Written by Zack Wilson
The RFL have confirmed that Wigan Warriors have been docked two Super League points for salary cap violations.
The violations occurred in 2017, and centre on the issue of payments made to agents.
There were six separate payments, totalling £14,700 which were not declared to the RFL.
An RFL statement reads:
“Wigan were charged with alleged breaches in late 2018, following the audit of the 2017 salary cap, in relation to a number of payments that were not declared to the RFL.
“These included the payment of agents’ fees and a flight allowance, with the club breaching the finite salary cap when these payments were included.
“They initially disputed that these payments were relevant to the salary cap, leading to the establishment of the independent tribunal.
“The club then admitted prior to the tribunal that all but one of the payments should have been included in its salary cap valuation for the season.
“There is a right to appeal this decision, as set out within the RFL Operational Rules.”
The club have also been fined £5000.
This is not a case of a club deliberately setting out to cheat. Rather, it is a technical breach, which is probably the result of administrative oversight.
The RFL had to act, though, to show that all clubs are treated the same. Transparency is more important than ever in rugby league at the moment.
What effect the two-point penalty has on the Warriors’ season remains to be seen.
While it does not seem to be a particularly significant penalty, those two points might be the difference between reaching the play-offs or failing.
They could also help to determine which venue the Warriors play at if they reach the play-offs, potentially affecting the outcome of the competition.
Success and failure in elite level sport is often determined by fine margins, though. Wigan may well come to rue this penalty when the business end of the season rolls around.