Aviva Premiership
Diamond: Clubs are spending £2.5m over salary cap
ESPN Staff
January 9, 2015
Steve Diamond (right) says teams are spending over the salary cap © Getty Images

Sale boss Steve Diamond believes some clubs in the Aviva Premiership are spending up to £2.5million over the salary cap.

Diamond has spoken out vociferously in support of the salary cap which will be raised to £5.5m next season. Alongside those financial limits, clubs will be allowed to recruit two marquee players whose salary sit outside of the cap.

The Conor O'Shea Column

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  • The Aviva Premiership is more competitive than it has ever been. The principles of the cap that were introduced when we saw great clubs like Richmond and London Scottish hit financial difficulties in the early days of professionalism then and if we do not stick to them others will follow; there would be an arms race the richest would win.
  • Supporters of those clubs may like the bragging rights in the short-term but we would not be doing the game the service we owe it as custodians. What we do now will have implications for years to come.
  • Read the full feature here

But Diamond believes clubs are exploiting the salary cap with creative accounting. "One would suggest that some clubs are spending in excess of £2m-£2.5m more than the cap - they'd have to be," Diamond told the BBC. "I wouldn't say they're ignoring it. I think they're using creative accountancy to get round it.

"But it looks like one or two of them have been caught with their hand in the till, and there is a plea of mercy coming out from one or two by the sounds of it. And [if] that's what clubs choose to do, it's up to them - but you've also got to take the consequences, and the consequences have to be harsh, otherwise why have it?"

Diamond's side are currently in talks with fly-half Danny Cipriani over a new deal and he says the salary cap is essential if the country's top players are to remain in England.

"Let's have it right, I know what the salaries are of all the players, I know what the agents are touting the players at, I know what my players are being offered by clubs like Bristol," added Diamond. "I'm suggesting where we are in January 2015, if anybody has flouted the salary cap in this season, or the season before, they should be dealt with accordingly.

"We've got to keep the top players in England, so we've got to increase it and I think the increase has been right and is enough to keep your top players. If you want to be out there buying top international players to come in, you can't do it within the cap, I don't think."

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