ComeAllWithin

Rugby => ComeAllWithin Board => Topic started by: DOK on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 00:09*

Title: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 00:09*
Premiership Rugby are set to investigate (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-6766973/Have-Saracens-broken-salary-cap-rules-Owner-Nigel-Wray-business-four-England-stars.html)
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Monte on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 07:04*
Well done the Mail for finding this.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Robertquin on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 07:39*
Here we go again...
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: RodneyRegis on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 08:10*
Some of those sound like potentially more than salary cap breaches. Those sound a lot like taxable benefits if conferred to an employee.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Bucksquin on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 08:19*
I smell a 'cover-up' in the wind, with Sarries lawyers threatening legal action against PRL et al ...
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 08:20*
Here we go again indeed -- assume this is what Fissler had got wind of when he tweeted a couple of weeks back that a club was under investigation.

Good bit of work by the Mail.

Shall we all watch as the large broom sweeps the whole thing under the carpet?
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Mayor West on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 08:27*
I suggested that they might be doing this on another thread. Seems daft to use your own name for the company but I suppose you are named as a director anyway.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 09:38*
As I understand it, it's not difficult to search Companies House for companies owned by a particular person. I'd have thought both the players involved and the original directors would have been better off with "off the shelf" companies and proxy directors later instead of the real players. So it doesn't look too hard to find once you start looking with Nigel Wray as director, but then again maybe he has thousands of companies in his name.

But in terms of sweeping it under the carpet, someone at the club told me a while ago they knew how Saracens were getting round the salary cap. So it may not be a big revelation to the clubs, but perhaps they can no longer ignore it now it's public.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: marlowish on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 09:53*
I smell a 'cover-up' in the wind, with Sarries lawyers threatening legal action against PRL et al ...

Which is exactly what they did last time and PRL bottled out.  That gave Sarries carte blanche to carry on cheating.  I see no reason that the outcome will be any different from the last fiasco. 
Sadly I am sure that PRL will bottle it again - slap on the wrist - don't be a naughty little boy - oh and carry on cheating. Vile club.

Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 09:55*
How to tell if they've breached the cap? Wait outside their offices and watch for carloads of expensive lawyers arriving... :)

The sticky issue for me is this: why should two individuals not start a business venture together? The fact that one owns the club and the other plays there may look a bit dodgy, but at the same time that shouldn't preclude them from going into business. It may well come down to how profits are shared out, whether funding was put in place by one party and the relevant paperwork legitimises this, whether the correct tax is paid etc.

It doesn't look good. But that doesn't mean it isn't legit. No doubt the club have been very careful in how they present this to the governing body.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: marlowish on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 09:58*

Good bit of work by the Mail.

Shall we all watch as the large broom sweeps the whole thing under the carpet?

Brooms are already at the ready I have no doubt. 




But in terms of sweeping it under the carpet, someone at the club told me a while ago they knew how Saracens were getting round the salary cap. So it may not be a big revelation to the clubs, but perhaps they can no longer ignore it now it's public.

I would love to think you are right but it was ignored last time and I see no reason to think it will not be ignored this time. 

Some of those sound like potentially more than salary cap breaches. Those sound a lot like taxable benefits if conferred to an employee.

Yes indeed.  It would be good if HMRC get involved, they will not let it pass the way PRL did.

Glasgow Rangers were demoted 2 divisions for tax evasion on behalf of their players, the same should happen here if true.  "Something special is happening at Sarries" Yea ok. 
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Fearless Fred on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 10:03*
It's not uncommon for players to be directors of companies. Danny Care is a director of Danny Care Ltd. (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07074832/officers) for example. It's financially a good idea for players to manage different revenue streams that they might have on top of their club wages, and I'm pretty sure the Mail reporter would be aware of this.

 I think the issue with what the Mail are reporting is that the companies in their report were originally set up by Wray and/or his Associates before the players were brought onboard as Directors. That's a different scenario. If they're simply being aided in setting up a company like DC has by Wray et al, then I'm sure they'll be able to explain that simply. If they obfuscate then I think there needs to be further investigation.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: RodneyRegis on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 10:05*
why should two individuals not start a business venture together?

Because one is employer and the other employee. It's like saying why should one guy not give another guy a house or car if he wants to? If they are an employee then a benefit is conferred. Similarly, if I invest in a business which is simply a vehicle for transferring funds from me to an employee then I'd better make sure I'm not evading tax...
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Monte on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 10:10*
Yes but why set up companies under individual names and not do it all under one company? If the players wait to sell the house once they have finished playing that comes outside the salary cap and no one will probably notice. A very nice way of breaching the cap like paying into someone’s pension you let the housing market deliver the profits.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 10:46*
why should two individuals not start a business venture together?

Because one is employer and the other employee. It's like saying why should one guy not give another guy a house or car if he wants to? If they are an employee then a benefit is conferred. Similarly, if I invest in a business which is simply a vehicle for transferring funds from me to an employee then I'd better make sure I'm not evading tax...

Er, no it's not like that at all. People can go into business with whomever they like, regardless of their existing relationship. One person employing another doesn't automatically preclude them from going into business in an entirely different venture. It's not like "giving them a car or a house". Let's assume you are employed by someone, and you have a completely new business idea that you think may interest them; you approach them and suggest going into some form of partnership... should they decline because they employ you? No. But if you can point me to any legislation that says it's not allowed, I'd be really interested to see it.

What may be an issue is funding of the business activities, and I see you mention HMRC. However, provided it's all been properly recorded and declared (which we don't know), then it's hard to police it.

As I said earlier, just because it doesn't look good, that doesn't mean it's not legitimate. Part of me wants it to be found to contravene the rules - but my gut feeling is that it will be covered up, forgiven, found to be not worth challenging, or whatever.

Sarries - the best team money can buy.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: RodneyRegis on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 10:54*
A pension is a legal way of giving an employee money.

A house is not.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 10:59*
There's nothing wrong with any of these companies existing.

The question is why they exist and what they're used for.

Owen Farrell is perfectly entitled to have a property empire.

The question is whether any of the company's operations and revenue streams are in lieu of salary payments from Saracens for playing rugby.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: exdublinquin on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 11:02*
I agree there is unlikely to have been any breaches of law and one is entitled to go in to business with someone, be they employer or not.
If the individual is your employer or a connected person to your employer (typically a Director or Shareholder), then there CAN be tax issues, but again if these are dealt with correctly, there is unlikely to be a breach of tax law.
However in this case, it is the Premiership rules on determining adherence to the Salary cap that are pertinent.
So although there is no breach of company law or tax law, there may well be a breach of the internal regulations for determining the salary cap.


Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 12:34*
A pension is a legal way of giving an employee money.

A house is not.

Not sure where you get the idea that someone has been given a house.

Let me put this is simpler terms:

A company set up to invest in property may require loans and/or mortgages to buy said properties. These are known as "liabilities", whilst the properties themselves are "assets". If the ownership of the company is transferred by way of sale, then usually both assets and liabilities will be transferred with the company. As long as fair value is paid for the company, it's legit. If however fair value isn't paid, or assets are undervalued, then it's not legit.

Regarding loans, if someone has given a loan to the company and/or its directors then there will be terms attached, to govern repayment periods, interest charged etc. It may be that interest is at a rate preferable to market, but this would then be seen as a taxable benefit (if it's done via the employer). What is questionable is if Wray were to fund the loan personally, in which case I suspect this may raise the eyebrows of PRL.

Ultimately, unless loans are given without repayment, then nobody is "giving a house" to anyone else. If you look at the accounts filed by the Vunipola's company, you'll see they have liabilities due after more than 12 months - this is how the bulk mortgage liabilities are shown. Hence, I strongly doubt that anyone was "given a house".

Now, you could look at Land Registry records and see purchase price paid for properties, see who the vendor was, see if the price paid reflected fair market value, see who is guaranteeing the mortgage (usually hinted at by way of charges registered) and then work out of any benefits have been bestowed; but that's a long way from "giving a house" to someone.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: thomh on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 13:11*
A pension is a legal way of giving an employee money.

A house is not.

Why not?  So long as the correct amount of tax is paid on the value of the house I see no reason why it couldn't be. 

In any event, what they actually seem to have been given is shares in companies which in turn own properties.  Awarding shares to employees happens all the time, albeit usually it's shares in the company the employee actually works for.

The really strange thing here is why, if this IS part of a salary cap avoidance scheme, has it been done in a way that it so easily ascertainable by anyone who happens to type "Vunipola" into Companies House while procrastinating?  English companies have to declare any persons with significant control, including shareholders over a certain % threshold, so using shares in English companies to circumvent salary cap regulations would be bizarrely transparent.  Here's one of them for example:

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10592745
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: QuincyJones on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 13:26*
How to tell if they've breached the cap? Wait outside their offices and watch for carloads of expensive lawyers arriving... :)

The sticky issue for me is this: why should two individuals not start a business venture together? The fact that one owns the club and the other plays there may look a bit dodgy, but at the same time that shouldn't preclude them from going into business. It may well come down to how profits are shared out, whether funding was put in place by one party and the relevant paperwork legitimises this, whether the correct tax is paid etc.

It doesn't look good. But that doesn't mean it isn't legit. No doubt the club have been very careful in how they present this to the governing body.

There is nothing stopping them from going into business together whatsoever. The point is that any and all additional benefits (even gifts) all have to come under the salary cap. So the real question is whether or not they have declared these business ventures to PRL and included them in expenditure, as they should have.

I'd hazard a guess that they haven't. No doubt that won't stop them from getting away with it.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: QuincyJones on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 13:31*
why should two individuals not start a business venture together?

Because one is employer and the other employee. It's like saying why should one guy not give another guy a house or car if he wants to? If they are an employee then a benefit is conferred. Similarly, if I invest in a business which is simply a vehicle for transferring funds from me to an employee then I'd better make sure I'm not evading tax...

Yeah exactly - nothing wrong with them doing it, so long as it's all declared and included in their cap payments.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: QuincyJones on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 13:36*
Not sure where you get the idea that someone has been given a house.

Let me put this is simpler terms:

A company set up to invest in property may require loans and/or mortgages to buy said properties. These are known as "liabilities", whilst the properties themselves are "assets". If the ownership of the company is transferred by way of sale, then usually both assets and liabilities will be transferred with the company. As long as fair value is paid for the company, it's legit. If however fair value isn't paid, or assets are undervalued, then it's not legit.

Regarding loans, if someone has given a loan to the company and/or its directors then there will be terms attached, to govern repayment periods, interest charged etc. It may be that interest is at a rate preferable to market, but this would then be seen as a taxable benefit (if it's done via the employer). What is questionable is if Wray were to fund the loan personally, in which case I suspect this may raise the eyebrows of PRL.

Ultimately, unless loans are given without repayment, then nobody is "giving a house" to anyone else. If you look at the accounts filed by the Vunipola's company, you'll see they have liabilities due after more than 12 months - this is how the bulk mortgage liabilities are shown. Hence, I strongly doubt that anyone was "given a house".

Now, you could look at Land Registry records and see purchase price paid for properties, see who the vendor was, see if the price paid reflected fair market value, see who is guaranteeing the mortgage (usually hinted at by way of charges registered) and then work out of any benefits have been bestowed; but that's a long way from "giving a house" to someone.

The article notes that Wray was the owner of the house in which Schalk Brits lived since 2011 and it is not known whether or not he paid rent. So if he didn't pay rent, or his rent was subsidised, the value of this would have to be declared and included as part of his salary under the cap.

Lots of ways they can manipulate things and it looks on the face of it, like they have.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 13:57*
It all depends on if PLR knew about the arrangements -- which Saracens says they did.

So let's see.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Fursty on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 14:14*
I think there's a lot of confusion here between generating a tax liability and breaching the salary cap.

It's perfectly possible that shareholding of the companies was transferred to the players at below market value which would generate a tax liability (which would almost certainly be settled lawfully), it would also count as remuneration under the salary cap rules - however there is no reconciliation between amounts declared under the salary cap and individuals tax returns.

However one point I'd make is that assessing fair value can be tricky, particularly if the properties held by this company were bought from another of Mr Wray's companies. Also much more minor but potentially beneficial to the players is that all of the admin, legal, conveyancing and accounting etc might be performed by another group company and re-charged at below market rates.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 14:19*
I think there's a lot of confusion here between generating a tax liability and breaching the salary cap.

It's perfectly possible that shareholding of the companies was transferred to the players at below market value which would generate a tax liability (which would almost certainly be settled lawfully), it would also count as remuneration under the salary cap rules - however there is no reconciliation between amounts declared under the salary cap and individuals tax returns.

