English clubs cannot compete - Richard Cockerill

Paul Marshall of Ulster scores a try
Leicester conceded four ties in their Heineken Cup defeat at Ulster

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill says the salary cap means English clubs can no longer compete in Europe.

His side's Heineken Cup run effectively ended on Friday with defeat by Ulster.

Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester: "I don't think you have the financial clout to compete at the very top end, especially if you have injuries.

"You haven't got the money to have the depth of squad. That's not a criticism of anybody, that's the fact of it."

The Premiership's salary cap currently stands at £4m with some clubs, including Leicester, Northampton, Saracens and Bath, pushing for an increase. external-link

Tigers, who are now third in Pool Four, cannot now win their group which offers an automatic quarter-final place.

Tigers will need a bonus-point victory over Italian strugglers Aironi at Welford Road to give themselves any chance in the race for two best runners-up spots, yet teams in other pools appear better placed.

"With the English clubs, by and large, you have to be successful in the Premiership," added Cockerill. "If you do well in Europe that's a bonus."