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Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
blucherquin (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 08:21
Did a little digging following post on other thread that said club had "laid down the law" with Roberts. Actually wonder if they both realise they could now be in trouble.

If you think this isn't worth separating, apols, but it's quite long and was buried at end of a long thread on Roberts pros and cons.

Here's the Guardian piece on club "getting tough"

[www.theguardian.com]

But...

Here's the key bit:

Premiership Rugby has started an investigation into Faletauís release to Wales four years after Northampton were fined £60,000 for inserting a clause into George Northís contract guaranteeing him full release. After the North case it sent every club a letter reminding them of the rule and warning of the possible consequences, which include the deduction of points, for ignoring it.

If Premiership Rugby decides Bath have a case to answer, an independent disciplinary panel will be set up. After the North case Premiership Rugby said it would be scrutinising the contracts of players. Even though Roberts, who has won 97 caps for Wales and the Lions, has returned to Harlequins, the London club may have questions to answer because in his two other seasons at The Stoop the centre has never played for the club during a fallow weekend in the Six Nations. This is the first time the fourth international has been an issue and it is understood that he returned to Harlequins after taking advice.


And after a bit of digging, it's very clear that this contract clause does exist, wonder if we could be in trouble now -- BBC predicted it back in 2015. Either way I don't blame Roberts, he wanted the deal that was good for him. But it's very clear OShea and the club just gave him everything he wanted.

Here's OShea to the BBC in 2015. [www.bbc.co.uk]

O'Shea insists there will be no issues around future international release.

"Whenever he needs to be available for Wales he will be," said O'Shea.

England-based players Richard Hibbard, Paul James and Bradley Davies were unable to play for Wales against South Africa in the November Tests as the game fell outside World Rugby's official international window, but O'Shea says there will be no such problems with Roberts.

Aviva Premiership clubs have agreed that only players representing England can be released for matches outside of the Test window, so Quins could run the risk of falling foul of this agreement over Roberts in future.


And here's what Roberts himself told BBC Wales radio: [www.bbc.co.uk]

"I made sure that was non-negotiable when moving to London," Roberts said.

"Conor was aware of that, he knows I want to continue to strive to achieve on the international stage.

"That was a no-brainer for me, making sure I had that in my contract


Seems pretty clear cut to me.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 29/11/2017 08:33 by blucherquin.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
blucherquin (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 08:26
Meant to add -- my guess is Roberts tried to assert his contract clause allowing him release as always, and JK objected because we desperately need him.

Assume once lawyers had a look, someone raised the alarm that if he was allowed to go the Prem would investigate Quins and we could lose points, which could put us into the relegation fight.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Bucksquin (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 08:32
So all this suggests that we may be in breach of contract towards Roberts, for refusing to allow him to exercise his release clause, and also in breach of contract to Premiership Rugby, for allowing that clause in his contract in the first place ...

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
blucherquin (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 08:34
Quote:
Bucksquin
So all this suggests that we may be in breach of contract towards Roberts, for refusing to allow him to exercise his release clause, and also in breach of contract to Premiership Rugby, for allowing that clause in his contract in the first place ...

Yes exactly. Although his return suggests he's not going to pursue the club -- maybe it was just a deal done to try to protect the club against investigation.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Cookie (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 08:35
Excellent and very interesting post.

Sounds like his head won't be in the right place to play even if he's available.

I think we'd all find this much easier to stomach if we'd signed the Jamie Roberts who was excellent for Racing, Wales and the Lions.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
thomh (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 09:06
"Premiership Rugby has started an investigation into Faletauís release to Wales four years after Northampton were fined £60,000 for inserting a clause into George Northís contract guaranteeing him full release. After the North case it sent every club a letter reminding them of the rule and warning of the possible consequences, which include the deduction of points, for ignoring it."

