Billionaire Steve Lansdown has claimed he can’t understand how reigning champions Saracens can be allowed to continue to play in the Gallagher Premiership having been found guilty of breaking the salary cap for the last three seasons.
After admitting at the weekend they couldn’t meet the salary cap for a fourth season in succession, they opted to take an automatic relegation from the Premiership rather than open their books up to full scrutiny.
It is a situation that has infuriated Bristol Bears owner Lansdown who believes the European and English titles Saracens have won during in recent years have been tainted.
He also added that despite their relegation to the Championship next season, questions about their continued presence in the top flight in the 2019/20 season must be asked.
Interviewed on Talksport, Lansdown said: “I find it very strange in a way that they can continue their league programme this year with the same players. I find that unhelpful.
(Continue reading below…)
Mark McCall confirms Saracens’ squad will be broken up
“At the end of the day they cheated and they have to accept their punishment. Anything they have achieved over the last couple of years is going to be tainted. It will stick for a while because everyone is going to be cognisant of the fact that it happened.
“They are making a lot of noises at Saracens. They have apologised, which is the first thing, and now we need to see what they are going to do to put things right. They committed a sin and they have to repent for it. They need to go through a period of rehabilitation back into the world of rugby.
“They have brought the game into disrepute. There are 13 clubs (the twelve Premiership clubs and Newcastle Falcons) who have all signed up to the salary cap, including Saracens, and they have decided to put two fingers up to it and do their own thing. They feel almost aggrieved that we are upset about it.”
Here's one reason why Saracens' squad depth allowed them to steal a match on their rivals https://t.co/Ri8h7M7N6Q
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 21, 2020
Lansdown also expressed his disappointment over the time it took to impose the relegation sanction on Saracens, adding: “It has taken a while to get that. It should have happened quicker and sharper, but that is another matter. Now they are going to be in the Championship next year, now there are a lot of aspects to sort behind the scenes.
“They will make the right noises publicly but I know what it is like running a business, it is not as easy as you say publicly. They have got some very difficult decisions to make, the players have got some very difficult decisions to make, the management have got some very difficult decisions to make. They probably haven’t woken up to the reality of what is in store for them.”
WATCH: Andy Goode and Brendan Venter didn’t hold back on this week’s The Rugby Pod as they discussed Saracens and the salary cap scandal
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