Top 14 set for salary cap
December 17, 2009
Racing's Sebastien Chabal wrestles with Toulon's Jonny Wilkinson © Getty Images
The Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), the governing body of the French league system, has announced plans to implement a salary cap in the Top 14 for the 2010-11 season.
France's top flight has long been associated with a cash-rich atmosphere and a high number of big-name foreign imports, the number of which will also be slashed by new LNR plans to foster young French talent.
The salary cap will be set at a relatively conservative €8m (£7.1m), a figure that does still outstrip the current £4m cap imposed on Guinness Premiership clubs. The French league has in recent seasons attracted high-profile signings such as fly-halves Dan Carter and Jonny Wilkinson as well as current England internationals Riki Flutey and James Haskell.
Clubs will also be ordered to hold 20% of their salary budget in reserve, up from 10%, in order to safeguard against problems similar to those faced by Bourgoin earlier this season when 12 players had their licenses suspended.
The quota of home-grown talent required in each squad has been set at 40%, rising to 50% next season and finishing at 60% in 2012-13. The figure was originally set at 50% next season, angering a number of leading clubs. A player qualifies for the quota if they have been a licensee to the French Rugby Federation (FFR) for five seasons before turning 21 or, if between 16 and 21, have spent three seasons in an approved training centre.