Section A3: Financial Matters (Including Salary Cap)

HMRC LIABILITIES

A3:1 All Clubs shall ensure that at all times their liabilities to HMRC in respect of VAT and PAYE are up to date (in this context up to date means not more than 28 days in arrears). Clubs shall upon request from the RFL give HMRC written permission in such form as HMRC may require for HMRC to share information about the Club’s liabilities to HMRC with the RFL.

Notwithstanding the above paragraph if any Club has any liabilities to HMRC it shall also promptly upon request from the RFL confirm the exact amount of any such liabilities both current and historic and confirm exact details of any agreements which are in place with the HMRC as regards the outstanding liabilities. Such certification will require signing by the Club’s Chief Executive and one other Director.

It may be considered Misconduct to have HMRC liabilities, to fail to submit certification, to submit incorrect certification or to Under Report to HMRC and such Misconduct may also be considered to be a matter which impacts on the integrity of competition.

SPECIAL MEASURES

A3:2 Where the Board reasonably believes that a Club’s position with regard to HMRC or any other financial or organisational circumstances relating to the Club gives reason for concern for the Club’s stability, the Club may be placed into “Special Measures”. When a Club is in Special Measures it may be required:

  1. to provide such proof as the RFL requests that current and historic HMRC liabilities or other liabilities (as appropriate) have been and are being paid on a monthly basis;
  2. to provide such information as the RFL requests about the Club’s management accounts and budgets;
  3. to comply with the Board’s conditions about the value, duration and type of contract it may enter into with Players and not to enter into any contract without permission.

Failure to comply with any arrangements required under Special Measures may result in the Board withholding central distributions and taking such other action as it thinks fit in the circumstances including but not limited to placing a registration embargo on the Club.

ACCOUNTS

A3:3 Subject to the remaining provisions of this Operational Rule, each Club shall submit to the RFL within 21 days of publication and, in any event, on demand if so requested, a copy of its full statutory accounts and any other financial records which the Board may require from time to time.

Where under the Companies Act a Club is permitted to file abbreviated accounts, it may provide such accounts to the RFL to meet its obligations under this Operational Rule provided that it also provides full management accounts with a detailed reconciliation to the abbreviated accounts in a form satisfactory to the RFL.

Clubs shall notify the RFL of the date they have filed their annual accounts at Companies House.

Failure to submit accounts in accordance with the Companies Act or this Rule will be considered Misconduct and in addition any Club failing to do so may be placed in Special Measures as detailed in A3:2 above.

INSURANCE

A3:4 Each Club shall ensure that it has in place adequate policies of medical insurance in respect of its own players, public liability and employers liability insurance to cover itself (including all non-playing staff), and all spectators who attend its ground from time to time for activities not connected with Rugby League together with cover against any property owner's liability risks (such as liability under the Defective Premises Act 1972 and/or the Occupiers Liability Acts 1957 and 1984 or any rules or regulations made thereunder). The RFL shall notify Clubs from time to time of the level and breadth of insurance cover which it maintains, and of changes to the level and/or breadth of such cover from time to time.

LOAN OF PLAYERS

A3:5 If a player is loaned out or dual registered to another club, responsibility for payment of their salary and any appearance money they are entitled to shall remain with the Club they are contracted to. Recovery of any costs should be made by invoicing the agreed values monthly to the recipient Club. The recipient Club should ensure that these invoices are paid in a timely manner.

LEVY

A3:6 The RFL may raise such money as it may require from time to time by way of a levy on the Clubs or otherwise.

SET-OFF

A3:7 Whenever any sum of money shall be recoverable from or payable by any Member or any other Person subject to the Operational Rules to the RFL (or any of its Members or to any Person subject to the Operational Rules or to any of the RFL or SLE’s commercial partners or suppliers) including but not limited to fines, costs, awards or decisions made by the Council, the Board, the Operational Rules Tribunal, the Tribunal, the Compliance Manager or any Committee appointed by the Council or the Board or otherwise made under these Operational Rules, then the same may be deducted from any sum then due or which at any time thereafter may become due to that Member or Person subject to the Operational Rules arising out of these Operational Rules or any other contract with the RFL or with any other Member. Exercise by the RFL of its rights hereunder shall be without prejudice to any other rights or remedies available to the RFL.

