Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond believes Charles Piutau’s record-breaking £1-million per season deal is “wrecking” Premiership rugby, inflating the value of player contracts too much.
“If I am honest, and I don’t mind saying it, I think they are wrecking it,” he told The Sun.
“They are probably still in the salary cap, but it is madness. Madness. All the clubs are losing millions and it is a false number in the Premiership.
“Piutau must be the highest-paid player by a country mile. A good player that he is, I think they have paid him half a million quid too much.”
Piutau will become the game’s highest-paid player when he joins Bristol from Ulster next season, who are backed by billionaire Steve Lansdowne. Premiership clubs are permitted to sign two marquee players outside the cap of £7.5m.
The Sale boss believes that the wage growth initiated by Piutau has flow-down effects that cannot be sustained, and admitted his club is losing money.
“Ultimately, it’s not football where there is hundreds of millions coming in through TV rights,” he said.
“A lot of rugby clubs are losing money, we are losing a bit still, so we need to get that right and run it like a business.
“Those wages do inflate things, but we have to be careful of as owners and people who run the clubs as every time money comes in through broadcasting rights, players’ salaries go up.
“Of course players’ salaries are important. They earn a lot of money, but the businesses have to be solvent for us to grow the sport.”
Sale has been extremely active in player recruitment in the last few years, bringing in established overseas players such as James O’Connor, Faf De Klerk, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Bryn Evans, TJ Ioane.
In other news:
RugbyPass has created a next generation rugby rating system, based on machine learning and shaped by game winning moments. The system (RPI) is a world first for its complexity and comprehensive embrace of northern and southern hemisphere players and teams. By using in-depth data analysis, RPI determines exactly what it takes to win, in real time. Explore the RPI now!