As part of a four-month investigation, Sportsmail have reported that Saracens owner Nigel Wray has been in business with Owen Farrell, Mako and Billy Vunipola, and Richard Wigglesworth, with this a potential breach of the salary cap regulations in the competition.
The report also states that Wray co-owned houses with former players, with any costs towards accommodation something which should currently be included in a player’s salary cap figure.
The investigation found that two investment property companies, ShahDan Limited and DanCallie Ltd, were set up in 2017, with Wray as sole shareholder and Daniel van den Heever, an associate of Wray, the sole director.
The names of both companies changed within months, however, with ShahDan Limited becoming VunProp Ltd and DanCallie Ltd becoming Wiggy9 Investments. The Vunipola brothers became joint directors at VunProp Ltd as 33.3% shareholders shortly after the name change, whilst similar happened at Wiggy9 Investments, with Wigglesworth owning 65% of shares in the company. Per Companies House, VunProp Ltd owns £1.5m worth of property, whilst Wiggy9 Investments’ portfolio boasts £875,000 of property investment.
The report also states that the company Faz Investments Ltd was set up by former Saracens director Kamal Shah just a month after the fly-half signed a contract extension with the club in 2017. Farrell and Wray are the two shareholders listed, but the company has not yet filed any accounts.
Sportsmail state that the Premiership have declined to comment on whether or not they were informed of these arrangements, insisting that declarations by clubs are confidential, but that they will “look closely” at the information that the investigation has provided.
When RugbyPass reached out to Saracens, the club insisted that they are compliant with all salary cap regulations and that they have provided all the relevant information to the Premiership’s salary cap manager.
The Premiership club have recently come under scrutiny for their signing of England international Elliot Daly, whilst still being able to extend the contracts of many players at the club. With large proportions of their squad full England internationals and homegrown players, coming through the Saracens academy, the club does benefit from a healthy amount of credits against the salary cap, but this report from Sportsmail will only add further fuel to the fire.
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