Saracens owner and chairman Nigel Wray has robustly vowed to defend the club after they were docked 35 points and fined more than £5million over breaches of salary cap rules.
Expressing his shock at the findings, Wray said in a statement issued shortly after the findings: “For over 25 years, I have put my heart and soul into the game I love.
“Together we have created something incredibly special with the Saracens family, both on and off the field. This is absolutely devastating for everyone associated with this amazing group of players, staff, partners and fans.
“It has been acknowledged by the panel that we never deliberately sought to mislead anyone or breach the cap and that’s why it feels like the rug is being completely pulled out from under our feet. We will appeal all the findings.”
The penalty – issued on Tuesday by Premiership Rugby Limited following a lengthy investigation – would leave the London club on -26 points in the Gallagher Premiership table if unsuccessfully appealed and facing relegation at the end of the season.
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A statement from Premiership Rugby announced: “The sanction that has been imposed on Saracens Rugby Club by the panel is a total fine of £5,360,272.31 and a total deduction of 35 league points.
“Today’s decision by the independent panel upholds both the principle of the salary cap and the charges brought following an extensive investigation by Premiership Rugby.
RugbyPass: Saracens facing potential 35 point reduction and a real threat of relegation.https://t.co/6xwfJ6My5H
— Dan Etchells (@DanEtchells) November 4, 2019
“We are pleased that this process has reached a conclusion and we look forward to another exciting season of Premiership Rugby.”
The alleged breaches spanned the last three seasons but the points deduction will be applied in full this season.
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