French Top 14
French clubs heading for salary cap?
March 10, 2009
Dan Carter's lucrative French move could soon be the exception rather than the rule © Getty Images
French clubs may soon be operating under a salary cap after the Ligue National de Rugby (LNR) optioned a group to investigate the implications of employing such a mechanism.
French rugby has been the focus of a great deal attention after Wasps trio Riki Flutey, James Haskell and Tom Palmer signed lucrative deals with Top 14 clubs who are not bound by the wage structures employed in the Premiership. The England trio followed in the footsteps of a great number of southern hemisphere stars, the most notable being All Black fly-half Dan Carter, who signed for an ill-fated six month stay with Perpignan, in signing for French clubs although their spending spree may prove to be short lived should a salary cap be introduced.
Rumours have flooded the media since the announcement of the signings, with Newcastle and England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson singled out as a prized commodity and earmarked for a move to one of Toulon, Bayonne or Racing Metro Paris. The group's findings will be announced on April 2.
"We are thinking now that it's necessary to find a mechanism to allow the capping of wage bills, perhaps by fixing a maximum wage that clubs, collectively, are not able to go over," LNR vice-president Patrick Wolff said in L'Equipe. "It would be a question of capping the top five or 10 salaries at each club.
"If a club wants a Carter or a (Sebastien) Chabal, he can come, but people will not be able to do it at the same club. We can't allow one club to drain the transfer market."