was also a "Wildcard" competition for midtable teams for which the reward was a HC place.
In 2004/05, Wasps won their 3rd title, again by finishing 2nd in the Prem table and beating the table toppers (Tigers) after a single semi final v Sale.
In 2005/06 there were 2 semi finals and Sale became the first team to top the table and win the payoff final.
In 2006/07 Tigers finished 2nd in the table on equal points with table toppers Glaws after having a point deducted for an admin error after we didn't re-register one of our own players who'd been on loan elsewhere! Tigers won the final well at the cabbage patch.
In 2007/08, table topping Glaws didn't feature in the Prem final after losing their home semi to 4th place Tigers, the first and only time the team topping the table hadn't appeared in the final. 2nd placed Wasps went on to win the final and be crowned champions again.
In 2008/09 and 2009/10, Tigers topped the table and took the champions crown, beating Irish and then Sarries who'd both finished 3rd in the table.
Last season, as everyone knows, 2nd finishing Sarries beat tabletopping Tigers in the Prem final.
Hence the reason why it's been debated just once or twice on the Tigers' board about the real champions being the team who top the table. But, you can only play the competition rules as they are at the start of the season (apart from the year they tried to change them mid-season!!!), bonus points, salary noose, payoff games, et al!!
Hope this helps explain to those on here not old enough to remember!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2012 15:08 by Yorkie.