Here is a statement from Saracens confirming they will not appeal the sanctions imposed for breaching the Premiership Rugby Salary Cap.
Saracens today confirms that it is not going to appeal the recent ruling of the independent panel in relation to salary cap breaches.
Any review or further appeal would be a costly, time consuming and destabilising exercise and so for the good of the game, the Premiership and this wonderful club and all its great people, a club which I have loved and served for 25 years, we have decided not to appeal but to take our punishment and hopefully soon put this behind us.
I recognise that the arrangements between myself and players, made in good faith, which comprise the material element of the charges, should have been brought to the attention of the salary cap manager for consultation prior to entering into them.
It is significant that following extensive investigations the independent panel stated that we have “not deliberately sought to circumvent the regulations” albeit we recognise that some of our actions were considered to be “reckless”.
As chairman, I must take full responsibility for the arrangements that led to this outcome. It is important to stress that our excellent coaching staff were not involved in these issues in any way.
In addition, we can confirm that we are complying strictly with the salary cap regulations in the current season and will continue to work transparently with Premiership Rugby in this regard.
We will shortly introduce robust independent governance measures acceptable to all, including the appointment to the Saracens board of a director, who will oversee a new governance regime. I will continue as always to support the club financially going forwards to ensure there is no financial instability or uncertainty.
This amazing club, which has been such a huge part of my family’s life and indeed of many, many others, has produced an incredible number of world-class rugby players. About ten of our current team have been together for between seven and ten years, as indeed have all the coaches; fourteen players have played over one hundred times for the Club and for me it is the caring and the closeness of everyone in the Saracens Family that achieves success throughout every part of our wide-ranging Saracens activities, both on the field and away from it.
Perhaps we have done the wrong thing for the right reasons, but we must now draw a line and come together as Saracens to fully support our players, our coaches and our hard-working staff.
Why has the Club decided not to appeal the decision?
The Club believes that a review or further appeal would be a costly, time consuming and destabilising exercise. So for the good of the game, the Premiership and this club, we have decided not to appeal but to take our punishment and aim to put this behind us.
What does this mean for the season ahead?
The season ahead will be challenging but Mark McCall, his coaches and players will prepare for all of our games in the same focused, committed way and that will continue to be the case. We are a very tight family and this will only make us closer.
Does this outcome affect any of your Premiership titles?
No. The sanctions do not have an impact on any trophies the team has previously won.
Will the Club now be forced to sell players to comply with the salary cap?
No. The Club allocates a set budget for player remuneration which the CEO and coaching staff take full responsibility for. This budget falls within the salary cap and has no connection whatsoever to third party co-investments.
Is the Club now in compliance with the salary cap?
Yes. Under PRL regulations we are in compliance.
How does this outcome affect the Club’s transfer policy?
It does not prevent the Club from signing new players in the future.
What has the Club done to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
We will now introduce robust independent governance measures acceptable to all, including a new appointment to the Saracens board who will oversee governance.
And longer term, what does this mean for Saracens Chairman Nigel Wray?
Nigel has been involved with the Club for 25 years and his support for the Club remains as strong as ever. He will ensure the Club moves forward from today in the right way as quickly as possible.
And here is a joint statement from Premiership Rugby and Saracens:
PREMIERSHIP RUGBY and Saracens have concluded matters relating to the recent breaches of the Premiership Rugby Salary Cap, with Saracens confirming they will not request a review of the decision by the independent disciplinary panel.
This means that the disciplinary process is at an end and the sanction on Saracens Rugby Club is confirmed as:
a total fine of £5,360,272.31
and a total deduction of 35 league points
The Gallagher Premiership Rugby table will be updated today.
Darren Childs, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby, said: “We welcome Saracens’ decision to accept the verdict of the independent panel and are pleased the club has crucially reaffirmed its commitment to the Premiership Rugby Salary Cap.
“This is the right outcome for English club rugby. Bringing this process to a conclusion means that we can focus on working in partnership with all Clubs to continue to build a competitive and successful league.”
Nigel Wray, Saracens chairman, said: “We have made mistakes and so, with humility, we must accept these penalties. As a club, we will now pull together and meet the challenges that lie ahead.
“We confirm our commitment to the Salary Cap, and the underlying principle of a level playing field, and will continue to work transparently with Premiership Rugby in this regard.”
The charges against Saracens, which relate to the seasons 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19, were brought following a nine-month investigation by Premiership Rugby. In accordance with the Salary Cap Regulations, the charges were referred to the independent dispute service, Sport Resolutions, which appointed a panel chaired by Lord Dyson.
The decision of the independent panel was to uphold all of the charges, finding that Saracens had both failed to disclose payments to players and exceeded the ceiling for payments to senior players in each of the three seasons.
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