Ever since the revelation in November that Saracens had breached the salary cap over the past three years and were subsequently fined £5.36million and deducted 35 Gallagher Premiership points, there have been calls for harsher punishments for what many fans believe to be outright cheating.
The reigning European and English champions now have a matter of days to show that they are working within the salary cap for the current 2019/20 season or face expulsion from the league.
This has meant that some players are expected to be released in order to free up the wage bill. A number of names have already been rumoured to be on the way out, which includes Liam Williams whose return to the Scarlets may now be fast tracked.
This rather jubilant reaction from many opposing fans, who feel their clubs have been deprived of success during this period, was expected and is justified.
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Saracens on brink of automatic relegation
However, many people have also looked at this from the perspective of the players and staff at Saracens who could be in danger of losing their jobs.
If players were to leave Saracens, either as a result of relegation or cutting costs, the bigger names will not suffer as they will be able to walk into any other team.
The ones on the echelon below, however, along with staff members could be deprived of their livelihoods.
I am all for punishment, but it’s the players I feel for, those with families etc. Rules are rules I get that, but as a fan, would I want to see a max exodus of internationals head over seas. Not particularly. I’d prefer to see them take a pay cut, and perhaps rough it out.
— Nathan (@Nathann_09) January 16, 2020
Players were not cheating the cap. Nothing to do with players. players negotiate there own wages. And why should they not get a good salary after all there career is short. They put there body’s at risk week in week out for out entertainment. It’s club management that cheated
— TonyYoung1968 (@tonyyoung1968) January 17, 2020
I get the outrage but let’s temper the joy a touch. Innocent, decent people connected with the club will lose livelihoods as a result and that’s something no one should be pleased about. I’m a Sarries fan and this cheating, because that’s what it is now, is hard to accept ???
— Richie Jameson (@chefrich1980) January 16, 2020
All this Saracens chat is starting to get boring. I'll start by saying I don't support them but when the media fire into the players who didn't devise this and have signed the best contract available for one of the most physically demanding jobs in the world is getting tiresome
— Oliver Pointon (@olipoints) January 17, 2020
I'm talking about all Saracens players and staff. The actions of a very few at the top have potentially impacted everyone at the club. Yes others other people outside Saracens have been impacted as well but either way its never nice to see anyone potentially lose their job.
— Overthehillprop (@Overthehillprop) January 17, 2020
I can’t get my head around the latest development at Saracens. Surely this was all known at the time of the last findings so why not give them the ultimatum then!! It’s the players I feel sorry for, this has huge implications for careers and will have widespread consequences
— Jim Allen (@Jim_Allen1983) January 17, 2020
Some people have also noted that the players would have been complicit in this and should therefore be held responsible as well.
That is not a view held by everyone, though, as players would often go to whoever gives them the best offer, not only financially but from a playing perspective as well.
Said this should have happened from the start. Imagine if they’d stayed up at the expense of someone within the cap after being in breach for part of the season. Also still think the titles should be stripped, not given to Exeter as too many variables, but stripped from Sarries
— Oliver Gaudion (@olygaudion) January 16, 2020
This is all getting a bit shady now. Why didn't the premiership just lay the cards out on the table for everyone to see rather than drip feedung this stuff. It's not fair for the Saracens fans nor the players who may imminently lose their jobs. They should be punished buy be open
— Ryan Reynolds (@VRyanReynolds) January 16, 2020
This has obviously been a reaction for indiscretions the club knew they were committing. One do wish to see though, that clubs throughout the rugby world are being policed like Saracens for the same reasons. Families lives and existence are at stake.
— Bart Schoeman (@bschoeman3) January 17, 2020
The players did not orchestrate this, but some could pay the price, particularly if they lose their job midway through the season.
While there is always the inherent risk that cuts will need to be made in the event of a team being relegated, this may be different from cases in the past and fans have spared a thought for the players.
WATCH: Jim Hamilton discusses all the news of the week in the latest episode of Don’t Mess With Jim
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