Is this definitely accurate? My memory of the North incident was that the fine was only imposed when they had actually released him to Wales, not at the time when the clause was included in the contract.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
TOKS (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 09:16
From a neutral standpoint I think it would be pretty harsh to punish a club for a clause that a former DOR inserted into a contract, when the current regime seem to be making every effort to act within the regulations (whether they've recalled him or he's returned of his own free will doesn't seem to be important).

It's very difficult to physically remove a clause from a contract, but it may well be that Kingston has told the player and his representatives (and Gatland) behind the scenes that on his watch Roberts will be acting in accordance with PRL's rules and regulations.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
DOK (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 09:36
While JR may have his clause in the contract, can Harlequins recover any costs involved from WRU? Is that why everyone is toeing the line?

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Kent Fan (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 10:05
Surely it doesnít matter if COS has left, as at the time he was the Quins representative.

However how can this type of release be included in a contract if it breaches premiership rules on the agreed international window.....so Gatland & the WRFU are to blame.

Obviously donít know but can only assume the club meant he would be released for internationals played within the agreed windows!

Wales are breaking the ďagreementĒ by their insistence that these games are outside the window so Dr Roberts canít expect Quins to break the rules and be penalised financially.

This needs to be stamped on even if it means Guys playing outside of Wales arenít selected.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Adi Nako (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 10:17
Personally I think it's ridiculous to punish any club for choosing not to select any player on any week.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Boonie (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 12:39
If it is really "choosing", and not because the player has not made himself available because he has exercised a clause in his contract to not be there that weekend...



"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to bleat about it all over the internet"

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Brown Bottle (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 13:25
Quote:
However how can this type of release be included in a contract if it breaches premiership rules on the agreed international window.....

Actually I'd have thought it was the other way round. Is it legal for PRL to force players into signing contracts containing clauses which could be construed as a restraint of trade?



BB

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
blucherquin (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 13:35
Quote:
Kent Fan
Obviously donít know but can only assume the club meant he would be released for internationals played within the agreed windows!

Actually I assume entirely the opposite from OíSheaís and Roberts comments - that they both agreed he should be able to go wherever and whenever. Same idea as North.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
T-Bone (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 13:57
If a clause is included which gives Roberts the right to play and the regulations were known at the time then club is to blame. If the contract wasn't drafted properly so that releases outside of the approved IRB windows were not dealt with, lawyers are to blame.

I'm pretty sure Wales has started playing extra tests outside the approved window when we signed him, but if I'm wrong then it's an unfortunate situation and would be harsh to impose penalties. I don't think that is the case though.

If a club sign a player who wants guaranteed releases, even if it might impose a penalty, should that penalty count towards the salary cap, as it was a known cost of signing the player?

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Fearless Fred (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 15:50
Quote:
Brown Bottle
Quote:
However how can this type of release be included in a contract if it breaches premiership rules on the agreed international window.....

Actually I'd have thought it was the other way round. Is it legal for PRL to force players into signing contracts containing clauses which could be construed as a restraint of trade?

But it is not restraint of trade. His trade is Professional Rugby Player (and Doctor). He is receiving his salary as a Professional Rugby Player from the Club. World Rugby have set the rules regarding international release of players globally. Individual unions may look at other rules regarding selection (ABs must play in NZ, Wales with Gatland's law as was, etc). They may also come to agreements like the RFU did with the PRL regarding additional release, rest periods & the like. If the WRU wanted to ensure that English-based players were released for periods outside the internationally agreed windows as defined by the World Governing body of World Rugby, that can always approach the PRL to try to come up with a deal. However, that's unlikely to happen as it would no doubt involve the PRL clubs receiving financial compensation from the WRU for such a deal, something that is almost impossible to conceive.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
MrOther (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 15:55
Quote:
Adi Nako
Personally I think it's ridiculous to punish any club for choosing not to select any player on any week.

Yes, me too. In a Six Nations fallow weekend there was no test match. Maybe he wasnít formally released back to the club, but he also wasnít on the field in Cardiff. It could be argued that he was available for selection (by the club) but not chosen for any number of plausible reasons.

