Saracens will be relegated at the end of the season. PA Wire/PA Images
Going Down

Premiership Rugby confirm Saracens will be relegated at end of the season

The club will play in the RFU Championship in 2020/21.

PREMIERSHIP RUGBY HAVE confirmed that reigning champions Saracens will be relegated at the end of the current season.

The club have been at the centre of an investigation into breaches of Premiership Rugby’s salary cap, and following talks between the club and Premiership Rugby this week, it has been confirmed that Saracens will drop down to the RFU Championship for the 2020-21 season. 

The double winners were previously fined £5.36million and received a 35-point deduction, after they were found to have operated above the £7million salary limit.

There is currently no salary cap for teams in the Championship.

The relegation means that Saracens will now be unable to qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup through the Premiership for two years.

However, the club could still qualify by winning the Champions Cup, with the 20th place in the competition currently reserved for the tournament winner, in the event they are not already qualified. 

Usually the 20th place is either filled by the Challenge Cup winner or losing finalist.

“Premiership Rugby confirms that Saracens Rugby Club will be relegated from the Premiership at the end of the 2019-2020 season,” a statement read.

“This action follows the conclusion of dialogue between Premiership Rugby and Saracens over the club’s compliance with the Salary Cap Regulations, which began in November 2019 after the club received a sanction in respect of breaches in past seasons.”

Darren Childs, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby, said: “Premiership Rugby is prepared to take strong action to enforce the regulations governing fair compliance between our clubs. At the conclusion of dialogue with the Salary Cap Regulations, it has been decided that Saracens will be relegated at the end of this season.”

Saracens’ retired chairman Nigel Wray has already cut all formal ties with the London club. His shared investments with some of the club’s top players had prompted the original investigation by Premiership Rugby. 

Neil Golding, the club’s current chairman, said: “As the new Chairman of Saracens I acknowledge the club has made errors in the past and we unreservedly apologise for those mistakes.

“I and the rest of the Board are committed to overseeing stringent new governance measures to ensure regulatory compliance going forward.’’

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