Saracens are appealing their 35-point deduction and £5m fine for breaching the salary cap for the past three season after a seven-month investigation by the Premiership.
Saracens’ Director of Rugby Mark McCall praised his squad for the unity they have shown after a turbulent week at the North London squad.
He said: ” I couldn’t be prouder of a group of staff and players who genuinely came together this week and showed that on the field”.
McCall was referring to their win against Gloucester on Saturday, the first game they had played with the appeal hanging over them, which they won convincingly 21-12.
What is the salary cap?
The salary cap was introduced by Premiership rugby in 1999 to ensure a level platform was given to all clubs in the premiership.
The salary cap was increased from £6.5m to £7m ahead of the 2017-18 season and will have no further increase until at least the end of the 2019/2020 season.
What have Saracens actually done?
Dispute service Sport Resolutions have appointed an independent panel who found that Saracens failed to disclose payments to players over the 2016/2017 2017/2018 2018/2019.
These disclosed payments are almost certain to be related to Chairman Nigel Wray’s investments into companies such as Faz Investments Ltd, VunProp Ltd, Wiggy9 Ltd and MN Property Solutions Ltd. They are all companies related to players at the club.
How did it happen?— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) November 9, 2019
How does this impact the squad?
How did the players respond?
Saracens’ Director of Rugby Mark McCall addresses the salary cap breach for the first time. pic.twitter.com/CN2wTZDfLD
Will Saracens lose their titles?
No, their punishment is only applied to the current season and will not affect the results of any previous seasons, even the seasons that are under question.
Current coaches and players have spoken out about the findings on the reigning champions, including former England captain Chris Robshaw.
He told The Irish Times: “It’s not great, the game we love is in the world eye and the pinnacle of English rugby is illegal.
“We’re a sport that claims to be whiter than white.
“We always look down on football, we look down on this but we are like everyone else.
“This is cheating to a certain extent and it’s not a good situation for our sport to be in.”
What have other clubs said about the breach of salary?
Understandably, a lot of clubs have spoken out about how upset they are with the revelations about Saracens.
Exeter Chiefs have suggested that they might boycott their game against them, but there has yet to be confirmation of this.
Former Saracens Head Coach, Steve Diamond who is now director of rugby said that “It (was) a bit naive to think they can get away with it with the processes in place.” He continued, “it’s for the good of the game because if it’s not stopped the game will bankrupt itself.
More to follow on this story throughout the day on Park Life Sport.
What happens next?
Saracens appeal is set to be decided sometime in the New Year. Until then, they won’t have to pay the fine and their points won’t be deducted.