Le­ices­ter in con­tract chaos with 12 play­ers set to leave club

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Char­lie Mor­gan

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.

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