Wigan Warriors have confirmed that they are guilty of breaching the Salary Cap in 2005 for which they have been deducted two points in relation to the current season and fined £50,000.
The club had actually overspent by £80,000, which represented 52.3% as opposed to an allowable 50%. As any breach between 52 and 55 % triggers a two-point deduction the Wigan club acknowledge the breach and accepted the panels verdict.
The Wigan club had explained to the RFL panel that the 2005 season had seen the club suffer it's most serious ever injury crisis which had seen the loss of Sean O'Loughlin, Gareth Hock, Brian Carney, Luke Davico and others. Nearly all these players had their seasons wiped out, but it is a requirement that their full seasons payments are entered into the salary cap return, which they were.
The Wigan club recruited additional players including Wayne McDonald, Jerome Guisset and Liam Botham. Although these facts were offered in mitigation the Wigan club had to accept that it had been in breach of the salary cap and offered both a guilty plea and an apology to the RFL panel. The Wigan club also accepted the finding of a £50,000 fine.
Wigan Chairman Maurice Lindsay said, "We have accepted the findings of the RFL independent panel to which we pleaded guilty. It was a difficult season savaged by injury but in accepting the findings of the panel we must now re-double our efforts and put everything we have got into the remaining five games of the season."