Simon Cohen: Leicester Tigers CEO warns Premiership salaries will create 'unbalance'

Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen joined the Leicester Tigers board in 2011

An increased salary cap risks creating an unbalanced Premiership competition that alienates the grass roots, says Leicester chief executive Simon Cohen.

The base level of the salary cap for this season is £6.5m but this will rise to £7m from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

Cohen says shareholder-owned Tigers may struggle to spend the full cap, while others can rely on "sugar daddies".

He added: "I know the club's chairman voted for [the cap] but personally I think the balance is wrong."

Cohen told BBC Radio Leicester: "We've had an increase in players' wages. That's come at the expense of facilities and putting resources into the community game for most clubs. I don't think players' wages needed to go up as high as they have done.

"Personally I would not have implemented the extra half million for next year, although the decision to then peg it for three years is very sensible."

Cohen admits Leicester's spending power in future will rely on how far money from the Rugby Football Union will go.

A new eight-year deal worth more than £225m was agreed between the RFU and Premiership clubs - with clubs earning more for releasing players for international duty, as well as meeting the English-qualified players target and academy standards.

"At this moment in time we are funding right up to the extent of the cap," Cohen continued.

"The cap goes up half a million pounds next year but we will have to see what sort of central revenue goes along with that.

"We are at the edges of what we can generate in terms of our own internal revenue and we don't have a 'sugar daddy' owner simply to sink millions in if there is a shortfall."

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