Wigan Warriors have points deduction suspended following appeal

Defending Super League champions Wigan Warriors have had their two-point deduction for breaching the salary cap suspended until next year after an appeal.

An independent tribunal punished Wigan for six separate payments, totalling £14,700, which were not declared to the Rugby Football League (RFL).

The club argued those outgoings were not relevant to the salary cap, but conceded before the tribunal that all but one payment should have been included in its valuation.

The Warriors were also fined £5,000, half of which was suspended as a result of transactions which included payment of agents' fees and a flight allowance.

Wigan appealed against each of those sanctions and have seen the points deduction for this season wiped out, though it will be reinstated should they commit another breach before March 2020.

A release on the RFL website read: "Following a re-hearing, a Sport Resolutions panel has imposed a punishment on Wigan Warriors for breaching the Super League salary cap in 2017.

"The club appealed against the decision to deduct two points in the 2019 season and to issue a fine of £5,000, £2,500 of which was suspended, which was originally decided by an independent tribunal in January, whilst accepting that it had breached the Salary Cap Regulations.

"The fresh panel has imposed a two-point deduction, which is suspended for a period of 12 months, until March 2020. That deduction will automatically be activated if Wigan commit a further breach of the Finite Salary Cap in that period.

"In addition, the panel has ordered Wigan to pay a fine of £5,000 immediately and confirmed that costs of £2,000 for the original hearing on January 24 must be paid. The panel have also ruled that their appeal deposit should be retained by the RFL.

"The RFL and Wigan had already agreed to split the cost of the Sport Resolutions hearing."

In a statement the RFL said: "It is good to have this matter resolved, after this second independent hearing following the initial independent tribunal in January. The RFL will continue to police the salary cap in agreement with the Super League clubs."

Wigan had been second bottom on zero points after losing three of their opening four matches, including a shock defeat to newly promoted London Broncos last weekend. They will leapfrog Leeds Rhinos into 10th after seeing their points reinstated.

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