Alex Sanderson questions the sense in punishing a new regime at Leicester 

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Punishing the Tigers will do no good! Alex Sanderson reveals the salary cap ‘grief cycle’ he went through at Saracens and questions the sense in punishing a new regime at Leicester

  • Alex Sanderson said that he went through a salary cap ‘grief cycle’ at Saracens
  • He has now questioned the sense in punishing Leicester if they are found guilty
  • They are being investigated for possible historical breaches of the regulations
  • He says there is nothing to be gained by making a new regime at Leicester pay 


Alex Sanderson went through a salary cap ‘grief cycle’ at Saracens while aware of speculation that other clubs were over-spending too, but he has questioned the sense in punishing Leicester if they are found guilty.

The Tigers are being investigated for possible historical breaches of the regulations linked to image rights payments. Sanderson, Sale’s director of rugby, was head coach at Saracens when they were relegated and fined for exceeding the cap in previous seasons and he suspects they were singled out for activities which were rife. ‘There were rumours about other teams transgressing,’ he said on Wednesday.

But his argument is that there is nothing to be gained by making a new regime at Leicester pay for alleged cap-breaches in the past. 

Alex Sanderson (above) said that he went through a salary cap 'grief cycle' at Saracens

Alex Sanderson (above) said that he went through a salary cap ‘grief cycle’ at Saracens

‘I was in it with Saracens and I wouldn’t want anyone to go through that again,’ he said. ‘Now I’ve got through the grief cycle, to a certain extent I just think let sleeping dogs lie.

‘I don’t think it’s anything to do with that current (Leicester) management or those current players and it seems like they could be punished if they are found guilty, for the acts of predecessors. 

‘What good is it going to do to drag someone else through the mud, particularly people at Leicester who were not involved at the time? 

‘I don’t see – apart from vilification and retribution – what good it is going to do the game. I would rather put an end to it all. It just keeps rearing its ugly head.’ 

He has now questioned the sense in punishing Leicester Tigers if they are found guilty

He has now questioned the sense in punishing Leicester Tigers if they are found guilty

Exeter director of rugby, Rob Baxter, and the rest of the club were especially aggrieved at the way Saracens denied them Premiership titles, while dodging budget restrictions

Exeter director of rugby, Rob Baxter, and the rest of the club were especially aggrieved at the way Saracens denied them Premiership titles, while dodging budget restrictions

Exeter were especially aggrieved at the way Saracens denied them Premiership titles, while dodging budget restrictions. 

The Devon club’s director of rugby, Rob Baxter, reacted to the news about the Tigers being investigated by emphasising how there was always a need to adhere to the spirit of the regulations – whatever the scope for exploitation.

‘The salary cap (regulations) always had a line that said there is an onus on everyone that’s using them to not try and find loopholes and circumvent them,’ he said. 

‘Things about “do image rights count for this? Does childcare count?” – they were all wrapped up in a very short sentence that you shouldn’t try to find ways around supplementing a player’s salary.’ 

Pat Lam says Bristol need to comply with the salary cap - having become the richest club

Pat Lam says Bristol need to comply with the salary cap – having become the richest club 

Armed with the fortune of billionaire owner Steve Lansdown, Bristol have become the richest club in the league, but their director of rugby, Pat Lam, delivered a staunch defence of the whole salary cap concept – and the need to comply with it. 

‘We get hit with it a lot, with our owner, but I can say 100 per cent that everything we do is declared,’ he said. ‘Our recruitment of players factors in everything, whether it is flights, national insurance, image rights; the lot.

‘We are all guided in rugby by law and we are all guided in life by law. Ultimately, the key is to understand what the law is, work within it and make sure you do that with integrity.’

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