Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

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Isambard
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Re: Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

Post by Isambard » Sun May 22, 2016 6:50 pm

Such an ignorant comment it was.

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Re: Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

Post by mol2 » Mon May 23, 2016 9:30 am

h's dad wrote:
Bristol Tiger wrote: I hear so often about Sarries anf finance/salary cap and it may be true but if so how come there is never any evidence! If clubs are audited is it true?

Answers on a postcard please
2 out of the last 4 years, evidence hidden. The postcard is marked Pretoria.
I remember reading an article that quoted the Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal on how you can get around the salary cap (at least in France). He seemed to think it was quite simple (and hinted that it was simply direct payment of players from him and his companies rather than through the club). Not saying Saracens have done this but this kind of side payment would get around salary cap rules despite breaking the "spirit" of the agreements.[/quote]
Sheessh. Another post saying how you can get around the cap without the poster having looked at the SCR or having any idea what is in them. They may not be perfect but assuming they were drawn up by idiots only shows who is the real idiot.[/quote]

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Re: Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

Post by Roly » Wed May 25, 2016 4:03 pm

RagingBull wrote:
Tigris wrote:I took it as banter - can't get too worked up about it.

Their "cheating" culture is an integral part of their (very effective) defence which operates at or beyond the laws, for example.

They cheat, we cheat - they did it better than us today but this was not the reason we lost.
From memory he says it every time he is interviewed about Tigers.

To be fair, he adopts a similar style of belittling or similar (he did suggest that playing Tigers was like a training ground run out last time they played at Allianz Park) whenever he's interviewed or whoever Saracens are playing.

I actually agree with all of you, I find his style condescending at best, and when you think he's in competition with the likes of me, that must be pretty bad.
“It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” Sir Winston Churchill.

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Re: Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

Post by Noddy555 » Thu May 26, 2016 10:29 am

He's a fine one to say we have a cheating culture, overrated as a player and coach and if he did make these comments it just shows that whatever age he is late thirties or early forties he still has s considerable amount of growing up to do.

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Re: Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

Post by Bristol Tiger » Mon May 30, 2016 9:32 pm

mol2 wrote:
Bristol Tiger wrote:
h's dad wrote: I hear so often about Sarries anf finance/salary cap and it may be true but if so how come there is never any evidence! If clubs are audited is it true?

Answers on a postcard please.

2 out of the last 4 years, evidence hidden. The postcard is marked Pretoria.
I remember reading an article that quoted the Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal on how you can get around the salary cap (at least in France). He seemed to think it was quite simple (and hinted that it was simply direct payment of players from him and his companies rather than through the club). Not saying Saracens have done this but this kind of side payment would get around salary cap rules despite breaking the "spirit" of the agreements.
Sheessh. Another post saying how you can get around the cap without the poster having looked at the SCR or having any idea what is in them. They may not be perfect but assuming they were drawn up by idiots only shows who is the real idiot.
OK Mol2, let's look at those "rock tight" agreements you mention. They can all be found at: http://www.premiershiprugby.com/downloa ... 201516.pdf for those wanting to see the full document.

Reference schedule 1 - what counts as a salary:
  • 2. For the avoidance of doubt, the following are excluded for the purposes of determining total Salary:
    (a) any payments or benefits in kind in connection with an individual sponsorship, endorsement, merchandising, employment or other individual arrangement between a Player (or any Connected Party of a Player) and any Connected Party of the Club or Third Party which the Salary Cap Manager reasonably concludes on the balance of probabilities should not be considered Salary, having taken into account the following factors:
    (i) if the arrangement is with a Connected Party, it will be more likely to be considered Salary;
    (ii) if the arrangement was negotiated and/or intended to be entered into at arm’s length from the Player’s Club, it will be less likely to be considered Salary;
So, there is legitimate exclusions essentially if they are paid for by a third party "at arm's length" ... and note that players are not required to be audited, nor are the owners of the clubs, or the businesses that those owners may have shares in ... well this doesn't look too hard to get round then ... and let's argue that they should be "less likely considered" and that they were "at arm's length" and we have a wonderful grey area that no group of lawyers will sort out in any reasonable time frame.

I'm afraid Mol2, you'll probably tell me that no-one uses off-shore accounts to avoid tax and that no MP has ever fraudulently claimed expenses ... get real and stop being so naive.

What is most damning in this "water-tight" contract is the following - which explains why we have the salary cap:
  • 2.2 Objectives of the Regulations
    The Regulations were introduced, and are maintained, by PRL to achieve the following objectives in an appropriate and proportionate manner:
    (a) ensuring the financial viability of all Clubs and of the competition;
    (b) controlling inflationary pressures on Clubs' costs;
    (c) providing a level playing field for Clubs; and
    (d) ensuring a competitive Aviva Premiership competition.
So running clubs at a large loss (according to their own accounts) and maintained by a wealthy benefactor for the sole benefit of that club, in some way shape and form meets the ideals set out in 2.2???

Come on, please if you are going to accuse people of not knowing the regulations, at least read them yourself and express a view as to how Saracens (and other clubs) currently conduct themselves in a way that is within the spirit of this agreement ...

We have an uneven playing field, that's life, we will live with it until such time that several wealthy benefactors get bored, pull out and some large Premiership clubs go bust, at which point the PRL will start realising that enforcing FairPlay rules is actually beneficial to the long-term good of the sport, even if it is a bit of a pain in the short-term.

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Re: Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

Post by h's dad » Tue May 31, 2016 12:36 am

Bristol Tiger wrote:
mol2 wrote:
Bristol Tiger wrote:<<quote="h's dad">>
I hear so often about Sarries anf finance/salary cap and it may be true but if so how come there is never any evidence! If clubs are audited is it true?

Answers on a postcard please.

2 out of the last 4 years, evidence hidden. The postcard is marked Pretoria.<</quote>>

I remember reading an article that quoted the Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal on how you can get around the salary cap (at least in France). He seemed to think it was quite simple (and hinted that it was simply direct payment of players from him and his companies rather than through the club). Not saying Saracens have done this but this kind of side payment would get around salary cap rules despite breaking the "spirit" of the agreements.
Sheessh. Another post saying how you can get around the cap without the poster having looked at the SCR or having any idea what is in them. They may not be perfect but assuming they were drawn up by idiots only shows who is the real idiot.
OK Mol2, let's look at those "rock tight" agreements you mention. They can all be found at: http://www.premiershiprugby.com/downloa ... 201516.pdf for those wanting to see the full document.

Reference schedule 1 - what counts as a salary:
  • 2. For the avoidance of doubt, the following are excluded for the purposes of determining total Salary:
    (a) any payments or benefits in kind in connection with an individual sponsorship, endorsement, merchandising, employment or other individual arrangement between a Player (or any Connected Party of a Player) and any Connected Party of the Club or Third Party which the Salary Cap Manager reasonably concludes on the balance of probabilities should not be considered Salary, having taken into account the following factors:
    (i) if the arrangement is with a Connected Party, it will be more likely to be considered Salary;
    (ii) if the arrangement was negotiated and/or intended to be entered into at arm’s length from the Player’s Club, it will be less likely to be considered Salary;
So, there is legitimate exclusions essentially if they are paid for by a third party "at arm's length" ... and note that players are not required to be audited, nor are the owners of the clubs, or the businesses that those owners may have shares in ... well this doesn't look too hard to get round then ... and let's argue that they should be "less likely considered" and that they were "at arm's length" and we have a wonderful grey area that no group of lawyers will sort out in any reasonable time frame.

I'm afraid Mol2, you'll probably tell me that no-one uses off-shore accounts to avoid tax and that no MP has ever fraudulently claimed expenses ... get real and stop being so naive.

What is most damning in this "water-tight" contract is the following - which explains why we have the salary cap:
  • 2.2 Objectives of the Regulations
    The Regulations were introduced, and are maintained, by PRL to achieve the following objectives in an appropriate and proportionate manner:
    (a) ensuring the financial viability of all Clubs and of the competition;
    (b) controlling inflationary pressures on Clubs' costs;
    (c) providing a level playing field for Clubs; and
    (d) ensuring a competitive Aviva Premiership competition.
So running clubs at a large loss (according to their own accounts) and maintained by a wealthy benefactor for the sole benefit of that club, in some way shape and form meets the ideals set out in 2.2???

Come on, please if you are going to accuse people of not knowing the regulations, at least read them yourself and express a view as to how Saracens (and other clubs) currently conduct themselves in a way that is within the spirit of this agreement ...

We have an uneven playing field, that's life, we will live with it until such time that several wealthy benefactors get bored, pull out and some large Premiership clubs go bust, at which point the PRL will start realising that enforcing FairPlay rules is actually beneficial to the long-term good of the sport, even if it is a bit of a pain in the short-term.
I think if you look carefully, it's not mol2, it's me. You also need to look more carefully at the agreement as you seemed to have ignored pertinent bits in your cut and paste extract. Arms length means a payment not for playing rugby. If it is for playing rugby it counts as salary. Furthermore it is down to the SCM to decide whether or not any payments are arms length separations - this is very clear if you actually read it. And you don't even mention the catch all where the SCM says I don't believe your numbers and am substituting my own.