However one point I'd make is that assessing fair value can be tricky, particularly if the properties held by this company were bought from another of Mr Wray's companies. Also much more minor but potentially beneficial to the players is that all of the admin, legal, conveyancing and accounting etc might be performed by another group company and re-charged at below market rates.

Yes quite. This isn't a thing about who owns what or is it dodgy to have a company or have they told HMRC something -- it is ONLY about have Saracens been giving more money to their players than they have been telling the Premiership.

To which the answer may well be no.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 14:59*
Yes quite. This isn't a thing about who owns what or is it dodgy to have a company or have they told HMRC something -- it is ONLY about have Saracens been giving more money to their players than they have been telling the Premiership.

To which the answer may well be no.

That's the gist of my point. It may look dodgy, but it could be perfectly legal/permissible.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 16:37*
Saracens are spending £2m over the salary cap - and it's legal (https://www.rugbypass.com/news/saracens-are-spending-pound2m-over-the-salary-cap-and-its-legal)
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Fearless Fred on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 16:53*
Saracens are spending £2m over the salary cap - and it's legal (https://www.rugbypass.com/news/saracens-are-spending-pound2m-over-the-salary-cap-and-its-legal)

That article doesn't really address the allegations made in the SportsMail piece, though. Yes, Sarries can go above the £7M headline figure with credits for EQP and two Marquee players. What is a question is the nature of the business links that Wray has with certain players and how/whether they could/should be considered as money being paid to players.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DazzaS on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 17:58*
It does not matter if the club are cheating again. Despite all the promises from our dear leaders that Saracens will be found out and Quins will play their part in ensuring justice is done, the club were complicit in the cover up so no sanctions were brought forward. Same will happen this time

Also last time while some clubs were in the red they had businesses models to gradually get back in the black and continuously each season most clubs including Quins were making progress. Then after the cover up the salary cap jumped and clubs splashed out to retain the players they had and all the business models had to start again and currently no where near recovering. Apart from Exeter.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 21:39*
The question for me is really "Who paid what for the houses involved?"

Say it's a 50/50 split in shares between a player and Nigel Wray.
Say the house is worth £1m, and each put in £500,000 to purchase said house.
Dividends from the property company will be paid 50/50.
Presumably should the property be sold, that too would be split 50/50.
I can't see any  problem with this.

However, say Nigel Wray paid for the house and now the player gets dividends, loans from the company and a 50% share of the house selling price.
Clearly, that's a different kettle of fish.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 21:59*
SARACENS CLUB STATEMENT: CO-INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN THE SARACENS OWNER AND PLAYERS (https://www.saracens.com/news-article/club-statement-co-investment-partnerships-between-the-saracens-owner-and-players)

"We are encouraged that many of our senior players are exploring business opportunities away from rugby."
It must simplify matters that every senior player is exploring the same business opportunities away from rugby. So no-one wants to be a cheese maker or run a pub or make artisan beer. They all want to be directors in companies that invest in property. What are the odds?

And when you look at the "senior players" involved, I'm sure it's just a fluke that they would be the ones you might think the club would have a problem properly fitting under the salary cap.  I'm shocked Alex Goode (born 1988) has not opted for this company benefits scheme, he's 3 years older than Farrell, I think he's missing out on a retirement opportunity.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Mayor West on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 22:20*
You’ve asked the questions I was asking DOK. Is there any way you can tell who introduced what amounts of money to the companies or how the players came into the companies after their inception. Why do Wray and his associates have anything to do with these companies. I take it Duncan Saville isn’t involved with Danny Care Ltd, or any other Harlequin F.C. Director or associate.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Monday 04-Mar-2019, 22:41*
Sadly this quotes Andy Goode which means they’ve gone to the biggest rent a gob moron in world rugby.

But it’s otherwise interesting....

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-6770759/Premiership-clubs-former-players-join-calls-Saracens-salary-cap-inquiry.html

To quote a bit for the lazy:

“Sportsmail understands that the PRL’s salary-cap manager, Andrew Rogers, has been making inquiries specific to Saracens in the last few months.

It is thought that he has asked a number of rival clubs to disclose offers they have made to high-profile players, including Saracens squad members.

Rogers is said to be trying to establish whether players have turned down higher offers than they receive at their current clubs, raising the prospect that they are being remunerated via other methods.

It is possible the extent of Wray’s arrangements with players may extend much wider than initially thought.

Sportsmail has also been told of another major England star who struck a property deal with Wray, and still owed the 70-year-old businessman hundreds of thousands of pounds when he moved clubs.“

Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 00:10*
I'm hoping the difference between the last time Saracens were under the microscope and this is that this time a national newspaper is shining a light on the dark side of the salary cap. When it was all just the PRL, it was all just easily swept under the carpet. Can they do that now though? If the Mail spent 4 months putting this together, they've got a lot more than what you could get searching the Companies House register for a day! I suspect we'll see some more interesting revelations before this is through.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Bucksquin on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 07:26*
The question for me is really "Who paid what for the houses involved?"

Say it's a 50/50 split in shares between a player and Nigel Wray.
Say the house is worth £1m, and each put in £500,000 to purchase said house.
Dividends from the property company will be paid 50/50.
Presumably should the property be sold, that too would be split 50/50.
I can't see any  problem with this.

However, say Nigel Wray paid for the house and now the player gets dividends, loans from the company and a 50% share of the house selling price.
Clearly, that's a different kettle of fish.

Yes, but what if:

Wray lent the player the money for his 50% at zero interest
The player's shareholding automatically increases, incrementally, over the period of time he is at the club

Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Bucksquin on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 07:28*
And, do the salary cap regulations include or exclude monies and benefits paid directly or indirectly to players by a club's major shareholders or their direct or indirect business interests ('major' presumably being defined in some way)? This is clearly an important question. 
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Mayor West on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 08:18*
I remember a loophole where you could borrow money from your company as a loan without paying tax on it but never actually pay anything back as there was no time limit. You could then invest that and so on and so on....
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: A222Quin on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 08:58*
I bet the findings will be that they haven't done anything wrong by the letter of the law but they'll have kicked the arris out of the spirit of the cap etc.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: raedarius on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 09:04*
Sadly this quotes Andy Goode which means they’ve gone to the biggest rent a gob moron in world rugby.

But it’s otherwise interesting....

