Super League club Salford have been charged with alleged breaches of salary cap regulations, the Rugby Football League (RFL) has announced.
The Red Devils could be docked as many as 20 points if they are found to have exceeded the STG1.825 million ($A3.52 million) cap in the past two years.
A statement from English rugby league’s governing body said: “The RFL has issued charges in relation to alleged breaches of the RFL Operational Rules and Salary Cap Regulations concerning contractual arrangements made with Salford players in 2014 and 2015.
“The charges will be considered by an independent Off Field Operational Rules Tribunal, at a date to be confirmed.”
The announcement comes six weeks after Bradford chairman Marc Green had raised questions over Salford’s use of the cap over the past two years and, in particular, their 2014 signing of Tony Puletua from St Helens.
Green claimed he was prevented from raising his concerns at a RFL council meeting in December and called on the governing body to investigate the transfer fully.
When contacted by PA, Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash said he was going into a meeting but would make some comment later.
Salford were the last club to be docked competition points but that was for inadvertently having 14 players on the pitch for a short time in a match against Castleford in 2013.
There have been eight cases of points deductions for salary-cap breaches in Super League but none since 2007 following the introduction of a “live” cap, monitored by a salary cap manager appointed by Super League.
In the worst case, Wigan were docked four points nine years ago after going over the then STG1.6 million ($A3.08 million) cap by STG222,314 ($A428,600) the previous season while fighting relegation.
Since Bradford were ordered to forfeit six points after going into administration in 2012, the RFL drastically increased the sanctions, giving it the power to deduct up to 20 points and impose restrictions on a club’s ability to register new players.
HOW CLUBS HAVE BEEN PUNISHED IN THE PAST:
* 2001 – Wakefield – salary cap breach – 2 points
* 2003 – Halifax – breach – 2 points
* 2003 – Hull – breach – 2 points
* 2003 – St Helens – breach – 2 points
* 2006 – Bradford – breach – 2 points
* 2006 – Wigan – breach – 2 points
* 2007 – Bradford – breach – 2 points
* 2007 – Wigan – breach – 4 points
* 2011 – Wakefield – administration – 4 points
* 2011 – Crusaders – administration – 4 points
* 2012 – Bradford – administration – 6 points
* 2013 – Salford – fielding extra man – 2 points