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Saracens owner Nigel Wray has hit out at the ‘absolutely devastating’ decision to dock the club 35 points for breaching the salary cap rule as he vowed to appeal.
The Premiership and European champions received the biggest sanction in the history of English rugby on Tuesday, including a £5.3million fine, after arrangements between their multi-millionaire owner Wray and star players including Owen Farrell were scrutinised.
But Wray is determined overturn the ruling, saying on Tuesday: ‘For over 25 years, I have put my heart and soul into the game I love.
Saracens owner Nigel Wray has hit out at the ‘absolutely devastating’ decision to dock the club 35 points for breaching the salary cap rule
The Independent Panel – which conducted a hearing over five days in September and October 2019 – was chaired by the Rt. Hon. Lord Dyson, who was joined on the panel by Aidan Robertson QC and Jeremy Summers.
The decision of the Independent Panel is that Saracens Rugby Club failed to disclose payments to players in each of the seasons 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. In addition, the Club is found to have exceeded the ceiling for payments to senior players in each of the three seasons. The Panel therefore upheld all of the charges. The sanction that has been imposed on Saracens Rugby Club by the panel is:
A total fine of £5,360,272.31 and a total deduction of 35 league points.
The Salary Cap Regulations stipulate that a points deduction may be imposed in the current season (2019-20) only. The sanction has no bearing on any other domestic or European competition.
‘Together we have created something incredibly special with the Saracens family, both on and off the field.
‘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.’
Earlier the club released a statement confirming they will appeal.
The statement read: ‘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.
Premiership Rugby and European champions Saracens have been docked 35 points and fined £5.3m after being found guilty of breaching the salary cap
HOW SPORTSMAIL LED THE WAY…
In March,Sportsmailrevealed how Saracens owner Nigel Wray had gone into business with England captain Owen Farrell and three other senior members of the squad, raising questions over whether they have broken salary cap regulations.
In March, Sportsmail revealed how rival clubs were set to call for an inquiry as the details of Saracens’ owner Nigel Wray’s arrangements with England stars were raised
Since then, Premiership Rugby confirmed Saracens had not declared the details of the co-investment arrangements, which were revealed bySportsmail, leaving Sarries facing major sanctions.
Premiership Rugby confirmed Saracens had not declared all co-investment arrangements between players and the owner Wray back in April
Sportsmailcontinued to lead
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