French media are reporting that Montpellier have had a €470,000 salary cap fine – €70,000 for the failure to communicate certain elements and €400,000 for exceeding the ceiling – for the 2017/18 season annulled.
However, a French rugby federation (FFR) appeal commission increased to €100,000 a fine of €50,000 that had been imposed for what were described as ‘breaches of transparency obligations’, with an additional €20,000 further added to the punishment.
The Top 14 club was originally sanctioned for having exceeded the €11.3million per annum payroll ceiling. This decision was taken by the salary cap section of the league’s disciplinary committee, a body set up to strengthen control over how clubs spend their money.
Already in the dock for exceeding the ceiling by an estimated €350,000 to €400,000 during the 2016-2017 season, a decision revoked in 2018 on appeal to the FFR, it was Montpellier lawyer Antoine Vey who tweeted the club have been largely exonerated in this latest case of exceeding the salary cap.
However, the matter might not yet be over as the Ligue National de Rugby (LNR) are waiting to learn the reasons why the main part of Montpellier’s punishment was quashed.
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“The LNR can only be surprised and deplore the questioning of this decision in the first instance which was taken on the basis of the salary cap manager’s report and in the application of the procedures,” read a statement.
“We are awaiting the reasons for the outcome of this appeal decision to determine the follow-up that will happen next.
Le MHR une nouvelle fois mis hors de cause par la Commission d’appel de la @FfrRugby au titre du prétendu dépassement du Salary Cap – Le club est seulement sanctionné pour les manquements « au devoir de coopération » @MHR_officiel @RMCsport @lequipe @lemondefr @midiolympique
— Antoine Vey (@antoinevey) November 21, 2019
“LNR wish to state the importance of the salary cap in the regulation of professional rugby, both for the fairness and uncertainty of the Top 14 and for the economic balance of the clubs.
“Clubs and the public expect the institutions to have the greatest transparency and firmness over the control of the salary cap to ensure the fairness of our championships.”
La LNR a pris connaissance de la décision de la Commission d’appel de la FFR de ne sanctionner que partiellement le club de Montpellier (MHR) pour manquements aux règles du Salary Cap??? https://t.co/QQ5nboi69M pic.twitter.com/gWMBOugdqs
— Ligue Nationale de Rugby (@LNRofficiel) November 21, 2019
LNR president Paul Goze added: “The control system is getting stronger every year and makes circumvention more and more difficult.
“The English experience (the deduction of 35 points from Saracens along with a £5.3million fine) shows us that we must remain determined and we are.”
WATCH: The Rugby Pod give their reaction to Saracens not appealing their 35-point deduction for breaching salary cap regulations in England
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