LONDON (Reuters) - England’s top-flight rugby clubs have agreed to reduce the salary cap by one million pounds ($1.27 million) in response to financial pressures heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to British media reports on Monday.
Club owners held a video call to discuss lowering the wage-spending threshold, reportedly agreeing to six million pounds rather than the previous seven million.
An announcement is expected on Tuesday to confirm the move that could be in place from next season.
Premiership Rugby did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Premiership, which has nine rounds of matches remaining, has been suspended since April because of the pandemic but a resumption is provisionally planned for Aug. 15.
Exeter Chiefs were top of the standings with 45 points when the season was stopped.
Exeter’s director of rugby Rob Baxter has gone on record saying he would support a lower salary cap.
“Rugby clubs have been losing money on the whole and this pandemic won’t help,” he told the Daily Mail in April.
“It’s certainly going to put a halt on salaries continuing to inflate. You may find that it doesn’t need to be pushed because it’ll be driven by the clubs themselves, who are feeling the strain.”
Last month a comprehensive review led by former government minister Lord Myners proposed an overhaul of the salary cap. The review was instigated after Saracens were relegated from the Premiership in January for persistent breaches.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge