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Saracens accept 'unprecedented' automatic relegation following salary cap breaches

Sarries board want to restore confidence and rebuild trust after accepting punishment.

Saracens: set to exceed £7 million salary cap again this season.
Saracens: set to exceed £7 million salary cap again this season.
Image: Simon Galloway

SARACENS HAVE ACCEPTED the decision to automatically relegate them from the Gallagher Premiership following further investigations into their salary cap breaches.

In a short statement issued on Sunday morning, the board said they “unreservedly apologise” for the breaches and would accept their punishment “in the wider interests of the Premiership and English rugby”.

“We hope that we can now start to move forward, begin to restore confidence and over time, rebuild trust,” they said.

Saracens were set to exceed the Premiership salary cap, which is set at £7 million per season, again this year.

Premiership Rugby confirmed last night that the club — who had previously been fined £5.36 million and docked 35 points for not disclosing player payments – would be relegated to the Championship for the 2020/21 season irrespective of their final league position.

“The board of Saracens wishes to unreservedly apologise for the mistakes made in relation to the salary cap regulations,” the statement read.

“Our goal is to rebuild confidence and trust. The first step was to appoint a new independent chairman to lead on governance reform ensuring errors of the past are not replicated in the future. Furthermore, following open and frank discussions with PRL, we have accepted the unprecedented measure of automatic relegation from the Premiership at the end of the 2019-2020 season.

“We understand this decision will be difficult for the Saracens family to accept. The Board must embody the values of the club, learn from its mistakes so the Club can come back stronger. It is in the wider interests of the Premiership and English rugby to take this decisive step, to ensure everybody is able once again to focus on the game of rugby, which we all love.

“We hope that we can now start to move forward, begin to restore confidence and over time, rebuild trust with PRL, its stakeholders and the wider rugby community.”

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Niall Kelly

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