Premiership Rugby confirms further punishment for salary cap breaches
Updated: Saracens relegated from Premiership
Premiership Rugby confirmed the relegation decision on 18 January and then ten days later announced that Saracens had received a further deduction of 70 points, ensuring they will finish this season in 12th position in the table.
The decision followed discussions with the RFU and was made “in order to provide clarity for clubs and supporters”.
News of the 70-point deduction was preceded by the resignation of Saracens interim CEO Ed Griffiths, who said: “This was always going to be a very short-term appointment, and others are well-placed to drive forward the rebuilding of the club.”
Saracens were fined £5.3m and docked 35 points in November after the initial investigation found breaches in the past three seasons, but further sanctions have been imposed in recent weeks.
Of the decision to relegate Saracens, Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs said: “Premiership Rugby is prepared to take strong action to enforce the regulations governing fair competition between our clubs. At the conclusion of dialogue with Saracens about their compliance with the salary cap regulations, it has been decided that Saracens will be relegated at the end of this season.
“At the same time as enforcing the existing regulations, we want to ensure a level playing field for all clubs in the future, which is why we have asked Lord Myners to carry out an independently-led review of the salary cap. As part of this process, we will soon be announcing an open consultation so that everyone involved in the game has the opportunity to contribute to its future.
“The actions that we have taken – dealing with breaches of the current regulations and reviewing the system for the future – will help us to build a stronger league and uphold the confidence of supporters.”
Saracens will continue to compete in the Premiership for the rest of the season and will play in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals in April.
Saracens chairman Neil Golding said: “As the new chairman of Saracens I acknowledge the club has made errors in the past and we unreservedly apologise for those mistakes.
“I and the rest of the board are committed to overseeing stringent new governance measures to ensure regulatory compliance going forward.”
Exeter Chairman Tony Rowe told BBC Devon: “They’ve taken relegation. They had two choices: they could either open up their books for a forensic audit, or they could take relegation. So it was their choice. They have decided to take relegation.”
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