England lock Maro Itoje said being thrust into the spotlight during the Saracens’ salary cap scandal felt like an invasion of his privacy.
The defending Premiership champions were relegated from England’s top flight after being found to have breached the 7 million ($9 million, 8.4 million euros) salary cap limit imposed on all 12 clubs.
Itoje found himself at the centre of the issue after the full report into Saracens was leaked. The report showed Itoje had been paid 1.6 million for a 30 percent share of his image rights, while an alternative valuation sought by Premier Rugby Limited estimated he was overpaid by 800,000 and that, as a consequence, this amount was deemed to be salary.
‘It wasn’t ideal,’ Itoje said. ‘It felt like an invasion of privacy but some things are out of your control.
‘When I entered into them (the agreements) they were all – to my knowledge, based on anything I got told – above board,’
Itoje was resolute that he had not knowingly breached the Premiership regulations by entering into business deals with former Saracens owner Nigel Wray.
‘There wasn’t even the slightest thought of it being not allowed by the (Premiership’s) salary cap manager.
‘Obviously the situation is very different now. It is very clear that whatever you do, you have to get it checked.’
The salary cap system is currently under review and it has been suggested the Premiership could follow American team sports such as the NFL by publishing details of players’ wages.
Itoje, though, is wary of such a proposal, saying he would feel uncomfortable if everybody knew what he was earning.
‘I’m sure it works in a lot of different places but, believe it or not, when it comes to finances I’m quite a private person.
‘On an individual level, I wouldn’t want anybody or everybody knowing exactly what I’m earning, but fortunately we’re not public officials.
‘Obviously there is a salary cap manager and that’s his job is to make sure everything is as it should be.’
Photo: Getty Images
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