Leicester in contract chaos with 12 players set to leave club
Leicester Tigers face losing close to a third of their first-team squad this week as up to 12 players are engaged in a stand-off over signing new contracts.
The Daily Telegraph understands the players, including England internationals, are reluctant to agree amended terms and have been told they must do so by 5pm tomorrow.
Failure to sign contracts, presented to them following the reduction of the Premiership salary cap, would mean current deals are terminated and leave them free to leave. The situation means that Steve Borthwick is likely to walk into chaos when he begins work as head coach on Wednesday.
Upon announcing the reduction of the salary cap from £6.4million to £5million on June 10, Premiership
What a headache: New Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick is facing a crisis with players in a stand-off over contracts
Rugby gave clubs until June 18 to tie down players to “existing contracts”, of which only 75 per cent would be counted towards the new cap figure.
Sale Sharks used the period to organise cut-price extensions for their entire squad, director of rugby Steve Diamond insisting that such a move was a matter of survival rather than exploitation.
Although the date of June 18 has passed, tomorrow’s deadline is one that has been imposed by the Leicester hierarchy in an attempt to finalise their playing squad.
The ploy could backfire and leave the club, who were approached for comment, to fill a sizeable hole with emergency recruitment. A mooted start date of Aug 15 leaves seven weeks before the Premiership’s resumption and Tigers are two points behind Worcester in 11th place.