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-6770759/Premiership-clubs-former-players-join-calls-Saracens-salary-cap-inquiry.html

To quote a bit for the lazy:

“Sportsmail understands that the PRL’s salary-cap manager, Andrew Rogers, has been making inquiries specific to Saracens in the last few months.

It is thought that he has asked a number of rival clubs to disclose offers they have made to high-profile players, including Saracens squad members.

Rogers is said to be trying to establish whether players have turned down higher offers than they receive at their current clubs, raising the prospect that they are being remunerated via other methods.

It is possible the extent of Wray’s arrangements with players may extend much wider than initially thought.

Sportsmail has also been told of another major England star who struck a property deal with Wray, and still owed the 70-year-old businessman hundreds of thousands of pounds when he moved clubs.“

At least they had the decency (odd word for the Mail, I know) to go with a bald Goode photo.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Fursty on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 09:18*
And, do the salary cap regulations include or exclude monies and benefits paid directly or indirectly to players by a club's major shareholders or their direct or indirect business interests ('major' presumably being defined in some way)? This is clearly an important question.

Yes these amounts would be included in the cap - essentially anyway in which the club or associated people provide any financial benefit to a player should be caught by the cap.

DOK et all, This has absolutely nothing to do with company law or tax legislation
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Joebe on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 09:24*
Listening to Danny and Ugo on the BBC Rugby Pod, they say the lack of action by the league last time was a major reason why Conor decided to leave.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 09:28*
Yes these amounts would be included in the cap - essentially anyway in which the club or associated people provide any financial benefit to a player should be caught by the cap.

DOK et all, This has absolutely nothing to do with company law or tax legislation

Exactly. For fear of going in circles -- it doesn't matter how they are paying the players. It only matters if they are getting money to the players that PRL doesn't know about.

If you tell PRL that you're paying Farrell £250,000 a year (by whatever legal means), but you're actually paying him £350,000 by using a perfectly legal method that hasn't been declared (whatever that is) then you're cheating.

The questions are - has that happened or not, and can you prove it or not.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 09:53*
...
DOK et all, This has absolutely nothing to do with company law or tax legislation

If I somehow gave you the impression I thought this had anything to do with company law/tax legislation then I apologise. I've always assumed Saracens pay their taxes. In BQ's example above, they could claim they only pay £250,000 for the salary cap, but as long as they tell the taxman they actually paid £350,000, then all is OK regarding HMRC.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Fursty on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 10:09*
If I somehow gave you the impression I thought this had anything to do with company law/tax legislation then I apologise. I've always assumed Saracens pay their taxes. In BQ's example above, they could claim they only pay £250,000 for the salary cap, but as long as they tell the taxman they actually paid £350,000, then all is OK regarding HMRC.

Apologies having r-read your post you weren't suggesting that - others however were  :)
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Pickled Pelican on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 10:29*
If the "investor" puts in £x into the players company, the player plays out his contract(s), leaves the club, a short while later the investor walks away from the business, but leaves the investment in situ.
Is this a way to give a player money over a long term??
Does it fall within the cap, it's a separate business arrangement and the player's left the club??
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 10:35*
All questions that the inquiry will no doubt be unable to answer ultimately.

Prove that the investment was in lieu of salary and that there was an agreement that a loan would never have to be repaid once the player leaves so that they're effectively getting a whack of free cash....

Can't think how you'd prove it.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 12:10*
The question for me is really "Who paid what for the houses involved?"

Say it's a 50/50 split in shares between a player and Nigel Wray.
Say the house is worth £1m, and each put in £500,000 to purchase said house.
Dividends from the property company will be paid 50/50.
Presumably should the property be sold, that too would be split 50/50.
I can't see any  problem with this.

However, say Nigel Wray paid for the house and now the player gets dividends, loans from the company and a 50% share of the house selling price.
Clearly, that's a different kettle of fish.

Dividends are paid from post-tax profits. Profit on sale of property is subject to Capital Gains Tax (usually). But the point you raise is important - who paid for the house. At some stage, the property (asset) would have been transferred into the player's company. At that stage, two things concern me: firstly, was the transfer at fair market value. This will concern HMRC (definitely) and PRL (hopefully). Secondly, who paid the legal fees and Stamp Duty (quite a lot of money on £1m= properties). The latter is a way that I can see players benefitting, should someone else be paying the bill.

The bottom line is that in spite of posters on here raising valid points and being unhappy/suspicious of the arrangements, it's possible that it's all kosher. Certainly the business model is tried and tested so for tax purposes it's an easy one to cover. On the other hand, what is reported to PRL is what really concerns us, I believe.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Yareet on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 13:12*
And, do the salary cap regulations include or exclude monies and benefits paid directly or indirectly to players by a club's major shareholders or their direct or indirect business interests ('major' presumably being defined in some way)? This is clearly an important question.

Yup

https://d2cx26qpfwuhvu.cloudfront.net/premier/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/03161651/Salary-Cap-Regulations-2018-19.pdf

Page 4

Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Monte on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 13:15*
Or paid after they retire and are not on Clubs book!
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Yareet on Tuesday 05-Mar-2019, 13:17*
If the "investor" puts in £x into the players company, the player plays out his contract(s), leaves the club, a short while later the investor walks away from the business, but leaves the investment in situ.
Is this a way to give a player money over a long term??
Does it fall within the cap, it's a separate business arrangement and the player's left the club??

https://d2cx26qpfwuhvu.cloudfront.net/premier/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/03161651/Salary-Cap-Regulations-2018-19.pdf

Ex -players are covered on page 40 as being under the same regulations (effectively)
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 12:36*
Saracens probed by rival club: (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-6774593/Saracens-probed-rival-club-Firm-hired-Premiership-team-investigate-offshore-accounts.html) Firm hired by Premiership team to investigate offshore accounts due to lack of confidence in governing body
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 12:39*
Nice to see the clubs have the same confidence in PRL as the fans! So now we have PRL, the Salary Cap admin person, the Daily Mail and an unnamed club and forensic set of accountants all looking at Saracens salary cap adhesion. Should be interesting to see how that plays out.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Cookie on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 13:06*
Ryan Walkinshaw (Gloucester) posted an interesting thread on Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/RyanWalkinshaw/status/1103096549599408128
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: honkytonk on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 13:18*
Lets just hope we are clean (barring the recent mis hap)
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Nico Wilson on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 13:24*
And benefits in kind (e.g. subsidised mortgages) are caught and are deemed to be Salary:

Quote
(p) any payment or benefit in kind which the Player would not have received if it were not for his involvement with a Club;

See Schedule 1, starting on page 38:

https://d2cx26qpfwuhvu.cloudfront.net/premier/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/03161651/Salary-Cap-Regulations-2018-19.pdf
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: InsertQuinsPunHere on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 13:32*
Ryan Walkinshaw (Gloucester) posted an interesting thread on Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/RyanWalkinshaw/status/1103096549599408128

Yikes... that's eye opening.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Cookie on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 14:14*
Yikes... that's eye opening.

