Gloucester fans waving fake money and wearing caps during last week's Gallagher Premiership match. Simon Galloway
Deadline Day

'We have made mistakes': Saracens drop appeal, accept €6.4m fine and 35-point deduction

Defending Premiership champions must accept the penalties “with humility”, says chairman Nigel Wray.

Updated 12.35

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS SARACENS have dropped their appeal against a £5.4 million (€6.44m) fine and a 35-point penalty for salary cap breaches.

Saracens had planned to appeal against the “heavy-handed” punishments that were described by the English Premiership club’s chairman Nigel Wray as “absolutely devastating”.

But in a joint statement released by the league and club on Monday, Wray conceded that “we have made mistakes and so, with humility, we must accept these penalties.

“As a club, we will now pull together and meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

Saracens’ decision to accept the punishments was first reported by the Sunday Times ahead of Monday’s deadline.

The sanctions were suspended while an appeals process was in place but the 35-point penalty now comes into immediate effect, with the Premiership table set to be updated later today.

The defending English champions, who were third in the table on 13 points, will sit on -22 points, 26 points adrift of Leicester in 11th place.

It is understood the club will be given a short period of time to make payment of their fine.

“We welcome Saracens’ decision to accept the verdict of the independent panel and are pleased the club has crucially reaffirmed its commitment to the Premiership Rugby Salary Cap,” Darren Childs, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby, said.

“This is the right outcome for English club rugby. Bringing this process to a conclusion means that we can focus on working in partnership with all clubs to continue to build a competitive and successful league.”

An independent panel, led by barrister Lord Dyson, found the club had failed to disclose payments to players in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, and had also exceeded the ceiling for payments to senior players.

No details have been revealed on the size of the undisclosed payments or the recipients.

But Premiership Rugby’s investigations were reported to have centred around Wray’s involvements in companies such as VunProp Ltd (Mako and Billy Vunipola), Faz Investments Ltd (Owen Farrell), Wiggy9 Ltd (Richard Wigglesworth) and MN Property Solutions Ltd (Maro Itoje).

The panel was established after a nine-month Premiership Rugby investigation led to charges being brought in June.

© – AFP 2019  

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel