Wigan Warriors docked points for salary cap breach

Wigan Warriors celebrate last year's Grand Final win. (SWPix)
Wigan Warriors celebrate last year's Grand Final win. (SWPix)

CHAMPIONS Wigan Warriors have been deducted two points for the 2019 Betfred Super League season after being found guilty of salary cap breaches.

The club - who begin their title defence at derby rivals St Helens tomorrow night - has also been fined £5,000, half of it suspended, for the offences in 2017.

Wigan Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan (SWPix)

Wigan Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan (SWPix)

It is related to six separate payments, totalling £14,700.

An RFL statement read: “The decision was made by an independent tribunal on Thursday afternoon, chaired by His Honour Rodney Grant, with two former players as side members.

“Wigan were charged with alleged breaches in late 2018, following the audit of the 2017 salary cap, in relation to a number of payments that were not declared to the RFL.

“These included the payment of agents fees and a flight allowance, with the Club breaching the finite salary cap when these payments were included.

“They initially disputed that these payments were relevant to the salary cap, leading to the establishment of the independent tribunal.

“The club then admitted prior to the tribunal that all but one of the payments should have been included in its salary cap valuation for the season.

“There is a right to appeal this decision, as set out within the RFL Operational Rules.”

It is the third time Wigan have been docked points for a salary cap breach.

In 2007, they were stripped of four points after exceeding the cap by £222,314 the previous year, a campaign in which they faced a genuine relegation battle and bought Stuart Fielden from Bradford Bulls in a world-record transfer.

But they were also docked two points in 2006 and fined £50,000 for breaching the cap the season before by a total of £80,000.