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Saracens issue statement after punishment

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Saracens issue statement in wake of massive fine and points deduction

Saracens have claimed they will appeal Tuesday’s “heavy-handed” Premiership Rugby Limited decision to fine them £5,360,272.31 and deduct 35 league points.

In a statement released shortly after PRL confirmed last Sunday’s RugbyPass story that the London club would be severely sanctioned following salary cap breaches, Saracens said: “We are shocked and disappointed by these heavy-handed sanctions and will launch an appeal against all the disciplinary panel’s findings.  

“The club is pleased the panel acknowledged it did not deliberately attempt to breach the salary cap and steadfastly maintains that player co-investments do not constitute salary under the regulations. This view is supported by independent legal and professional experts.

“The club will continue to vigorously defend this position especially as PRL precedent already exists whereby co-investments have not been deemed part of salary in the regulations.

“As previously stated, the club made administrative errors relating to the non-disclosure of some transactions to PRL and for this, we apologise. We are pleased to confirm we now have a robust governance framework in place and this will be overseen by an external counsel to ensure the club follows best practice.

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“Furthermore, it is the club’s belief that the panel’s narrow interpretation of the regulations is detrimental to player welfare across the league and is damaging the development of elite-level rugby in the UK.

“Saracens is proud of its pioneering, innovative approach to player welfare, developing their talents and supporting their entrepreneurial spirit for life beyond rugby.”

Saracens’ feisty response came after the PRL’s penalty initially left them on -26 points in the relegation spot on the early Gallagher Premiership table, 30 points adrift of 11th place Bath. Having announced they will appeal, they were restored to fourth spot on the table with nine points subject to review.

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Saracens issue statement in wake of massive fine and points deduction