Super League clubs have today voted to increase the Betfred Super League salary cap from next season.
New proposals will see the cap rise to £1.9m in 2018, £2m in 2019 and £2.1m in 2020.
In addition to this, clubs have voted to increase the number of marquee players permitted from one to two, with new or returning players to the sport and certain players under 21 given exemptions from the salary cap.
RFL Chief Commercial Officer & Super League Executive Director, Roger Draper, said: “The clubs asked the Rugby Football League to put forward a set of proposals that would help them retain and attract the best players to the competition and we believe that when you consider all them together, these changes could make a significant difference to helping clubs attract and retain the best talent in this league and that is something we all are determined to do going forward.”
Today’s outcome also got the backing of Super League owners with Ian Lenegan stating: “The meeting today was very positive and was a move in the right direction for the Super League.” Simon Moran of Warrington Wolves added: “If you want the competition to flourish going forward it is very important that the best talent is kept in our League and some of the proposals that were put forward today will help us do that.” And unsurprisingly, Salford owner Marwan Koukash, who has long pushed for the salary cap to be increased, was delighted saying: “I think the decisions that were made are good for the sport and good for the competition and I am delighted with this outcome.”
The full proposals voted for by Super League clubs today:
INCREASE FINITE SALARY CAP FOR SUPER LEAGUE
The finite Salary Cap would rise over the course of the next three years from £1.825m in 2017 to £1.9m in 2018, £2m in 2019 and £2.1m in 2020.
INCREASE IN NUMBER OF MARQUEE PLAYERS
Each Super League club would be entitled to dispensation for two Marquee Players whose Salary Cap value would be (but for the Regulation) £175k or more.
The Regulation would distinguish between Marquee Players as follows: (i) Club Trained Marquee Players be deemed to have a Salary Cap Value of £75k; and (ii) all other Marquee Players be deemed to have a Salary Cap Value of £150k.
NEW AND RETURNING PLAYERS TO THE SPORT
Each club would be entitled to dispensation for two New Talent Pool Players and/or Returning Talent Pool Players. To qualify a player must be 19+ on 31/08 prior to the start of the season.
A New Talent Pool Player will continue to have the current definition (i.e. broadly a player who has not played Rugby League at first team, Academy or Scholarship level) and the current allowance (of that player’s Salary Cap Value being reduced: (i) to £0 in his first full season; and (ii) by 50% in his second full season) will continue to apply.
A Returning Talent Pool Player would be a player who has not played Rugby League in the preceding five years (for reasons other than as a result of a disciplinary sanction or criminal conviction). In relation to such players, a club would be given an allowance such that the Salary Cap Value of that player is: (i) reduced by 50% in his first full season; and (ii) by 25% in his second full season.
EXEMPTION OF JUNIOR PLAYERS ON SALARY CAP
All Players (outside a Club’s Top 25 paid players) who: (i) are age eligible to play at U21 level in the relevant Season; and (ii) are paid £20k or less would be excluded from a Club’s Salary Cap.