Mourad Boudjellal Threatening To Withdraw Toulon From Top 14
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Mourad Boudjellal is not happy with the Top 14’s new salary cap regulations.
It was reported last month Toulon could find themselves in massive trouble due to changes made to the Top 14’s salary cap regulations by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby last July.
While the salary cap remains at €10 million, the changes made by the LNR stipulated that player bonuses exceeding 10% of their annual salary must now be included within that limit. The change in regulations was brought about as many teams were using bonuses as a means raising the salary cap.
For example Dan Carter will earn a salary of about €500,000 with Racing 92 but he will also receive an estimated €300,000 in image rights ‘from the operating company of Arena 92, Racing’s new home from 2016 that will also host concerts and business conferences’.
Mourad Boudjellal has previously admitted that ‘on average, my players receive 10-20% of their income in bonuses, but for some it is 50%’.
IfToulon were to qualify for either or both the TOP 14 and Champions Cup Finals, Boudjellal would be contractually obliged to pay out large bonuses that would put them in breach of the salary cap.
As a result, Boudjellal told Rugbyrama in December, ‘I can’t take the risk of seeing RCT qualifying for a final. This means that if the regulation is in place, RCT cannot play in semi finals this season’.
With neither Boudjellal or the LNR willing to back down, a stand off has since taken place.
Boudjellal has even threatened to withdraw Toulon from the Top 14. Speaking in La Provence, the Toulon owner claimed that if the issue went unresolved:
It could even lead me to take a radical decision, that is, playing in another league. I’m sure there are lots of championships that would welcome a team that fills stadiums and reaches large audiences.
I will study this hypothesis very seriously. If it is feasible, it would be a great first that could create strong media interest.
The Toulon owner reiterated his point that ‘if nothing changes, Toulon could not play, due to the risk of being fined several million! So we refuse to play, that’s clear. I do not have any other solution’.
Watch this space.