Test Match Sofa
Salary cap breach penalty for Durham
By Tim Wellock
Durham have paid the price for handing out too many big contracts by being penalised following a breach of the salary cap imposed by the ECB.
They have been fined £2,500 and will have 2.5 points deducted from next season’s LV County Championship total plus 0.25 points in the Clydesdale Bank 40 and Friends Life t20 competitions.
The regulations state that a county should not pay its players a total of more than £1.8 million a year. Durham committed a category one breach, the lowest of the five categories.They were less than two per cent over the maximum so the penalties are at the lowest end of the possible sanctions.
They handed lucrative contracts to Steve Harmison and Paul Collingwood at the end of their England careers and extended Ian Blackwell’s contract in June last year.
The difficulties they have encountered may explain why Michael Di Venuto was allowed to leave in mid-season, while Harmison and Blackwell have been loaned to other counties. Durham have also told Liam Plunkett that if he wishes to pursue opportunities elsewhere they will not stand in his way.
While Collingwood has repaid the county by accepting the captaincy and playing a huge role in saving them from relegation, Plunkett, Harmison and Blackwell present a problem as they all have a year left on their contracts. Harmison signed a four-year deal believed to be worth around £150,000 a year, but he made only six Championship appearances last season and three this year.
The ECB’s decision came after a hearing of an independent tribunal held at Lord’s, chaired by John Pickup, a member of the ECB Board and chairman of the Recreational Assembly. The tribunal concluded that the sanctions should reflect the fact that Durham notified the ECB of the breach and had co-operated fully and openly.
The Team Salary Payment regulations were introduced in 2010, when Durham were the reigning county champions and seeking to secure the long-term commitment of key players.
In their submission to the ECB, Durham outlined the difficulties faced by counties who wish to remain competitive in all competitions and produce players for England.
Graham Onions has been in the England squad all season but is not centrally-contracted and Durham pointed out that confusion relating to players in the England system means it is impossible to have absolute certainty around the final salary bill.
Terms & Conditions
Developed by Proximity Solutions
Proximity PS Web
2007 - 2013