I think it would be hard to make a case in civil law about a clause allowing him to do something which would have placed the club in breach of its obligations to the premiership if in fact he didnít actually go ahead and do it, for then there is no breach.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
thomh (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 17:56
Quote:
MrOther
Quote:
Adi Nako
Personally I think it's ridiculous to punish any club for choosing not to select any player on any week.

Yes, me too. In a Six Nations fallow weekend there was no test match. Maybe he wasnít formally released back to the club, but he also wasnít on the field in Cardiff. It could be argued that he was available for selection (by the club) but not chosen for any number of plausible reasons.

I think it would be hard to make a case in civil law about a clause allowing him to do something which would have placed the club in breach of its obligations to the premiership if in fact he didnít actually go ahead and do it, for then there is no breach.

Unless of course the premiership agreements in fact prohibit even entering into agreements containing those clauses, regardless of whether they are in fact applied. It's perfectly plausible that the premiership agreement might say something along the lines of "no club shall enter in a contract with a player which entitles the player to be released for international games outside the window".

That's what's not clear from the article - whether the clauses themselves constitute a breach or whether it's just the actual act of releasing the player that does.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Adi Nako (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 18:01
Quote:
thomh
Quote:
MrOther
Quote:
Adi Nako
Personally I think it's ridiculous to punish any club for choosing not to select any player on any week.

Yes, me too. In a Six Nations fallow weekend there was no test match. Maybe he wasnít formally released back to the club, but he also wasnít on the field in Cardiff. It could be argued that he was available for selection (by the club) but not chosen for any number of plausible reasons.

I think it would be hard to make a case in civil law about a clause allowing him to do something which would have placed the club in breach of its obligations to the premiership if in fact he didnít actually go ahead and do it, for then there is no breach.

Unless of course the premiership agreements in fact prohibit even entering into agreements containing those clauses, regardless of whether they are in fact applied. It's perfectly plausible that the premiership agreement might say something along the lines of "no club shall enter in a contract with a player which entitles the player to be released for international games outside the window".

That's what's not clear from the article - whether the clauses themselves constitute a breach or whether it's just the actual act of releasing the player that does.

That may be, but I think it is highly unlikely that the premiership agreement said something along the lines of "no club shall enter in a contract with a player which entitles the player to dictate specific weekends which they shall not play". We are specifically talking about rest on weekends where no internationals are being played.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Robertquin (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 19:31
The Evening Standard said he'd asked if he could be released for Wales and the club exercised their veto so he's playing for us. All quite amicable it seems.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Roaming Quin (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 20:28
Hope it is amicable no Roberts is better than a cannot be bothered Roberts.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
blucherquin (IP Logged)
29 November, 2017 21:36
Quote:
Robertquin
The Evening Standard said he'd asked if he could be released for Wales and the club exercised their veto so he's playing for us. All quite amicable it seems.

The point was more if it was going to prompt an inquiry into his contract as per Bath regardless of how amicable or otherwise.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Adi Nako (IP Logged)
05 December, 2017 18:57
Bath have been charged for releasing Faletau. Will be interesting to see if their punishment is harsher than that handed to Northampton a few seasons ago.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Brown Bottle (IP Logged)
05 December, 2017 19:08
Quote:
Adi Nako
Bath have been charged for releasing Faletau. Will be interesting to see if their punishment is harsher than that handed to Northampton a few seasons ago.

Well, considering they, like Northampton, knew exactly what they were doing I suspect they have a plan. smiling smiley



BB

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Only Joe Quin (IP Logged)
05 December, 2017 20:12
Probably threaten to sue everyone and it will all be swept under the carpet.

 
Re: Roberts, contract, Quins in potential trouble
Brown Bottle (IP Logged)
06 December, 2017 13:37
Quote:
Only Joe Quin
Probably threaten to sue everyone and it will all be swept under the carpet.

Oh, I'm sure the plan will involve a lawyer. smiling smiley



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