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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 20:00 GMT 21:00 UK
Wigan lose points over salary cap
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Wigan have yet to decide whether to appeal against the decision
Wigan have been docked four points at a disciplinary hearing for breaching the Super League salary cap in 2006.

An independent Rugby League tribunal found the Warriors guilty of exceeding the salary cap by 222,314.

Wigan were ordered to pay costs and had four points deducted which means they will drop from fourth to 10th in the table, five points off the drop zone.

St Helens and Bradford had already been punished for spending more than the permitted 50% of their income on wages.

You are always disappointed with any deduction

Wigan chairman Maurice Lindsay

Bradford were docked two points and Saints fined 22,000.

Wigan have the right to appeal the decision but chairman Maurice Lindsay said they were not ready to make a decision yet.

"You are always disappointed with any deduction and you are disappointed when you put together what we thought was a very strong argument and it's over-ruled," said Lindsay.

"We had two key witnesses, Stuart Fielden and Harrison Hansen, who wanted to give evidence, and I thought they were very persuasive and very honest but they apparently weren't considered."

Wigan were due to face a panel on 16 July but asked for more time after claiming they were unable to fully prepare their case until the outcome of a preliminary hearing.

The club's argument was based on the fact that nine of their players agreed to defer wages for last September, October and November in returned for improved contracts in 2007.

However, the panel said that was against the spirit of the salary cap.

606: DEBATE

Wigan had successfully argued at the earlier hearing that any penalties imposed should be in accordance with the 2006 rules, rather than the updated 2007 rules, which could potentially have doubled any penalty.

This year, clubs have voted to double the maximum penalty from a six-point deduction to 12 points, depending on the seriousness of the breach.

Bradford were fined for going 4% over the limit and Saints handed their cash punishment for going over the limit by a smaller amount. Wigan went over by 6%.

Saints' offence is believed to relate to bonuses given to James Graham and Ade Gardner for Great Britain call-ups.

A Saints club statement said they "agree with and accept the penalty," 4,000 of which was a suspended fine from 2005.

"The club considers the quantum of the breach to have been very minor and to have been with mitigating factors."

A statement from Bradford expressed "general satisfaction" with the panel's "appropriate" decision and punishment.



SEE ALSO
Wigan defiant over salary breach
06 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Trio placed on salary cap charges
05 Jul 07 |  Rugby League


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