It's fair to say that Saracens aren't the most popular English rugby club on these shores. Now, their chief executive Ed Griffiths, is lobbying the Aviva Premiership to remove the salary cap that has been in place since 1999, and has recently been raised.
Currently in the Premiership, clubs have to abide by a £5 million cap, up £500,000 from last season, which will rise to £5.5 million next season. There is an exception where clubs can sign one "marquee player" that doesn't count towards the cap, which will be increased to two marquee players from next season.
Griffiths thinks that the salary cap has served it's purpose and that English rugby would be undermined should there be a host of English based players moving to nouveau riche clubs in France following the World Cup.
It would be a pity if the world’s top players light up the World Cup on English soil, and then leave to play club rugby in France. If the salary cap is left to forbid the required investment, it will kill any hope of growth.
Imagine the likes of Arsenal or Manchester City being asked to compete with Barcelona, Bayern and Real Madrid under those circumstances. It would never happen, but it happens in rugby.
Not everyone who follows English rugby would be happy about a removal of the cap, fearing that, as in football, the gap between the top clubs and the rest of the clubs in the league would grow.
No salary cap only really means one thing; bigger clubs thrive and smaller clubs eventually die.
— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) December 19, 2014
Can only see scrapping the salary cap broadening the gap between the Premiership's haves and have-nots as the former chase French rivals.
— Jamie Lyall (@JLyall93) December 19, 2014
Scrapping salary cap would sacrifice Prem competitiveness to put richest clubs on par with French. No more feel-good stories like Exeter.
— Jamie Hosie (@jhosie43) December 19, 2014
Griffiths understands these concerns, but also points out the widening gap between English and French clubs in the Champions Cup:
We understand some clubs fear the removal of the salary cap will cause wage inflation yet, in reality, salaries are already being driven by the French clubs.
Premier Rugby, the company that operates the Premiership believes that the salary cap promotes competitiveness in the English game, while also promoting a financial health within their clubs, something that football clubs seem to be struggling with.
This isn't the first time Griffiths has called for change RE the salary cap. Back in March, the called for relegation to be abolished, the maximum salary cap to be scrapped while a minimum cap to be brought in so that the best player play in the Premiership rather than the Top 14 or play in Ireland:
The salary cap keeps the league competitive but if the best players go to France or Ireland then we won’t be the leading league.
If the salary cap does get abolished, where would that leave the Irish clubs? Although it's worth nothing that Griffiths thinks we'd be fine again.:
English clubs must compete in the European Champions Cup against Irish and French sides spending two or three times as much on players.
H/T The Telegraph