ITM Cup

NZRU satisfied with final salary cap figures

NZRU satisfied with final salary cap figures

SOUTHLAND WAS the only province to exceed the ITM Cup salary cap last year, the New Zealand Rugby Union announced today.

The NZRU released the final audited salary cap figures for the 2010 season.

NZRU general manager Professional Rugby, Neil Sorensen, says the national body was generally pleased with the levels of compliance with the new salary cap arrangements.

“The restructured salary cap has definitely contributed to a more affordable and sustainable competition, and it’s pleasing to see 13 of the 14 unions fall under the cap.”

As expected, Southland breached the 2010 salary cap, with their final payments exceeding the cap by $2,399.

Sorensen says the NZRU always knew there would be a transitional period in 2010 for some unions and had allowed for this in the regulations.

“In Southland’s case, we were satisfied that it had previous commitments to players that made compliance an issue in 2010, but that its contracting behaviour following the introduction of the new salary cap had not exacerbated the situation,” he says.

“Southland made a genuine effort to reduce its player contracting costs since the new salary cap level was agreed and we were satisfied that it had met the transitional requirements of the regulations.”

A salary cap of $2 million was originally introduced in 2006 to apply equally across all provincial unions, but was changed in the renegotiation of the collective employment agreement.

In 2010, and for the following two years, the salary cap level for provincial unions was determined according to each union’s commercial revenue, but was capped at $1.35 million.

Northland's cap level was the lowest at $874,114.

Otago had its salary cap level set at $1.35m but was $484,050 under that as far as their costs that counted towards the cap.

Rugby Southland and the Waikato Rugby Union both had their cap set at below $1.35m but successfully applied to have it increased.

Southland was the second-largest spender of the 14 unions last year, spending $2,082,021 on players. Waikato threw the most at players, spending $2000 more than Southland.

As it turned out, Waikato and Southland were the two unions that found themselves in the biggest financial trouble when the 2010 books were balanced which forced them to go to the NZRU for loans.

Bay of Plenty was probably the success story last year as far as the player spending and results combination go.

The union was the 10th-largest spender but finished sixth on the competition points table.

2010 player spending: Waikato $2,084,083, Southland $2,082,021, Wellington $$2,023,225, Auckland $1.933,470, Hawke's Bay $1,718,435, Canterbury $1,600,214, Taranaki $1,555,733, Otago $1,407,850, Manawatu $1,359,680, Bay of Plenty $1,337,296, North Harbour $1,333,962, Counties Manukau $942,720, Northland $942,643 Tasman $928,643.

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