Montpellier win appeal against Top 14 salary cap fine

Montpellier  - French Top 14 club Montpellier won an appeal on Tuesday against a fine of €470,000 imposed last week by the National Rugby League (LNR) for exceeding the league's salary cap.

"Montpellier Rugby welcomes the decision of the national commission of the French Rugby Federation which ...has found the club not guilty, ruling that there was no evidence that the so-called salary cap was exceeded," the club said in a statement.

"The club has only been sanctioned on appeal for failing to transmit accounts for audit which goes to show the disproportionate nature of the charges in this case."

The LNR said Montpellier exceeded the ceiling set at €11.3 million euros by paying players an additional €428,000 euros during the 2017-18 season when they finished second.

The salaries that attracted suspicion included those of the two South African brothers Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis for that season.

Montpellier challenged "the legal instability in which the so-called salary cap regulation is carried out, which renders it totally inapplicable" and has filed an application for the repeal of the regulation.

Montpellier lawyer Antonine Vey last week described it as "a Stalinist system".