Premiership salary cap: Rugby chief says clubs not breaking rules

Premier League launch

English top-flight clubs did not breach the salary cap despite "confidential agreements" being reached with Premiership Rugby.

The organisation pursued "certain issues" with some clubs over last season's £4.76m wage limit, but played down "significantly inaccurate" reports several teams had broken rules.

The salary cap for this season is £5.5m, rising to £6.5m in 2016-17.

Premiership Rugby chief Mark McCafferty said differences had been "resolved".

He added: "There are no breaches, but we have a five-year window in the regulation which remains open, in case any new information surfaces on any club.

"That remains fully in place and available to the salary cap manager."

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Steve Diamond: Wage cap must be enforced

The wage cap is designed to encourage teams to produce young players and enhance the pool of English talent.

Last season, Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond said he believed some Premiership clubs were paying up to £2m over the salary cap using "creative accountancy".

McCafferty told BBC Sport: "We arrived at a different position where I guess we believed we were right, clubs had a different view of that, we had differing legal opinion over it and there aren't always rights and wrongs in these situations.

"In that context it's better for all parties if an appropriate settlement is reached which is what we've done."

The use of a salary cap divides opinion in the game, with former Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths having claimed seven clubs wanted it abolished, while Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill backed the current system.

The salary cap will rise in 2017-18 to £7m per club.

2016-17 Premiership salary cap
Basic cap will be £6.5m, up from £5.1m in the 2015-16 seasonClubs can nominate two players to be excluded from the salary cap
Clubs will receive £500,000 - up from £400,000 - in academy credits, for players who are under the age of 24, joined before their 18th birthday and are earning more than £30,000 a yearClubs can apply for one injury replacement when one of their players has been injured for a period of 12 weeks or more

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