Jonny May: Sharks’ spending power ‘a joke’

Jonny May has questioned how Premiership teams can compete with clubs spending three times the amount on their squad.

Gloucester and former England speedster Jonny May says Premiership teams are at a financial disadvantage in Europe after losing to a Springbok-powered Sharks team in the Challenge Cup final.

May was part of the Gloucester team that suffered a 36-22 defeat to the Sharks in the final of the EPCR’s second-tier tournament in London last weekend.

The Sharks lifted their first major title and became the first South African team to win an EPCR competition at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

With four world cup-winning Springboks in their tight five, the Sharks dominated the physical exchanges, with their defence and scrum forcing Gloucester onto the back foot.

Reacting to the European finals, May questioned how Premiership teams can compete, as he feels that England’s top-tier is still at a disadvantage when compared to teams in the Vodacom URC and Top 14.

“How do the English teams compete with the Irish teams, the URC teams with no salary cap or the French teams? That’s the sort of elephant in the room,” he said on The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast.

“How is it that the English teams are going to compete with clubs who are spending three times the amount on their squad?

“The team that Gloucester had out at the weekend – and we tried our best – their team financially must have been three or four times more expensive than our team.

“They were much the better team on the day. They showed up and, although we gave it a go, we couldn’t really get in the game, just because they had much more internationals and higher quality players it felt like.

“It comes down to money. It’s a South Africa pack, it’s a joke.”

May’s comments are somewhat inaccurate, as South Africa’s URC teams currently work under an annual salary cap of R85m (£3.5m), increased from last season’s R71m (£2.9m).

Meanwhile, Premiership teams have a salary cap of £5 million, equating to approximately R119.5m.

The post May: Sharks’ spending power ‘a joke’ appeared first on SA Rugby magazine.

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