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Saracens' radical salary cap step

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Saracens' radical step in bid to head off more accusations about their finances from rival clubs

Saracens are to invite auditors to examine details of how they are currently operating under the Gallagher Premiership £7million salary cap in a bid to head off more accusations about their finances from rival clubs.

Saracens were fined £5.36million and deducted 35 points – putting them bottom of the league – after being found guilty of breaching the salary cap in each of the previous three years.

However, other Premiership clubs, led by Exeter Chiefs, believe there is still a smoking gun to be found in the financial affairs of the Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup double winners.

There have been calls for a mid-season audit to be taken which normally happens at the conclusion of the season. In response to this, RugbyPass understands the club will take the initiative and voluntarily open its doors to official scrutiny. 

It is expected that Premiership Rugby Ltd, the umbrella organisation for England’s top flight, will be given the chance to ‘view the books’ through their official auditors.

(Continue reading below…)

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Chiefs chairman Tony Rowe claimed in The Times newspaper on Monday that Saracens had also breached the regulations in the 2013/14 season and as a result of the continued negative publicity, Saracens are attempting to take some control over the situation. 

The move to invite in auditors now is aimed at dismissing suspicions that Saracens are still operating above the £7m cap. The club has already made it clear they believe that after the fine and points penalty they are now “complying strictly with the salary cap regulations in the current season”.

Saracens maintain that their compliance with the salary cap was never part of the investigation which decided that co-investments between club owner Nigel Wray and leading players including Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell had to be included in earnings. 

Despite insisting they had done nothing wrong, Saracens opted not to appeal against the fine and points deduction. Wray stated that the club would “work transparently with Premiership Rugby”. This latest move by the reigning English and European champions is aimed at proving that is now the case.

WATCH: Former Saracens player Jim Hamilton discusses the salary cap scandal surrounding his former club

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Saracens' radical step in bid to head off more accusations about their finances from rival clubs