Eleven of twelve Gallagher Premiership clubs are already enjoying the proceeds of Saracens’ salary cap fine – according to reports.
Saracens were fined £5.4 million for breaches of the salary cap in November, which has now been split between the clubs in what is a welcome windfall – according to the UK Sunday Times.
How the money will be spent is unclear, although it expected the windfall will be absorbed by the clubs, the vast majority of whom have significant debt to service.
Currently, Saracens sit on minus 7 points having been docked 35 league points, and are 18 points behind 11th placed Leicester Tigers.
Premiership Rugby introduced the salary cap in 1999 with the twin aims of ensuring a level playing field and maintaining a competitive, growing and financially sustainable league, ie preventing the clubs from the pitfalls of over-spending.
The cap was increased from £6.5m to £7m ahead of the 2017/18 season and will remain at this level until the end of the 2019/20 season. The ceiling includes dispensation for academy and injured players and effectively raises the possible spend to around £9m.
Saracens are holders of the Champions Cup, having triumphed in Europe in three of the last four years, and have taken the Premiership title for four of the last five seasons.
Their current relegation battle will be a new experience to most of the squad.
Last week Nigel Wray has retired as chairman of Saracens with immediate effect.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 6, 2020
Wray said: “As we enter a new year, a new decade, it is time for the club to make a fresh start. I am not getting any younger and feel this is the right moment for me to stand down as chairman and just enjoy being a fan of this incredible rugby club. I will always be committed to the wonderful Saracens family.
“The Wray family will continue to provide the required financial support to the club and I will remain actively engaged in the work of the Saracens Sport Foundation and Saracens High School as part of the Club’s ongoing commitment to our community in north London.”
A new independent chairman will be appointed imminently. Edward Griffiths will take up the role of interim CEO for a 12-month period. Mitesh Velani will assume a consultancy position at the club and remain on the Saracens board.
– additional reporting PA
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