This article reviews the salaries of Old Glory DC rugby players in the MLR.
It’s true that salaries are private contracts between the franchise and the players. Clubs rarely go public with the details.
However, information leaks out in the small circles of Rugby Union in the USA. We’ve collected and reviewed all the details from credible sources.
How Do Old Glory DC Rugby Players Get Paid?
Before we take a deep dive into the figures, we’ll look at the different ways that players earn their annual income.
Monthly club wages may just be part of the story. A player’s full income can come from several sources.
Note that some players on the roster are only compensated with wages. The other options on this list will only apply to a selection of players in the DC squad.
- Monthly club wages
- Rent subsidies
- Help with finding part-time employment
- Part-time coaching
- International match fees (these are not paid by the Washington franchise)
Younger players often choose to share in a group house arranged through the franchise. They can live nearly rent-free near the St James training facilities in Washington.
The elite clubs in England and Ireland have similar arrangements for their academy players.
This won’t be attractive to players with partners and children. But a player with a family can also get some level of rent assistance.
Experienced players may be offered part-time coaching roles. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are involved in coaching their Old Glory teammates.
They may be coaching at youth level or with local amateur clubs. These players will have gone through the formal coaching courses regulated by World Rugby.
Helping with part-time employment
The MLR competition lasts seven months.
Franchises encourage lower-paid players to get a second income during the off-season.
Some of the younger players may also take part-time jobs that can fit around their rugby trainng requirements.
What Do Old Glory DC Players Get Paid?
If you check out our general overview of salaries in Major League Rugby, you’ll see that the star players can earn up to $45K.
However, Old Glory DC hasn’t focused on signing seasoned internationals from elite rugby countries like England and New Zealand.
They do have talented players from Fiji, New Zealand, and England (to name just some of the overseas countries represented in the squad).
But none of these players have years of experience at the top level of their domestic competitions.
Average salaries for rugby players with Old Glory DC
The senior rugby players at Old Glory DC earn from $25K-$30K per season.
Mid-range players with several years experience are on $14K-$20K.
Less experienced players are paid about $10K for the season.
The lowest pay is for part-time players paid on a pay-to-play basis at minimum wage.
These salaries may seem low if you are familiar with contracts in other countries. I’ll give you some comparisons at the end of this article.
The Salary Cap In Major League Rugby
MLR franchises are not allowed to exceed an agreed cap on the total salaries for their squad. The level is currently $500K.
Any franchise can increase its cap by participating in a set of player and community development activities.
It’s been confirmed that Old Glory DC hit the targets laid out by MLR.
This is due to their academy that gives playing opportunities under-19 boys and girls.
Meeting the development targets means that their salary cap increases by $250K.
Note that the extra budget can’t go directly on player salaries. But the club can play extra income to players who are also coaching at the development and youth levels.
How Does Old Glory DC Afford The Player Salaries?
You may be wondering if the gate receipts are enough to cover player salaries. The answer is that they’re not.
The two majority owners of the franchise have successful businesses in the auto industry and in facilities development. This helps with the budget!
You can read more in our article on the ownership of Old Glory DC.
Did Covid Impact Salaries At The Washington Franchise?
The 2020/21 Major League Rugby season was shortened due to Covid restrictions. The tournament was canceled five weeks into the season.
It’s a credit to the league that all the franchises paid their players for the season despite the shutdown.
In many other countries, professional clubs negotiated with their players to take a 10-25% pay cut.
Cynics might point out that the salaries are very low in the MLR already.
But that doesn’t mean that the franchise owners shouldn’t get credit for treating their players well in a tough time for everybody.
How Does Old Glory DC Compare With Clubs In Other Countries?
There are several players at the club who are from England (some are also qualified for the USA). Check out our article on how much rugby players earn in England.
There are also some Kiwi players in the setup. Check out our article on how much players are paid in New Zealand.