A3:8 In considering the above reference should also be made to the Membership Bye Law as set out in the RFL Articles of Association (RFL Bye Law 4 or as alternatively set out by the RFL from time to time).

SALARY CAP

A3:9 Each Club shall comply with the Super League Salary Cap Rules, the Championship Salary Cap Rules and/or League 1 Salary Cap Rules (as applicable to the leagues it plays in from time to time) and the Financial Sustainability Regulations as notified to them from time to time.

DIVISION OF PROCEEDS – general

A3:10 In these Operational Rules, the phrase "Gate Receipts" shall mean the total proceeds which relate to the admittance of persons to the ground at which the Match takes place.

LEAGUE MATCHES

A3:11 The Gate Receipts of all Regular Season League Matches and Super 8s Matches shall be retained by the Home Club, apart from any commission due to the visiting Club as per A3:30.

A3:12 League 1 Clubs shall be entitled to a grant towards the costs of travel to away Matches during the Regular Season. The amount and terms of payment of such grant to be as specified by the Board from to time.

CHALLENGE CUP PROCEEDS

A3:13 The Gate Receipts of all Cup Ties from the Third Round up to and including the quarter finals shall be allocated as follows, save when an overseas club is involved in which case special rules will apply as agreed by the Board from time to time or when the Board considers that other exceptional circumstances apply:

  1. From the net Gate Receipts (i.e. gross Gate Receipts less VAT) there shall be deducted:
  2. 5% which shall be paid into the Cup Pool within seven days of the Cup Tie by the home club (by cheque addressed to the Finance Director and made payable to the RFL); and
  3. For visiting Clubs the cost of their travelling expenses.
  4. Travelling expenses shall consist of the cost of coach hire used by the visiting Club (if a Club chooses to stay overnight, the coach hire shall not exceed the cost of a return trip by coach in one day) and an allowance for meals taken on the journey, such allowance to be fixed by the Board.
  5. For Clubs in the Championship, League 1 and non Member Clubs drawn at home, the sum of £1,000 plus 15% of gate receipts (net of VAT and any levy applicable) to be retained to cover the home Club’s Match expenses;
  6. For Super League Clubs drawn at home, 15% of gate receipts (net of VAT and any levy applicable) to be retained to cover the home Club’s Match expenses;

CHALLENGE CUP FINAL PROCEEDS

A3:14 The remaining balance of the net Gate Receipts after making the deductions set out above shall be divided equally between the competing Clubs, and the home Club shall make the payment to the visiting Club within 7 days of the Cup Tie. However, at the conclusion of the Cup Tie (including a Void Tie) the home side shall hand to the secretary of the visiting team (or other Club Official) a cheque for 30% of the remaining balance of the Gate Receipts on account of their share of the Gate Receipts.

  1. A Club which fails to pay its contributions to either the Cup Pool or to the visiting club on the due date shall be liable to a fine of £250 in respect of each offence and shall not be entitled to any share of the Cup Pool until outstanding fines and contributions are paid.
  2. A Club which fails to pay an outstanding Cup Pool contribution within seven days of the date of a warning notice given by or on behalf of the Finance Director shall be liable to a fine of up to £500 and this shall increase by £50 in respect of each day thereafter in excess of seven days for which the sum(s) remain outstanding.
  3. Any Prize Monies due to a Club for a Round will not be paid until the Club has paid its contributions to both the Cup Pool and the visiting club and has sent any required Match Accounts to the RFL.
  4. If the net Gate Receipts are not sufficient to cover the entire expenses of a Cup Tie the RFL shall decide how the proceeds are distributed including what shortfall shall be borne by each Club.
  5. Special arrangements as published by the Board from time to time shall be in place for matches played in the rounds before the Super League, Championship and/or League 1 teams enter the competition and for matches involving clubs based overseas.
  6. Where one Club has a return journey of 500 miles or more to fulfil a fixture it is entitled to apply to the RFL for a grant.