Indeed. Can't find the tweet, but he mentioned how many players, ex-players etc had liked and re-tweeted his thread and said he wanted an independent auditor (e.g. PWC) to do the investigation, but was voted down.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 14:22*
Indeed. Can't find the tweet, but he mentioned how many players, ex-players etc had liked and re-tweeted his thread and said he wanted an independent auditor (e.g. PWC) to do the investigation, but was voted down.

Another interesting point for me is where he says that getting info from the players is unlikely. I wonder if this would change, should a player have a falling out with the club or its owner. Ultimately, the player would not be responsible for their remuneration, and whether it's all been declared - to PRL or to the taxman.

The second question would be at what point the club are responsible for the owner's actions. Hypothetically, the owner could pay from his own pocket without the club being aware. The player is still being paid. This is covered under the "related parties" bit of the rules, I believe.

The comment about financial penalties is correct, assuming that this is levied on the club and the owner just pumps more money in. It's a cost/risk balance. Maybe any guilty club should suffer a reduction in their penalty cap, in line with the amount of the breach, for a first offence? Overpay by £1m, their cap is reduced by £1m.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: stoquin on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 14:35*
is he still involved in Gloucester I thought he had sold up several years ago. Not saying he can't have views as a rugby and Gloucester fan.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Cookie on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 14:44*
is he still involved in Gloucester I thought he had sold up several years ago. Not saying he can't have views as a rugby and Gloucester fan.

He sold up, but was in charge from 2010-2016.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: honkytonk on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 14:48*
Now this is how you do it -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne_Storm_salary_cap_breach

Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 15:14*
Now this is how you do it -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne_Storm_salary_cap_breach



Yep, happy with that.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Monte on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 09:03*
Would also be interesting to know why all the Quins truly independent Directors resigned last year en masse now just David Ellis, David Morgan who is involved with Charles Jillings investment company, Sandra Pope who is also company secretary of his companies on the board. Maybe the same reason as Danny is quoting as one of the reasons for Cos going.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: deadlyfrom5yardsout on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 10:43*
The only penalty that would truly be effective is being docked 30 points or even being relegated. Monetary fines are pointless.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: honkytonk on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 11:56*
Would also be interesting to know why all the Quins truly independent Directors resigned last year en masse now just David Ellis, David Morgan who is involved with Charles Jillings investment company, Sandra Pope who is also company secretary of his companies on the board. Maybe the same reason as Danny is quoting as one of the reasons for Cos going.

What is the reason???
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Chipstead Quin on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 12:02*
On this weeks BBC Rugby Podcast  Danny Care and Ugo Monye both said that one of the main reasons that COS left Quins was because he was fed up with the Salary Cap situation , he said it wasn't a level playing field and it was all being swept under the carpet .

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p072lt8w

somewhere in the last 10 mins
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: honkytonk on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 12:11*
Thanks for that.  Guess we are in the clear then
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 12:39*
England kick Saracens questions into touch in bid to avoid distractions (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/mar/06/england-saracens-questions-six-nations)
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 12:41*
Maro Itoje caught up in salary cap storm  (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-6779489/Maro-Itoje-caught-salary-cap-storm-business-Saracens-owner-Nigel-Wray.html)
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 12:43*
As I said, nice to see all these senior players starting to learn how to make their own way in the world and planning for their post rugby situation. And it's all the players you might have thought would have difficulty fitting under a salary cap. Strange that.

And as I said, suspect the Mail has other ammunition from a 4 month investigation.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: BedfordshireBoy on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 13:03*
 
England kick Saracens questions into touch in bid to avoid distractions (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/mar/06/england-saracens-questions-six-nations)

But at least we can be assured that it will be looked into after the 6 Nations   ;) ::)
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 13:08*
As I said, nice to see all these senior players starting to learn how to make their own way in the world and planning for their post rugby situation. And it's all the players you might have thought would have difficulty fitting under a salary cap. Strange that.

And as I said, suspect the Mail has other ammunition from a 4 month investigation.

It may be that others also have the same support/assistance/benefit, but it's less interesting to the press? Would anyone care if he was in business with a fifth choice centre?

As for players making their way in the world, I think that's a great idea and credit for them for doing so. And with the amounts that they allegedly earn, investing in high value property is actually a very strong, proven investment model.

Now... I am also sure as you are that there is a lot more information that hasn't been put out yet. I'm also sure (just gut feeling) that Sarries/Wray have done something untoward and against the rules/principles. But reading Walkinshaw's comments exposes how difficult it is to squash this. Many people know, many are/were guilty to varying degrees, nobody will talk.

My feeling is that it will all come tumbling down, probably due to some (non-refereeing) whistleblower. This is likely IMO to be a former player as a current player may fear being unable to get another contract. The question is, what about the players involved? Let's assume, hypothetically, that Itoje and the Vunipolas are both knowingly involved in something like this. Should they be banned from playing for England? Or from playing entirely? For how long? In fact, whilst the clubs have signed up to the salary cap agreement, what about the players? Is there some way in which they are effectively a party to the salary cap rules, as opposed to being a commodity?
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinten Poulsen on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 13:54*
As I said, nice to see all these senior players starting to learn how to make their own way in the world and planning for their post rugby situation. And it's all the players you might have thought would have difficulty fitting under a salary cap. Strange that.

And as I said, suspect the Mail has other ammunition from a 4 month investigation.

I wish they'd show it then, as all we've seen so far is hardly controversial.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 16:27*
I wish they'd show it then, as all we've seen so far is hardly controversial.

That's the thing. It looks bad because it's shown in a certain way. It looks unsavoury, but that doesn't mean it's wrong. Either the Mail are just blowing it out of proportion by sensationalising it, or they're keeping their powder dry; or maybe they have intel, but are afraid to use it as it's unsubstantiable.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 16:48*
My guess, and it is just that, is the Mail are building a case by drip feeding information and there's SHOCK! HORROR! to come. Otherwise why didn't they just announce the Itoje thing with the others? It could be an attempt to create an atmosphere where "sweeping it under the carpet" is not possible. 

