The richest baseball team in Japan, Yomiuri Giants, could be officially investigated after a Japanese newspaper published information according to which the club has regularly broken the maximum salary limit for several of its players.
According to the agreed-upon limit of the professional league, the maximum allowed salary is Y150 million, out of which Y100 million can be paid as signing bonus, while the rest can be awarded as performance-related amount.
The Asahi Shimbun newspaper quoted a source close to the matter which said that six players of the Yomiuri Giants have been paid a total of Y3.6 billion between 1993 and 2004.
The club denied any wrongdoing, saying that ”The maximum allowable money has been considered as a rough guide. We have not breached the rules of Japanese baseball […]”The taxes were all correctly reported, and there was no illegality of any kind”.
Among the players believed to have cashed the money are outfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi, catcher Shinnosuke Abe, as well as reliever Koji Uehara, according to Kyodo.
”The maximum allowable money was a rough guide. The club must have paid more (than the limit) if the draftee was competent,” the source said.