Rugby League Player Contracts


Rugby employment agreements, or player contracts, are an important aspect of a rugby player’s relationship with their club. The contract establishes the rights and responsibilities of both parties and delineates the terms and conditions of the player’s engagement with the club. In this article, Rugby League Player Contract, we take a look at the role and responsibilities involved.

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For a free initial discussion with a member of our New Enquiries Team, get in touch with us today. We are experienced in dealing with all the legal aspects of Rugby League player contracts, and once instructed, we will review your situation and discuss the options open to you in a clear and approachable manner. Early expert legal assistance can help ensure you are on the best possible footing from the start and also avoid the stress of dealing with these issues on your own. Simply call us on 0345 901 0445 or click here to make a free enquiry and a member of the team will get back to you.

What are the key terms in a Rugby League contract?


Similar to the majority of employment contracts, the remuneration clause is a crucial component of a rugby player’s employment contract. A variety of players are awarded different compensation packages, which are determined by their talent level and level of experience.

Most rugby employment contracts in the United Kingdom include schedules containing supplementary information, such as a breakdown of the player’s pay and particulars of the club’s disciplinary and grievance procedure, in addition to the salary clause. Typically, this encompasses a mutually agreed-upon structure of pay progression and comprehensive information regarding any bonuses to which the participant is entitled.

There is a salary cap in Rugby league. The spending limit for first-team players by each club is restricted to the lesser of the following, with specific exemptions and dispensations making the exception:

The limited salary cap of £2.1 million; and

The spending capacity determined by a club in accordance with the Financial Sustainability Regulations.

Due to the “real time” nature of the Super League Salary Cap calculation, each club’s expenditure (or presumed expenditure) must always remain below the cap. When applicable, the Championship and League 1 Salary Caps are evaluated retrospectively; therefore, each club must provide evidence at the end of each season that its actual expenditures were less than the Salary Cap.

There are a number of dispensations, and they include:

Marquee Players: It is permissible for each Super League and Championship club to possess two marquee players, with the value of their salaries being capped at £150,000 (or £75,000 if club-trained).

Club Trained Dispensation—A dispensation of up to £100,000 is granted to each Super League club for the production of players who meet the standards of the league.

Player Welfare Dispensation: A £15,000 dispensation is granted to each Super League club that meets the player welfare objective.

New Talent Pool Dispensation – In the first year of a player’s contract, any individual who has not played rugby league before is valued at £0 and at 50% of his true value in the second year;

Returning Talent Pool Dispensation – In the first and second years of a player’s contract, he is valued at 50% and 75% of his true value, respectively, if he has not played rugby league in the five years prior to signing.

International bonuses—Within certain limits, bonuses paid for international representation are excluded.

Educational fees that are remitted directly by clubs are not included, nor are payments made using prize money.

Social media and digital rights

In contrast to the majority of employment contracts, those governing rugby players also contain stipulations regarding image rights and marketing. Typically, the image rights clause will require a player to participate in particular club marketing initiatives.

Term of contract

The provision defining the duration of the contract is particularly significant. The majority of rugby league employment contracts in the United Kingdom are for a fixed term. The contract may, with the consent of both parties, contain a provision permitting the club to elect to extend the agreement for an additional period.

Obligations of the club

The contractual obligations of the club encompass providing medical treatment for players under specific conditions, enabling them to represent their national team when required, and ensuring the maintenance of a secure working environment.

How we can help

We have a proven track record of helping clients deal with the process involved in the various aspects of rugby league contracts. We will guide you diligently and ensure all checks are carried out swiftly and efficiently and we firmly believe that with the right solicitors by your side, the entire process will seem more manageable and far less daunting. You can read more about the range of sports law services we offer by clicking here:

How to Contact Our Sports Solicitors

It is important for you to be well informed about the issues and possible implications of dealing with the many aspects of a rugby league contract. However, expert legal support is crucial in terms of ensuring a positive outcome to your case.

To speak to our Sports solicitors today, simply call us on 0345 901 0445, or click here to make a free enquiry. We are well known across the country and can assist wherever you are based. We also have offices based in Cheshire and London.


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice on any individual circumstances.

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