CHALLENGE CUP SEMI FINAL PROCEEDS

A3:15 The Gate Receipts for the semi-final Cup Ties shall be divided as follows:

  1. 5% of the net Gate Receipts shall be paid into the Cup Pool by the RFL;
  2. the RFL shall then be entitled to deduct its reasonable match expenses (including charges for the hire of the ground); and
  3. the two participating Clubs will be entitled to an equal share of the remaining sum.

CHALLENGE CUP FINAL PROCEEDS

A3:16 The Gate Receipts for the final Cup Tie or final Cup Tie Replay shall be divided as follows:

  1. The net Gate Receipts from the final Cup Tie shall be divided as follows: 10% of net Gate Receipts shall go to the Cup Pool; having deducted the 10%, 15% of the remainder shall go to each of the competing Clubs and the balance shall go to the RFL.
  2. The Gate Receipts from any final Cup Tie replay shall be divided as follows: 5% of net Gate Receipts shall go to the Cup Pool 25%; of the remainder shall go to each of the competing Clubs and the balance shall go to the RFL.

CUP POOL

A3:17 The Cup Pool shall be retained by the RFL as part of its funds.

A3:18 Notwithstanding any other provision of these Operational Rules, if the net Gate Receipts are not sufficient to cover the entire expenses of a semi-final or final Cup Tie, then the Match expenses of the RFL (including charges for the hire of the ground) shall be the first charge and any remaining shortfall shall be borne equally by the two competing Clubs.

SUPER LEAGUE SUPER 8S PLAY OFF SEMI-FINALS AND FINALPROCEEDS

A3:19 The Clubs participating in the Super League Super 8s Play-Off Semi-Finals and the Grand Final shall share the proceeds of those Matches in such manner as shall be determined by SLE from time to time.

QUALIFIERS

A3:20 The two Clubs participating in the play off between the Clubs finishing in 4th and 5th in the Qualifiers shall share the net gate receipts (ie, gross gate receipts less VAT) equally after the payment of any levy which may be in force from time to time and Match expenses (as defined in Operational Rule Section A3:13).

CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINALS AND FINAL PROCEEDS

A3:21 The two Clubs participating in each Match in the Championship Shield Play-Off Semi-Finals, with the exception of the Championship Shield Final itself, shall share the net gate receipts (ie, gross gate receipts less VAT) equally after the payment of any levy which may be in force from time to time and Match expenses (as defined in Operational Rule Section A3:13).

A3:22 The proceeds of the Championship Shield Final, following deduction of match expenses (as defined by the Board) and charges for hire of the ground shall be retained by the RFL (unless otherwise determined by the Board).

LEAGUE 1 PLAY-OFFS AND FINAL PROCEEDS

A3:23

CHALLENGE CUP TIES

The two Clubs participating in the Match between the Clubs finishing 1st and 2nd in League 1 and the two Clubs participating in each Match in the League 1 Play Off Semi-Finals shall share the net gate receipts (ie, gross gate receipts less VAT) equally after the payment of any levy which may be in force from time to time and Match expenses (as defined in Operational Rule Section A3:13).

A3:24 The proceeds of the League 1 Final following deduction of match expenses (as defined by the Board) and charges for hire of the ground shall be retained by the RFL (unless otherwise determined by the Board).

LEAGUE 1 CUP SERIES PROCEEDS

A3:25 The two Clubs participating in any Match in the League 1 Cup Series other than the League 1 Cup Final itself, shall share the net gate receipts (ie, gross gate receipts less VAT) equally after the payment of any levy which may be in force from time to time and Match expenses (as defined in Operational Rule Section A3:13)

A3:26 The proceeds of the League 1 Cup Final, following deduction of match expenses (as defined by the Board) and charges for hire of the ground shall be disbursed in accordance with the determination of the Board from time to time.