As for the England situation, there is a big difference between what the clubs do and what the RFU do. That's the whole club vs country issue. The salary cap is something between the clubs, PRL and the players. I don't see it having anything to do with England/RFU.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinten Poulsen on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 16:55*
I don't think it looks unsavoury at all. I think the Mail is making itself look a bit dumb.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 17:21*
My guess, and it is just that, is the Mail are building a case by drip feeding information and there's SHOCK! HORROR! to come. Otherwise why didn't they just announce the Itoje thing with the others? It could be an attempt to create an atmosphere where "sweeping it under the carpet" is not possible. 

As for the England situation, there is a big difference between what the clubs do and what the RFU do. That's the whole club vs country issue. The salary cap is something between the clubs, PRL and the players. I don't see it having anything to do with England/RFU.

I should clarify, DOK. Think back to when DC had his minor indiscretions - it was perceived as a public slap on the wrist to drop him, whilst pointing out that such behaviour is not conducive to being an England player. That was conduct entirely unrelated to rugby.

If a player is complicit in effectively cheating (albeit off the pitch), how would that look if the RFU simply shrugged their collective shoulders and did nothing? The message would be that you mustn't be an ar*e in your own time away from rugby, but it's acceptable to cheat your fellow players and fans alike.

As for the drip feed, I hope you're right. It could also be that they have scant information, which is why they're releasing it slowly, perhaps in the hope that it will draw something out of the woodwork. It's always best to start with something tantalising, then land a big expose, leaving people thinking (hoping) there's more.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Monte on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 17:23*
That's the thing. It looks bad because it's shown in a certain way. It looks unsavoury, but that doesn't mean it's wrong. Either the Mail are just blowing it out of proportion by sensationalising it, or they're keeping their powder dry; or maybe they have intel, but are afraid to use it as it's unsubstantiable.
The Mail unsavoury- wash your mouth out please!
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Mayor West on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 18:11*
Of course the Mail will draw it out, any paper would. People who are interested will buy the paper each time a new bit of info comes out. The publicity will last longer and maybe buying some time for legal issues or deals to be done.
     The main question for me is how much money did the players put into the companies. Did Wray and his associates put the cash or assets in and then hand over the companies ?
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: InsertQuinsPunHere on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 19:09*
...Either the Mail are just blowing it out of proportion by sensationalising it, or...

It's not like they've form in doing this...
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 22:23*
If I was Saracens, perish the thought, I mean the bit of Saracens that allegedly is responsible for creative ways of keeping payments off the books, then I'd be worried about what started this. If the Mail just decided to go digging, do a bit of investigative journalism if you would, then that's one thing. If they have an actual, honest to goodness informant who has decided to spill beans going way back... Then a lot of lawyers are going to get very rich in a very short space of time.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Only Joe Quin on Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 22:42*
So far there’s absolutely nothing to this at all, the Mail have produced lots of speculation from the flimsiest of bases but no evidence of any wrongdoing. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any of course and I like a nice conspiracy theory as much as anyone. :o
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 00:02*
It's not like they've form in doing this...

They certainly have a lot of form in very careful uncovering of scandal and calling out of impropriety.

The internet sidebar of shame does not define the Mail’s history.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: InsertQuinsPunHere on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 00:23*
Spoil sport
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: marlowish on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 09:15*
My guess, and it is just that, is the Mail are building a case by drip feeding information and there's SHOCK! HORROR! to come. Otherwise why didn't they just announce the Itoje thing with the others? It could be an attempt to create an atmosphere where "sweeping it under the carpet" is not possible. 

As for the England situation, there is a big difference between what the clubs do and what the RFU do. That's the whole club vs country issue. The salary cap is something between the clubs, PRL and the players. I don't see it having anything to do with England/RFU.
I agree

As I said, nice to see all these senior players starting to learn how to make their own way in the world and planning for their post rugby situation. And it's all the players you might have thought would have difficulty fitting under a salary cap. Strange that.

And as I said, suspect the Mail has other ammunition from a 4 month investigation.
Yes many of the left do not like the DM ( not my rag of choice) but some of their investigation journalism is very good.  It may fly in the face of people's own personal liberal narrative however. 
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: marlowish on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 09:17*
It's not like they've form in doing this...
they have also dome so excellent investigations - generalising is childish
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: harlequins on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 09:46*
Let us see what happens. If, and it is an 'if', Saracens have been buying houses etc. and then handing them over below true value or if they have been funnelling other revenue through the companies then they deserve all they get. But what will they get? - fined? Saracens will just pay it and just continue. Perhaps we need a Fair Play like in football and for anyone found to be cheating ban any recruitment plus a fine. I am not saying Saracens are guilty but they sure have a track record.

As another option, is it not time for fans to stop going to any Saracens away game? It does not help your own team but a total lack of away fans may give a message to the PRL. I can't see though Saracens being bothered if no away fans go.

If Saracens are guilty and nothing happens then Saracens will just continue to recruit more and more internationals and squeeze them under the salary cap....or buy them houses, pay them into SA bank accounts or other things they have been accused of doing.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Boonie on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 09:50*
The BBC Sport take on it: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47481608
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 10:18*
The BBC Sport take on it: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47481608


How funny that the only team they mention as having breached the cap is Quins. Breached by a whopping 0.18%. Weren't Wasps also guilty of a much higher breach?

Personally I'd trust the Mail over the BBC any day! The Mail has a bad reputation and it makes me laugh when people dismiss reports by saying "It's The Mail", as if that negates everything. A bit like people quoting The Guardian as if it's a sensible, balanced viewpoint.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 10:30*
Yeah I realise the Mail do a lot of foul crap and appear to actively loathe women, but they have also had some very good campaigns, investigations and named the scum who killed Stephen Lawrence.

But the website is vile.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 11:27*
They also produced this: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3141158/A-flawed-accuser-Investigation-academic-hounded-Nobel-Prize-winning-scientist-job-reveals-troubling-questions-testimony.html

Probably the best thing I read about the incident, and definitely the most balanced.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: InsertQuinsPunHere on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 12:30*
they have also dome so excellent investigations - generalising is childish

Guilty... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But despite my childish comment, I would dearly love someone, anyone, to rid our sport of this bane.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Bolly-Quin on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 13:49*
Personally I'd trust the Mail over the BBC any day! .... A bit like people quoting The Guardian as if it's a sensible, balanced viewpoint.

