Owen Farrell David Kelly: ‘The impact of Saracens story will send a shuddering earthquake throughout the sport of rugby’

Owen Farrell These ingredients are beautiful!


Owen Farrell Owen Farrell of Saracens celebrates after the Heineken Champions Cup win over Leinster
Owen Farrell of Saracens celebrates after the Heineken Champions Cup win over Leinster

WHILE the rest of the rugby world were basking in the business of the Six Nations last March, Bangor man Mark McCall was once more being quizzed on the business of Saracens and just how fairly they operated their affairs.

“I’m pretty relaxed about it all,” said the former Ulster and Ireland centre on a Tuesday in between weekends of, predictably, winning, despite the fact that most of their first-team squad were on international duty.

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“It’s just been another normal week of training, just like any other really.”

Eight months later, what seemed like “just another normal” week for Saracens has been tumbled upside down by the completion of an investigation into the club’s breaching of salary cap regulations.

This morning, after they completed another normal day in their normal week, McCall and his squad were met by stern-faced club officials.

There they were informed that, instead of occupying their usual position towards the top of the English Premiership tree, a 35-point deduction placed them in inevitable relegation territory.

Suddenly, now minus 26 points and with an incalculable loss to their reputation and legacy, things don’t seem so normal anymore.

Saracens have already announced they will appeal the remarkable verdict – including a £5million fine – but have been told they can only do so if they believe there has been a flawed legal process, an irrational verdict or procedural unfairness.

The authorities must have been sure that every I was dotted and t crossed before signing off on this one; for this was no ordinary judgement, no mere slap on the wrist but an explosive pronouncement upon flawed morality.

Read more here:

  • Saracens to appeal 35-point deduction and £5million fine for salary cap breaches

The club’s flamboyant owner, Nigel Wray, has insisted that “business relationships” he had formed with certain players were not engaged with an intent to breach salary cap regulations but many of their rivals will be privately unsurprised at the turn of events.

The extent of their financial doping – a phrase former Arsenal manager Arsene Weng

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