PASSHOLDERS TO GET TICKETS

A3:27 Each passholder (being a person provided with the appropriate RFL Pass) on request (in such format as may be required from time to time) shall be provided with two tickets (which shall be strictly for the personal use of the passholder and one guest and not transferable). Each Club agrees to admit the passholder and his/her guest to their ground and stands for each match under the jurisdiction of the RFL subject to such conditions as the RFL shall publish from time to time subject to the application being made as set out in each Club’s specified procedures (as approved by the RFL) and subject to availability at the time of application. Any passholder found to be in breach of the conditions of use published by the RFL will have their pass and all related privileges withdrawn.

ADMISSION CHARGES

A3:28

CHALLENGE CUP TIES

For all rounds except the semi final and the final:

  1. The charges for admission shall be agreed by the Clubs no later than 2 days after the opposition is known, but, either in the event of a disagreement on written application by one Club or where a RFL approved ticketing scheme is in place the Board shall decide. All prices shall be announced to the public via the media before the round is played and in any event no later than 24 hours after the charges are agreed (as above).
  2. No Club shall admit a member or a season ticket holder to a Cup Tie without the individual paying the admission charge fixed for members of the public to the ground and stands save with the permission of the Board or as part of an RFL approved ticketing scheme.
  3. The visiting Club shall be entitled to check all turnstiles and gates for all Cup Ties apart from the final.
  4. The home Club shall supply to the visiting Club on request the turnstile readings and the reading of admissions at any other point of entry including the free ticket list.
  5. The visiting Club may request that advance sale tickets be issued and if requested shall be entitled to be provided, in order to sell at face value, up to 30% of all tickets made available for general sale to the public. Standing, seating and hospitality tickets shall count towards the 30% calculation, but, for the avoidance of doubt, the visiting Club shall not be entitled to sell any hospitality tickets, and the home Club shall have reasonable discretion as to how to break down the 30% between standing and seating on safety grounds.
  6. In "all ticket" games the visiting Club shall be entitled to be provided, in order to sell at face value, up to 30% of all tickets made available for general sale to the public. Standing, seating and hospitality tickets shall count towards the 30% calculation, but, for the avoidance of doubt, the visiting Club shall not be entitled to sell any hospitality tickets, and the home Club shall have reasonable discretion as to how to break down the 30% between standing and seating on safety grounds.
  7. Such tickets required to be released under A3:28 (e) and (f) above shall be released so that they are received by the visiting Club as soon as reasonably possible following the request.
  8. In the event that the home Club fails to comply with A3:28 (e), (f) and/or (g) above, this shall constitute Misconduct and in addition to the penalties available under the Operational Rules for Misconduct, the home Club may be required by the Compliance Manager to pay a penalty to the away Club representing 10% of the aggregate sales (exclusive of VAT) of all tickets sold for the game.
  9. Unsold tickets shall be returned to the home Club not later than 48 hours before the Match and if the visiting Club defaults then it shall be liable for the full cost of any unsold tickets remaining from its total allocations.
  10. Each Club shall be entitled to 50 complimentary admission tickets for seats, twenty of which shall be in the Directors area. In addition, complimentary admission tickets shall be allocated to the RFL's sponsors or as part of an RFL marketing strategy as directed by the Board. There shall be no other free admission, except for fully authorised RFL pass holders and accredited members of the media, unless both Clubs agree in writing and in the case of a dispute between the Clubs the RFL will determine the position taking into account the circumstances known to it.
  11. Where it is deemed appropriate, the Board shall have the right to vary the allocation of tickets to the visiting Club or to require a Cup Match to be made "all ticket".
  12. A visiting Club shall have the right to be allocated 30% of the accessible facilities.
  13. In the event that the home Club fails to comply with A3:28 (l), the home Club shall pay a commission to the away Club as if it had complied and the away Club had sold all of the tickets, such commission to be calculated in accordance with A3:28(h). The commission payable on any tickets actually sold by the away Club shall be deducted from this penalty commission. In addition, such failure shall constitute Misconduct.