To suggest that I or mol2, when you manage to work out who you are talking to, think MP's don't submit fraudulent claims is ludicrous and a waste of words on your part. For your information tax avoidance is not illegal although the government really isn't happy about 'aggressive' tax avoidance which many consider different. What is illegal is tax evasion. Even so I am sure you are not stupid enough to think that they never get caught or named and shamed for this - of course I may be wrong on this particular point.
Express a view? Yes, a number of clubs have breached the rules and some have received penalties. Recent significant breaches do not seem to have received appropriate penalties in the eyes of many. That doesn't make them unknown. What it does show is a lack of will to enforce.
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Re: Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

Post by mol2 » Tue May 31, 2016 7:58 am

What the Government says about aggressive tax avoidance is largely hot air. It's within the law so it's up to them to change the law or not.

It's only recently that the MPs expenses affair has blown up. The whole farcical situation was instigated by the Thatcher administration when they had to set an example by not having large pay rises themselves when it was Government policy to restrict pay rises for everyone else as an anti-inflationary measure. The sweetener for the MPs was that they suddenly became entitled to hefty expenses with little or no scrutiny. The political climate has changed and the liberal expenses culture has had to change, however there will always be some who pushed it too far. What was once acceptable is in reality illegal and those that failed to heed the warnings were pulled up.

I'll give you a hypothetical example:
As one of the regulations says payments to a player are less likely to be considered part of the salary if they are engaged as they are sportsmen rather than a player of a team. So if a Newcastle burger bar decided to engage Andy (Food) Goode to put in a personal appearance for £X that would be unlikely to be considered part of his Newcastle salary.

Multiply that up and an international player might get paid a huge amount by a to feature on promotional material for a brewer. So long as he doesn't turn up in club dress then it's hard to argue it's part of his club salary.
How that player got the contract is the key point but I doubt either he or his agent will be daft enough to say the club chairman arrange it!

You can deny it until the cows come home, and read the regulations any way you want, the reality a half decent brief would tie the league up in knots over the weaknesses of the regulations. Are those weaknesses accidental, intentional to avoid conflict with employment laws isn't clear, but they are there.

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Re: Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

Post by h's dad » Tue May 31, 2016 10:54 am

mol2 wrote:What the Government says about aggressive tax avoidance is largely hot air. It's within the law so it's up to them to change the law or not.

It's only recently that the MPs expenses affair has blown up. The whole farcical situation was instigated by the Thatcher administration when they had to set an example by not having large pay rises themselves when it was Government policy to restrict pay rises for everyone else as an anti-inflationary measure. The sweetener for the MPs was that they suddenly became entitled to hefty expenses with little or no scrutiny. The political climate has changed and the liberal expenses culture has had to change, however there will always be some who pushed it too far. What was once acceptable is in reality illegal and those that failed to heed the warnings were pulled up.

I'll give you a hypothetical example:
As one of the regulations says payments to a player are less likely to be considered part of the salary if they are engaged as they are sportsmen rather than a player of a team. So if a Newcastle burger bar decided to engage Andy (Food) Goode to put in a personal appearance for £X that would be unlikely to be considered part of his Newcastle salary.

Multiply that up and an international player might get paid a huge amount by a to feature on promotional material for a brewer. So long as he doesn't turn up in club dress then it's hard to argue it's part of his club salary.
How that player got the contract is the key point but I doubt either he or his agent will be daft enough to say the club chairman arrange it!

You can deny it until the cows come home, and read the regulations any way you want, the reality a half decent brief would tie the league up in knots over the weaknesses of the regulations. Are those weaknesses accidental, intentional to avoid conflict with employment laws isn't clear, but they are there.
If Andy Goode gets the going rate for a celebrity sportsman of his standing (before anybody says the rate can’t be known again, it really isn’t difficult to ascertain) to open a burger bar, then that is not playing related and not included in salary, a payment significantly above this could be regarded as a playing reward at the discretion of the SCM and included in the salary calculation. Not complicated and actually very easy to argue.

If you’re going to diddle the system there is no point doing it for pennies, it needs to be significant and would be wide ranging. 1; it would be obvious that something is amiss (it is, it’s been identified and nothing significant has been done about it, certainly not in the public eye) and 2; something if not all will eventually come out (Bristol Tiger cites MP’s expenses and tax (presumably he means) evasion, this proves the point that he seems to be trying to deny).

Legal challenges, if the PRL ever had the bottle and integrity to try and enforce its own rules, might be interesting. The team challenging the agreement would be hampered by it being an equal shareholder of PRL as I’m pretty certain that the agreement wasn’t pushed through by a simple majority vote against the wishes of certain clubs. Legal fees are usually commensurate with the pockets of the litigants and their value is not always in line with the fees charges. It’s by no means certain but I think PRL would have a strong argument on a number of grounds.

