Exeter chief executive Tony Rowe has suggested Saracens should be relegated from the Gallagher Premiership over their breaches of salary cap regulations.

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Saracens were handed a 35-point deduction and fined more than £5million on Tuesday, although both sanctions will be suspended while the club appeals against them.

Exeter has lost the last two Premiership finals to Saracens and Rowe believes the penalties the European champions face do not go far enough.

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“We, for a number of years, have suspected they’ve been infringing the salary cap,” he told BBC Radio Devon.

“But I don’t think the penalty is severe enough. You take away 35 points this year – they could still be in the semi-finals and could still end up at Twickenham (in the final).”

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Putting forward an alternative punishment, Rowe added: “Relegation – in professional sport in America, if you’re in breach of the salary cap you get thrown out completely.”

Exeter lost last season’s final by only three points and Rowe says he has been left with a “nasty taste”.

“It’s the management that have totally flouted the rules and regulations, which has enabled them to put a squad on the pitch that we couldn’t match,” he said.

“I feel a bit bitter about it because we were only just beaten. I’m not blaming the (Saracens) players, you can’t blame the players.

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“It leaves a bit of a nasty taste in my mouth. If you’re in sport and you get beaten fair and square that’s fine, but then to find out that your opponents have actually cheated, it’s not good.”

Exeter’s use of a loop hole criticised:

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