Saracens docked 35 points and fined £5m for salary cap breaches

Saracens docked 35 points and fined £5m for salary cap breaches

Saracens docked 35 points and fined £5m for salary cap breaches

The chairman of the London Club, Nigel Wray says the club, who are back-to-back Premiership champions and reigning European champions, will appeal against what they describe as a "heavy handed" punishments.

Today's event in Cardiff sees all participating teams in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup represented by respective coaches and players where among other things, they must conduct interviews with the media.

"I wouldn't say I feel cheated because if you dial all this back to say Saracens would have been a different team, well they played 10 other clubs other than us through those seasons as well", Baxter told Sky Sports.

"EPCR will now consider what action is appropriate in this instance and will be making no further comment at this time".

EPCR has also recently announced that an extra Heineken Champions Cup match will go out live and free-to-air each weekend in France starting with La Rochelle against the Exeter Chiefs in Round 1, and this development will undoubtedly boost TV audiences in the key French market.

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter has joined chief executive Tony Rowe in launching a scathing attack on Saracens over their breach of Premiership Rugby's salary cap. We always compare us to football and we look at our ethics when they cheat and stuff, but the grass is no longer greener - we [rugby] are as bad as everyone else.

'Call it what you want. "If you're in sport and you get beaten fair and square that's fine, but then to find out that your opponents have actually cheated, it's not good". It is not a thing we pride ourselves on.

"When you look at cheating in athletics, when you look at cheating in cycling, when you look at cheating in baseball - for us as a sport we like to think our sport is cleaner and cleaner than everyone else". It is not. We have to be realistic about that. I am sure it will be like that for a while.

Putting forward an alternative punishment, Rowe added: "Relegation - in professional sport in America, if you're in breach of the salary cap you get thrown out completely".

"If the first response is to say the payments. are outside the cap but are OK because the wording of the cap doesn't catch them, the concern is they will move on by finding another way of doing it outside the wording of the salary cap".

"The reality is there's no way for me to say, or any other person to say, how any of those seasons would have gone - when we lost to Saracens in the final - if Saracens had been exclusively working within the salary cap".

Saracens have confirmed their intention to appeal the decision under the regulations.

A separate statement from the club defended the use of co-investment arrangements with players, and stated "PRL precedent already exists whereby co-investments have not been deemed part of salary in the regulations". "We are supposed to be finding ways where we all work within in for a bit of competition". "To put them out into this... it is going to be a tough time for them, but it is one they have brought on to themselves and they are going to have to deal with it for some time I'd imagine".

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