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Bath 'within Premiership salary cap for 2014/15 season'


Bath have issued a strongly-worded statement regarding the Aviva Premiership salary cap

Bath have issued a strongly-worded statement regarding the Aviva Premiership salary cap

Bath have issued a strongly-worded statement regarding the Aviva Premiership salary cap

Bath say they were within last season's Aviva Premiership salary cap and have moved to "reassure supporters" that will also be the case this term.

Three more clubs went public on Thursday to reveal they were not investigated for potential breaches of the Premiership salary cap.

The decisions of Exeter, London Irish and Northampton to clarify their positions brought to eight the number of top-flight clubs insisting they were not subject to scrutiny over possible infringements last season.

Wasps, Sale, Worcester, Harlequins and Gloucester had already denied any involvement in governing body Premiership Rugby's investigations.

Saracens, Leicester and Newcastle are now the remaining clubs yet to be drawn either way on the issue.

Premiership Rugby insists there were no salary cap breaches last season, but admits agreeing "settlements" with an unspecified number of the league's 12 clubs.

Premiership Rugby has refused to be drawn into specifics on which sides agreed settlements and how many, citing confidentiality agreements.

Bath, meanwhile, released a strongly-worded statement on Friday.

"In response to recent speculation, Bath Rugby would like to clarify its position for the 2014/2015 season," the club said.

"Bath Rugby can confirm the club was within the salary cap for the 2014/15 season.

"The cap for the 2014/15 season was £4.76million before allowances and credits. Bath Rugby's salary cap spend was £4.71m during that period.

"Bath Rugby can also reassure supporters that the club's spend will be within the salary cap for the 2015/2016 season.

"The club is committed to spending up to the cap to provide the best squad possible. We have one of the smaller squads in the Premiership, which comprised 36 senior players including 14 international players in the 2014/15 season."

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The Premiership salary cap will rise from its current total of £5.5m to £6.5m next season and then £7m from 2017, which are moves welcomed by Bath.

"English clubs have been significantly disadvantaged, both within domestic and European competitions," the club statement added.

"The clubs representing England in Europe have been expected to compete with European clubs, who have a spend of up to 100 per cent more on their squads.

"These same English clubs also lose international players for one third of the domestic season with no cap relief. This system was inherently unfair, open to challenge and was in need of fundamental change.

"The new salary framework, voted and approved unanimously by the shareholders of Premiership Rugby (PRL) last week, enables clubs to recruit cover for players called up for international fixtures, provides funding for clubs to compete equally with European clubs, provides enhanced incentives for the development of young English players, and simplifies the administration of the system.

"The new defined salary framework is a much fairer system for all clubs.

"It will provide increased investment for all the clubs, funded 100 per cent from central income. It will allow Premiership clubs to compete on a fairer playing field, both domestically and in Europe, and it will promote the production and development of English talent."

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