A3:29

CHALLENGE CUP SEMI FINALS & FINAL

The Board shall decide the admission charges and ticket allocations for the Challenge Cup Semi Finals and Final. The RFL shall notify each Club of its allocation and each Club may, within 48 hours of such notice, make representations to the RFL that the allocation should be increased. All tickets shall be paid for by the Clubs at their face value. Each Club shall pay such sum to the RFL no later than 7 days after the Cup Tie. Any unsold tickets shall be returned to the RFL in accordance with its instructions. Failure to follow such instructions may result in the unsold tickets being charged to the relevant Club at their face value

A3:30

LEAGUE MATCHES

For Regular Season and Super 8s League Matches:

  1. The price of admission shall be determined by the home Club. Where practicable any offer made available to home Club supporters, in relation to a Match shall be made available to the away Club’s supporters,
  2. The visiting Club may request that advance sale tickets be issued and if requested shall be entitled to be provided, in order to sell at the usual Home Club advance sale value, up to 10% of all tickets made available for general sale to the public. Standing, seating and hospitality tickets shall count towards the 10% calculation, but, for the avoidance of doubt, the visiting Club shall not be entitled to sell any hospitality tickets, and the home Club shall have reasonable discretion as to how to break down the 10% between standing and seating on safety grounds.
  3. In "all ticket" games the visiting Club shall be entitled to be provided, in order to sell at the usual Home Club advance sale value, up to 10% of all tickets made available forgeneral sale to the public. Standing, seating and hospitality tickets shall count towards the 10% calculation, but, for the avoidance of doubt, the visiting Club shall not be entitled to sell any hospitality tickets, and the home Club shall have reasonable discretion as to how to break down the 10% between standing and seating on safety grounds.
  4. Such tickets required to be released under A3:30 (b) and (c) above shall be released so that they are received by the visiting Club 21 days prior to the date of the fixture or 21 days prior to the date the fixture was originally scheduled in the event of a fixture movement with less than 28 days’ notice.
  5. In the event that the home Club fails to comply with A3:30 (b), (c) and/or (d) above, the home Club shall pay a commission to the away Club as if it had complied and the away Club had sold all of the tickets, such commission to be calculated in accordance with A3:30(e). The commission payable on any tickets actually sold by the away Club shall be deducted from this penalty commission.
  6. The visiting Club shall be entitled to a commission representing 10% of the aggregate sales (exclusive of VAT) of tickets sold on behalf of the Home Club, unless otherwise agreed between the Clubs. The Away Club shall submit a VAT invoice in respect of the commission due within 7 days of the date of the match taking place. Unsold tickets shall be returned to the home Club not later than 48 hours before the Match and if the visiting Club defaults then it shall be liable for the full cost of any unsold tickets remaining from its total allocations.
  7. Each Club shall be entitled to 50 complimentary admission tickets for seats, twenty of which shall be in the Directors area. In addition, complimentary admission tickets shall be allocated to the RFL's sponsors as directed by the Board, or if it so delegates, the respective divisional associations as appropriate.
  8. Where it is deemed appropriate, the Board shall have the right to vary the allocation of tickets to the visiting Club or to require a League Match to be made "all ticket".
  9. A visiting Club shall have the right to be provided with, on request, a reasonable proportion of the accessible facilities including wheelchair spaces available at the ground.
  10. In the event that the home Club fails to comply with A3:30 (i), the home Club shall pay a commission to the away Club as if it had complied and the away Club had sold all of the tickets, such commission to be calculated in accordance with A3:30(i). The commission payable on any tickets actually sold by the away Club shall be deducted from this penalty commission. In addition, such failure shall constitute Misconduct.

PLAY-OFF MATCHES

A3:31 In relation to the prices of admission for the Qualifiers 4th v 5th Play-off, the Championship Shield Play-Off Semi-Finals and the League 1 Play Offs (1st v 2nd and the Semi Finals) the provisions of Operational Rule A3:28 (Challenge Cup Matches) shall apply with all necessary changes.

The prices of admission for the Super League Super 8s Play-Off Semi Finals and Final, the Championship Shield Final, the League 1 Play-Off Final and the League 1 Cup Final shall be decided by the Board (and in the case of the Super League Super 8s Play-off Semi-Finals and Final agreed by SLE).