Saracens have paid an undisclosed fine after accepting they breached the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup participation agreement by not making the required club representatives available for a key EPCR promotional event.
On November 6, director of rugby Mark McCall and captain Brad Barritt did not attend the official season launch of the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup for Premiership and PRO14 clubs which was staged at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
An EPCR statement read: “Having previously indicated that they would be represented at the event, Saracens’ failure to attend constituted a breach of the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup media rules, and compromised EPCR’s ability to deliver the rights contracted to its broadcast, commercial and media partners.
“In light of this breach of its rules, EPCR has decided to impose a fine on Saracens which has been paid by the club, and the sum of which will remain undisclosed.
“EPCR appreciates the subsequent efforts made by Saracens to grant rights-holding broadcasters special interview access to members of their Heineken Champions Cup squad in the week before the start of the tournament.”
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Saracens wanted to avoid the media spotlight in Cardiff as the European launch was taking place the day after Premiership Rugby found them guilty of breaching the salary cap, fining them £5.3million and deducting 35 league points.
Their absence didn’t go down well with other clubs. Harlequins skipper Chris Robshaw told RugbyPass on the day: “I do think they should be here and fronting up.
The former England captain put Saracens on blast this morning at the @ChampionsCup launch
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 6, 2019
“Then again, you are asking a player to do it, you are asking a coach to do it and are they the ones who are making those (salary cap) decisions?
“To put them out into this… it is going to be a tough time for them, but it is one they have brought on to themselves and they are going to have to deal with it for some time I’d imagine.”
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