If the will to enforce the salary cap is there it can be done. You only have to look at the NRL to see it work and be effective.
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Re: Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

Post by Bristol Tiger » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:39 pm

h's dad wrote: I think if you look carefully, it's not mol2, it's me. You also need to look more carefully at the agreement as you seemed to have ignored pertinent bits in your cut and paste extract. Arms length means a payment not for playing rugby. If it is for playing rugby it counts as salary. Furthermore it is down to the SCM to decide whether or not any payments are arms length separations - this is very clear if you actually read it. And you don't even mention the catch all where the SCM says I don't believe your numbers and am substituting my own.

To suggest that I or mol2, when you manage to work out who you are talking to, think MP's don't submit fraudulent claims is ludicrous and a waste of words on your part. For your information tax avoidance is not illegal although the government really isn't happy about 'aggressive' tax avoidance which many consider different. What is illegal is tax evasion. Even so I am sure you are not stupid enough to think that they never get caught or named and shamed for this - of course I may be wrong on this particular point.
Express a view? Yes, a number of clubs have breached the rules and some have received penalties. Recent significant breaches do not seem to have received appropriate penalties in the eyes of many. That doesn't make them unknown. What it does show is a lack of will to enforce.
Firstly, mol2, many apologies, I attributed a post to you that wasn't. I agree with your comments, my apologies for the incorrect quote.

h's dad - where do I start? How about your opening line "I think if you look carefully, it's not mol2, it's me." - no it's not clear, look at the top of page 3, 2nd post - your comments, attributed to mol2. This is an artefact of our messaging board that only allows quotes three deep, and the post I looked at had three opening quotes, five closing - so hardly clear.

However, my post (with all the SCR detail) was in reference to your line:
h's dad wrote: Sheessh. Another post saying how you can get around the cap without the poster having looked at the SCR or having any idea what is in them.
Whether you agree with my comments or not, they are based on having at least looked at the SCR. Your assertion is plain and simply wrong. Do I know the SCR inside out, no (but I never made that claim). Last time I looked at them was the start of the year when the press reported an "agreement" had been reached between the PRL and unnamed parties (widely assumed to be Saracens but never stated) and seemed to indicate a difference in understanding of the agreement. I looked at the SCR then and decided yes, there was enough grey area to cause problems, although I think 2.2 makes the intent clear (but still grey enough for lawyers to have fun).
h's dad wrote: They may not be perfect but assuming they were drawn up by idiots only shows who is the real idiot.
Insulting and factually incorrect (see above) - you're not an MP are you? My comment was that there would be ways around any set of regulations in the SCR (no matter how good they were). The SCM has no right of audit on the players, their agents or the owners of the clubs - side payments can be made and not reported. Such payments may clearly break the rules, but they can be hidden (and I would expect clubs who want to deliberately break these rules to be much more indirect than that). The SCR get around this with a "whistle blower" policy (which incidentally seems to have triggered the widely reported investigation into the 2014-15 investigation - as reported by several papers). If these rules were so water-tight, as you seem to be claiming, surely you wouldn't need such a policy.

My assertion remains, clubs (or more to the point, wealthy backers) wanting to make additional payments to players but deciding to do so via indirect channels would certainly break the rules (in my view but not necessarily clearly as I think mol2 demonstrates) and would be able to do so in a mechanism that is very hard for the SCM to detect. The SCR is also written in a way that could allow a detected breach to be argued against on a matter of legal "interpretation" (obviously depending on the breach but assuming that a deliberate act would obfuscate any payments). Add to that Edward Griffiths quote that "'Strong legal opinion suggests the salary cap, as applied, breaches European competition laws" - which is basically undermining everything in the SCR and I don't see how you can claim that the SCR and the SCM is water-tight. Saracens clearly think that there is enough to challenge here if (big if of course) they ever did anything that some may say breaches the SCR.

Anyone assuming that it would be easy to catch a club (or its owners) who were determined to circumvent the SCR is, as you put it, an idiot.

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Re: Sanderson - Leicester's cheating culture?

Post by h's dad » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:40 pm

Bristol Tiger wrote:
h's dad wrote: I think if you look carefully, it's not mol2, it's me. You also need to look more carefully at the agreement as you seemed to have ignored pertinent bits in your cut and paste extract. Arms length means a payment not for playing rugby. If it is for playing rugby it counts as salary. Furthermore it is down to the SCM to decide whether or not any payments are arms length separations - this is very clear if you actually read it. And you don't even mention the catch all where the SCM says I don't believe your numbers and am substituting my own.

