Saracens to appeal against 35-point deduction and £5.36million fine

By Sports Desk November 05, 2019

Saracens will launch an appeal after the club were left "shocked and disappointed" by being docked 35 Premiership points and fined £5.36million for breaching salary cap regulations.

The Premiership and European champions were ruled to have failed to disclose payments and exceeded the ceiling for payments to players in each of the last three seasons.

An Independent Panel upheld all charges, which were brought following a nine-month Premiership Rugby investigation.

The investigation was launched after it was revealed high-profile Sarries players had entered into investment or property partnerships with club owner Nigel Wray.

The London club, champions of England in four of the last five seasons, have denied any wrongdoing all along and will challenge the sanctions.

A Sarries statement said: "Saracens Rugby club is 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.

"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."

Owner Wray added in a separate statement: "This is absolutely devastating for everyone associated with this amazing group of players, staff, partners and fans. 

"It has been acknowledged by the Panel that we never deliberately sought to mislead anyone or breach the cap and that's why it feels like the rug is being completely pulled out from under our feet. We will appeal all the findings."

Related items

  • Barrett stars as Hurricanes survive to see off Chiefs for first win Barrett stars as Hurricanes survive to see off Chiefs for first win

    Jordie Barrett returned from injury to lead the Hurricanes past the Chiefs 25-18 for their first win of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season.

    In his first game back from a shoulder injury, All Blacks utility Barrett made an instant impact with 10 points and two try assists in Hamilton, where the Hurricanes survived a red card to Scott Scrafton on Sunday.

    Scrafton was shown a second yellow card with 15 minutes remaining at FMG Stadium Waikato but the Hurricanes held on to score their first win of the 2020 campaign while ending the 0-4 Chiefs' title hopes in the 10-week round-robin tournament.

    Both teams were winless heading into the contest, but the Hurricanes silenced the 15,031-strong crowd following a dominant first half on the road.

    Barrett kicked two conversions and two penalties, including a 62-metre effort to help the Hurricanes take a 20-3 half-time lead.

    The Hurricanes star threw a long pass to Kobus van Wyk for the first try of the match in the fourth minute before Du'Plessis Kirifi also crossed over prior to the interval.

    Damian McKenzie slotted his second penalty after the restart however, Warren Gatland's Chiefs were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage during the closing stages.

    Van Wyk added his second try of the match following Scrafton's dismissal, while the Chiefs' Lachlan Boshier scored off a long pass from Sean Wainui in the 77th minute.

  • Brumbies hold off Rebels fightback Brumbies hold off Rebels fightback

    The Brumbies nearly frittered away an 18-point second-half lead but held on to defeat the Rebels 31-21 in their first Super Rugby AU game.

    The Rebels scored 17 unanswered points and Matt Toomua's third penalty with nine minutes to go brought them to within a point.

    However, Will Miller scored the Brumbies' fifth try of the evening with three minutes remaining to ensure the Rebels came up short.

    Two penalties from Toomua - playing his 100th game for the team - were all the Rebels had to show for their first-half efforts, with Andy Muirhead, Joe Powell and Folau Fainga'a going over to leave the Brumbies in charge.

    They led 24-6 when Tom Wright crossed early in the second half, yet the Rebels came roaring back through tries from Jordan Uelese and Dane Haylett-Petty, both of which were converted by Toomua.

    Yet a poor lineout from Rebels debutant Efi Maafu was seized upon by the Brumbies, and flanker Miller burrowed over to end any hopes of a comeback.

  • All Blacks great Carter savours 'great day' playing for childhood club All Blacks great Carter savours 'great day' playing for childhood club

    Dan Carter made his return to a rugby field in New Zealand on Saturday when he turned out for his childhood club.

    The All Blacks legend, a two-time Rugby World Cup winner, played 80 minutes in front of a crowd of around 1,000 people as he helped Southbridge to a 54-14 win over West Melton.

    Carter kicked six of his seven conversion attempts in his first appearance in his native country since 2015, the year he retired from international rugby.

    The 38-year-old has signed with the Blues for their Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign but is yet to feature due to a lack of fitness.

    "If anyone saw that game today, I'd say myself that I'm a bit rusty," Carter said after a match in which he played the full 80 minutes.

    "It's good to make the first step to potentially playing again. I'm not sure if I could play at Super Rugby level just yet. You leave those kinds of decisions up to the coaches."

    After the match, Carter uploaded a series of images and a video from the Southbridge dressing room.

    "Love his footy," he wrote.

    "Great day today playing with @southbridgerugby_footballclub thanks for having me."

    Carter spent 12 years playing for the Crusaders, for whom he remains the top scorer, between 2003 and 2015.

    However, his Blues debut could come against his old club in Christchurch next week.

    "Whether I play or not, I'm not too worried," Carter added.

    "I'll leave that decision to [coach] Leon [MacDonald] and the selectors up at the Blues."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.