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The "lend us a player" scheme
Discussion started by Innings , 20 January, 2020 23:06
The "lend us a player" scheme
Innings 20 January, 2020 23:06
An interesting exposé in Tuesday's Telegraph. In a nutshell, players are signed and immediately sent out on long-term loans. They play part of one game for the club where they are on loan, which enables the lending club to remove their pay from the cap. The player then returns to the lending club and plays a full part in the season. More on this one to follow, methinks. A certain South African doctor, formerly of this parish, on the subject:

In some cases, up to three players can also be declared as “loaned out” even if they remain at the club. Such arrangements at Gloucester drew criticism by Brendan Venter, the former director of rugby at disgraced Saracens, after he signalled he found it “really hard” to believe the £7 million limit had not been breached “here and there” by other clubs.
When pressed for his thoughts on BBC podcast Rugby Union Weekly, Venter said centre Henry Trinder, winger Charlie Sharples and full-back Tom Hudson had all been declared as season-long loan players to ensure the club stayed within the cap.

“You just look at what happened at Gloucester,” said Venter. “Where these three young players, Trinder, Sharples and Hudson, who went on loan before the season starts for the whole year, to get them outside of the cap. So, how’s that possible? Somebody must have got the budgets unbelievably wrong. No one told the players and you go, ‘Is this legal or is this moral? Can you actually do that?’ A lot of these things, I think, were happening with injuries.”

Gloucester declined to comment on Venter’s claims, but are understood to be confident they operated fully transparently and within the laws. Trinder had suffered a torn Achilles tendon, while Sharples was recovering from surgery at the start of this season.

Bath also declined to comment on Monday night, but had previously claimed the loan deals were part of a “mutual long-standing relationship with Carnegie”.

I suspect that the appointment of Lord Myners may turn out to be a blunder by PRL. Perhaps they are unaware that they appointed a man with a track record of successfully uncovering the bodies wherever they may be buried.


Points win matches: tries win hearts and minds.

Re: The "lend us a player" scheme
#wolfpack 21 January, 2020 08:46
David Walsh mentioned this in the Sunday Times two weeks ago. He said it "was cheating by another name and it is happening". So it does seem to be being looked at.

My cynical suspicion: this will not go anywhere. It isn't exactly in the interests of the other premiership club owners to have this investigated. Let he who is with sin throw all the stones at Sarries...

One thing that did jump out - the Telegraph article said 'there is no suggestion that the loophole said to be utilized by more than half the clubs in the English top flight is comparable to pay-cap breaches employed by Saracens'. But actually no one knows this - if this gets three players on between £150,000 - £200,000 off the books, this is exactly comparable to the kind of figure people are talking about with us (assuming the discredited £2m figure is indeed incorrect).

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