To suggest that I or mol2, when you manage to work out who you are talking to, think MP's don't submit fraudulent claims is ludicrous and a waste of words on your part. For your information tax avoidance is not illegal although the government really isn't happy about 'aggressive' tax avoidance which many consider different. What is illegal is tax evasion. Even so I am sure you are not stupid enough to think that they never get caught or named and shamed for this - of course I may be wrong on this particular point.
Express a view? Yes, a number of clubs have breached the rules and some have received penalties. Recent significant breaches do not seem to have received appropriate penalties in the eyes of many. That doesn't make them unknown. What it does show is a lack of will to enforce.
Firstly, mol2, many apologies, I attributed a post to you that wasn't. I agree with your comments, my apologies for the incorrect quote.

h's dad - where do I start? How about your opening line "I think if you look carefully, it's not mol2, it's me." - no it's not clear, look at the top of page 3, 2nd post - your comments, attributed to mol2. This is an artefact of our messaging board that only allows quotes three deep, and the post I looked at had three opening quotes, five closing - so hardly clear.

However, my post (with all the SCR detail) was in reference to your line:
h's dad wrote: Sheessh. Another post saying how you can get around the cap without the poster having looked at the SCR or having any idea what is in them.
Whether you agree with my comments or not, they are based on having at least looked at the SCR. Your assertion is plain and simply wrong. Do I know the SCR inside out, no (but I never made that claim). Last time I looked at them was the start of the year when the press reported an "agreement" had been reached between the PRL and unnamed parties (widely assumed to be Saracens but never stated) and seemed to indicate a difference in understanding of the agreement. I looked at the SCR then and decided yes, there was enough grey area to cause problems, although I think 2.2 makes the intent clear (but still grey enough for lawyers to have fun).
h's dad wrote: They may not be perfect but assuming they were drawn up by idiots only shows who is the real idiot.
Insulting and factually incorrect (see above) - you're not an MP are you? My comment was that there would be ways around any set of regulations in the SCR (no matter how good they were). The SCM has no right of audit on the players, their agents or the owners of the clubs - side payments can be made and not reported. Such payments may clearly break the rules, but they can be hidden (and I would expect clubs who want to deliberately break these rules to be much more indirect than that). The SCR get around this with a "whistle blower" policy (which incidentally seems to have triggered the widely reported investigation into the 2014-15 investigation - as reported by several papers). If these rules were so water-tight, as you seem to be claiming, surely you wouldn't need such a policy.

My assertion remains, clubs (or more to the point, wealthy backers) wanting to make additional payments to players but deciding to do so via indirect channels would certainly break the rules (in my view but not necessarily clearly as I think mol2 demonstrates) and would be able to do so in a mechanism that is very hard for the SCM to detect. The SCR is also written in a way that could allow a detected breach to be argued against on a matter of legal "interpretation" (obviously depending on the breach but assuming that a deliberate act would obfuscate any payments). Add to that Edward Griffiths quote that "'Strong legal opinion suggests the salary cap, as applied, breaches European competition laws" - which is basically undermining everything in the SCR and I don't see how you can claim that the SCR and the SCM is water-tight. Saracens clearly think that there is enough to challenge here if (big if of course) they ever did anything that some may say breaches the SCR.

Anyone assuming that it would be easy to catch a club (or its owners) who were determined to circumvent the SCR is, as you put it, an idiot.
I understand that it was not immediately apparent which part of the post was mine and which was mol2's. That is why is said look carefully as you quote. I didn't say, as you imply, that it was clear. Your next complaint ignores the 'or' and the following assertion and you really don't seem to have grasped the options and powers open to the SCM in the regulations. Frankly, citing EG's Mandy Rice-Davies comment is hardly taking a neutral or balanced view. On the other hand, I would expect PRL’s lawyers, when drawing up the regulations to have provided something that at least had a decent chance of standing up in court, otherwise why bother? (I'm not saying lawyers are perfect, I've pointed out loopholes to them that they have accepted and corrected on more than one occasion) I'd be happier looking at where it's already happened as Australia's legal system isn't that different to ours despite it being codified rather than common law. It clearly does work if the will is there. I've gone all over this before and am reluctant to do it again but will repeat that any decent forensic accountant will be able to identify the commission of a significant and material breach to a sufficient degree to enable action by the SCM if he and the PRL have the will to do so. For whatever reason, that will is lacking but that is not the fault of the regulations. Fair enough, nothing is watertight but some things are more water resistant than others and the SCR is more water resistant than some on here seem prepared to accept.
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