RFU reveals new player pay deal
January 16, 2013
The Rugby Football Union has announced a new four-year agreement covering match fees and performance bonuses for those involved in the Elite Player Squad.
The new deal, which was brokered by the RFU, the Rugby Players' Association (RPA) and Premiership Rugby, will reportedly see each member of an England matchday squad receive a £7,000 match fee, a £7,000 image-rights payment and a new £1,000 training fee.
It is understood that previously they received a match fee of around £9,200 and a win bonus of approximately £3,000. The RFU has also built in a special provision to cover the 2015 Rugby World Cup, including a reported £5 million tournament win bonus, to ensure there is no repeat of the pay revolt that preceded the last tournament.
The RFU insists the agreement, that includes renumeration for the Saxons and England U20 squads, "ensures a stable future for club and country" and chief executive Ian Ritchie believes it will bolster England's quest for World Cup glory. "Now this new agreement has been reached, we have stability and everyone pulling in the right direction through to the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and beyond," Ritchie said in a statement.
He added: "I have no doubt about the importance of the relationship the RFU as a whole have with the players. That is the most significant part for me. One of my major purposes is to support them. We have to recognise the value of the players. It is a good deal for both sides.
"To get this level of certainty up to and including the World Cup is a good thing. The last thing we wanted was to wait years to sort this out and have last-minute discussions. Clearly the players want to be satisfied there is a reasonable arrangement in place for the Rugby World Cup in 2015. There was a determination on both sides that we would do this positively."
The new deal works alongside the Heads of Agreement signed in July 2008 by the RFU and Premiership Rugby which covers: season structure, elite player squads and player management, academies, England qualified players' compensation scheme, player welfare, commercial activity, the European Rugby Cup and finance and funding matters.
RPA chief executive Damien Hopley said that the new contract recognises the "increasing overall value of the players to the RFU and their partners" and described the negotiations as "good natured".
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