*falls off stool gasping for air*

Ha ha ha ha ha - that's the funniest set of comments you've ever posted!

How are your BA miles doing?

Deadly spelling

 ;)
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: deadlyfrom5yardsout on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 13:50*
your
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 14:02*
*falls off stool gasping for air*

Ha ha ha ha ha - that's the funniest set of comments you've ever posted!

How are your BA miles doing?

Deadly spelling

 ;)

BA = Budget Airlines... I'd rather fly Ryanair!

Personally I can't stand the Beeb, they seem to not quite get the concept of balanced reporting :)
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Bolly-Quin on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 14:05*
I certainly agree that BA have lost the plot with planes - I still think their crew are good.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Mayor West on Friday 08-Mar-2019, 18:15*
Back to the thread title...........I think if Saracens are found guilty they should be thrown out of the Premiership. That would also solve the relegation situation too.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinten Poulsen on Saturday 09-Mar-2019, 00:44*
Yeah I realise the Mail do a lot of foul crap and appear to actively loathe women, but they have also had some very good campaigns, investigations and named the scum who killed Stephen Lawrence.

But the website is vile.

Whenever I look through the sidebar they appear to love women.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinten Poulsen on Saturday 09-Mar-2019, 00:49*
Back to the thread title...........I think if Saracens are found guilty they should be thrown out of the Premiership. That would also solve the relegation situation too.

I think if any club is found guilty they should be docked 40 or 50 points for the following season, players involved should be banned for 3 years, and agents involved should be banned for life. Well, that's what I think off the top of my head. Oh, and the CEO/club officials should be banned from all involvement in every level of rugby for a long time.

I really doubt anything will come of this though. The DM has produced nothing of any substance and Ryan Walkinshaw makes it sound like it's easy to get away with. Plus we know PRL has no balls.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: harlequins on Saturday 09-Mar-2019, 21:54*
Saracens, if they are guilty, will just pay off someone and continue breaching the cap. PRL won’t do anything.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Bolly-Quin on Saturday 09-Mar-2019, 22:33*
They are innocent until proved otherwise.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Mayor West on Sunday 10-Mar-2019, 08:25*
Like OJ and MJ.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Sunday 10-Mar-2019, 08:29*
They are innocent until proved otherwise.

Yes however last time they were proven to be cheating it was swept under the carpet, so if we’re keen to apply the principles of justice - the other primary one is that it is seen to be done.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Sunday 10-Mar-2019, 17:45*
Yes - if we're going to apply "innocent until proven guilty" can we have "the guilty will be punished"? I'm not sure how many people have actually said Saracens are breaking the salary cap (this time). Are we saying that unless people are already proved guilty we cannot question their innocence?

As I pointed out, if there were people you'd think Saracens might have difficulty fitting under the salary cap, then Farrell, the Vunipolas and Itoje might come up somewhere in your top five. Not sure about Wrigglesworth, is he in the same league or was he a late signing where perhaps the cap had already been reached?

Anyway, the Mail has spent four months looking at this, and simply claims there may be something for PRL to look at. As I said earlier, if the company assets are owned by the directors and the amount put into those assets reflect their shareholding, then I don't see any salary cap problem with them. If the players stick their earnings in a savings account, the interest earned doesn't count towards the salary cap. If someone else puts money into a savings vehicle for them, then of course it should.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: deadlyfrom5yardsout on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 09:59*
Wray speaks in The Daily Wail

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-6801555/Premiership-Rugby-maintain-silence-investigation-Saracens.html
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: harlequins on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 11:29*
looks like Saracens have got away with it again...if it is all true of course.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 11:35*
There's nothing like hiding in plain sight.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: T-Bone on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 12:10*
From what I can see he's saying that the players have set up companies with the benefit of our advice and we think that all these companies sound like fantastic investment opportunities, so we've invested our own cash in them, just like we could invest our cash in any other business. Is that right? If so, I guess they're probably allowed to do it under the cap regulations, but it clearly stinks.

The long post he wrote, which has been lapped up by the likes of Greenwood, Flatman and the other sycophants, is fairly laughable. He waffles on for ages about how well they look after their players and engage in the community, which I'm sure is perfectly true and is indeed laudable. Then there's a short paragraph where he seems to suggest that they help players set up companies and then they inject loads of cash as an investment, but that's fine, because it's a genuine investment decision which they've weighed up, comes with its own risk, etc.

So the way to get round the cap is to tell a player you'll pay them, say, £500k over 2 years. Suggest that they inject some of that cash and some other cash into a new company which holds a property portfolio. The club's owner will then invest in your new property business because they think it looks like a really promising investment opportunity (because by sheer coincidence a lot of the top international players are also very savvy businessmen and property experts).

Use the investment to buy some more properties, get some advice from rich owner's mates, property portfolio grows, investment looks like a sound and legitimate one.

Helping with work placements, being flexible to allow studying, sharing expertise to help players start a business such as the coffee, lager, jolly hog, etc, is one thing. It is indeed laudable and I know we do do it and think all clubs should. Just pumping investment capital into someone's business which you have helped set up is another thing entirely.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 13:22*
From what I can see he's saying that the players have set up companies with the benefit of our advice and we think that all these companies sound like fantastic investment opportunities, so we've invested our own cash in them, just like we could invest our cash in any other business. Is that right? If so, I guess they're probably allowed to do it under the cap regulations, but it clearly stinks.

The long post he wrote, which has been lapped up by the likes of Greenwood, Flatman and the other sycophants, is fairly laughable. He waffles on for ages about how well they look after their players and engage in the community, which I'm sure is perfectly true and is indeed laudable. Then there's a short paragraph where he seems to suggest that they help players set up companies and then they inject loads of cash as an investment, but that's fine, because it's a genuine investment decision which they've weighed up, comes with its own risk, etc.

So the way to get round the cap is to tell a player you'll pay them, say, £500k over 2 years. Suggest that they inject some of that cash and some other cash into a new company which holds a property portfolio. The club's owner will then invest in your new property business because they think it looks like a really promising investment opportunity (because by sheer coincidence a lot of the top international players are also very savvy businessmen and property experts).

Use the investment to buy some more properties, get some advice from rich owner's mates, property portfolio grows, investment looks like a sound and legitimate one.

Helping with work placements, being flexible to allow studying, sharing expertise to help players start a business such as the coffee, lager, jolly hog, etc, is one thing. It is indeed laudable and I know we do do it and think all clubs should. Just pumping investment capital into someone's business which you have helped set up is another thing entirely.

As I said earlier in the thread, it may well stink (it does) but it may also be perfectly permissible.

I haven't read the article that was mentioned a few posts back. My initial response to the comments on here is that some of the companies were not set up by the players concerned, but were transferred into their names. This casts a shadow of what has been suggested.

Secondly, business advice, help etc usually comes at a price. Has this been assessed for value and included in the salary cap?
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinten Poulsen on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 13:37*
Well if it's all above board there's no reason why other clubs shouldn't be doing it.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 13:48*
Well if it's all above board there's no reason why other clubs shouldn't be doing it.

Very true. The key word being "IF". That's for the powers that be to pass judgement on.

I have sometimes wondered what would happen if something happened outside of the scope of salary cap "related parties". Hypothetically speaking, let's say Quins had a mega-rich fan (Deadly, for example) - you know, worth hundreds of millions - who wasn't actually affiliated or linked to the club apart from being a season ticket holder or a box owner. What if that person knew the club were interested in Eben Etzebeth (for example) but couldn't afford him within the cap. What if then that particular fan came to an arrangement with the player away from the club, about which the club knew nothing? Something like "Eben, sign for Quins and I'll give you £xxx per year as long as you play for them - call it a gift". How would that be policed, and would it be permissible or punishable?

Apologies in advance if this has been covered before.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Only Joe Quin on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 15:01*
All these young guys with short careers earning shed loads of money..... investing for the future seems eminently sensible. And property can be a very good investment, although I hope they have spread their risk and put money in other types of investments.
So far, nothing revealed by Sportsmail suggests anything nefarious going on.
But conspiracy theories are so much fun!
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Blucherquin on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 15:17*
All these young guys with short careers earning shed loads of money..... investing for the future seems eminently sensible. And property can be a very good investment, although I hope they have spread their risk and put money in other types of investments.
So far, nothing revealed by Sportsmail suggests anything nefarious going on.
But conspiracy theories are so much fun!

I would doubt anyone involved in writing the story thinks that players shouldn't invest in the future or be involved in business ventures - it's been a rugby player thing for years and years now.

I doubt they were just surprised that property happened to be one of these.

And they wouldn't have randomly started sniffing around property deals without being tipped off to look.

But it may well have been misguided - or not - or we may never know.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: DOK on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 16:20*
Well, as Nigel Wray said, he didn't exactly try to hide his involvement in the companies of these players. A quick search of Companies House was all it took. Maybe it is kosher, maybe he knows he's untouchable. At least the Mail brought it out in the open.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: A222Quin on Wednesday 13-Mar-2019, 16:46*
You have a rich owner willing to do this then it works. You don’t, then you can’t. If it’s all above board there’s not much that can be done. Just an easy way of getting round the cap.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: deadlyfrom5yardsout on Thursday 14-Mar-2019, 09:02*
Very true. The key word being "IF". That's for the powers that be to pass judgement on.

I have sometimes wondered what would happen if something happened outside of the scope of salary cap "related parties". Hypothetically speaking, let's say Quins had a mega-rich fan (Deadly, for example) - you know, worth hundreds of millions - who wasn't actually affiliated or linked to the club apart from being a season ticket holder or a box owner. What if that person knew the club were interested in Eben Etzebeth (for example) but couldn't afford him within the cap. What if then that particular fan came to an arrangement with the player away from the club, about which the club knew nothing? Something like "Eben, sign for Quins and I'll give you £xxx per year as long as you play for them - call it a gift". How would that be policed, and would it be permissible or punishable?

Apologies in advance if this has been covered before.

On a serious note ( I know, I know, calm down Cookie FFS) I cannot see the point of cheating/bending the rules/throwing money at it to make your team the best team. A very hollow victory indeed.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Thursday 14-Mar-2019, 09:15*
Agreed Deadly. Honestly! It makes me laugh when football fans gloat that their team wins against other teams when the first spends more on two or three players than the second spends on their entire team.
For me, Sarries' successes are indeed hollow.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Donuts on Friday 15-Mar-2019, 06:41*
I’m assuming that further down the road once the player(s) have left the club or retired the loan from Wray will be either partially or totally waived as in the current economic climate property capital gains cannot be guaranteed
When set up the company has effectively nil value as the value of the asset ie the property is counter balanced by an equal amount due to the original investor ( not the player ).
So at the point of being given the shares no benefit has passed and the shareholders agreement likely to be in force protects the main investor and ensures ongoing loyalty.
If at the outset a future series of events is already contractual then it could easily be inferred that the players involved have received something of value and this would accordingly have to be included in the salary cap calculation.
I therefore suspect that this is not the case ;( at least not publicly).
Just my thoughts
Interested fo hear others
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinky on Friday 15-Mar-2019, 07:26*
Liabilities in a property company are likely to be loans, or mortgages. That doesn't have to be from a bank, it could just as easily be from an individual. One possible benefit could be in terms of interest. For example, if the bank interest rate were 10%, but the individual loaned money at 2% interest, there's a benefit. But it's a benefit to the company and if that arrangement is in place before the player owns the company, is it included in salary cap? If it's a benefit to the company, does it need to be included?
Also, when the company buys a property there will be legal fees, stamp duty etc, which can be a lot of money. If the company is then transferred to the player, then they haven't needed to pay that.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Mayor West on Friday 15-Mar-2019, 09:03*
The way I see it then is that they have found a way round it and they are breaking the spirit of the cap again, until the loophole is closed.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: Quinten Poulsen on Friday 15-Mar-2019, 13:28*
The way I see it then is that they have found a way round it and they are breaking the spirit of the cap again, until the loophole is closed.

I don't think so. Loopholes have to be reported. I think it's more likely that these arrangements come under Schedule 1, Section 2, and would fall under things 'less likely to be considered salary'.
Title: Re: Have Saracens broken salary cap rules?
Post by: harlequins on Friday 15-Mar-2019, 15:22*
I expect they are already thinking of the next way to get round the cap...
 - pay off shore
 - pay in something like fine wines that are immediately sold for more than the cost to the player
 - find a way to treat all the players personal clothing as 'uniform' to be able buy them tax free
 - pay in cash and just don't tell anyone