Saracens docked 35 points and fined £5.3m for salary cap rule breaches
Premiership side Saracens have been hit with a whopping 35 point deduction and fined over £5.3m after breaaching salary cap regulations.
The current Premiership and European champions have been hi with the punishment after investment and property deals involving their owner Nigel Wray and star players such as Owen Farrell were investigated.
The 35-point sanction represents the maximum under the regulations and would mean the club is immediately pitched into a struggle against relegation if it is upheld.
In a statement Saracens said they were shocked and disappointed by what they call "heavy handed" sanctions, and confirmed that they would appeal.
"Saracens Rugby Club is shocked and disappointed by these heave-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.
"The Club will continue to vigorously defend this position especially as PRL precedent already exists whereby co-investments have not been deemed part of salary in the regulations.
"As previously stated, the Club made administrative errors relating to the non-disclosure of some transactions to PRL and for this we apologise. We are pleased to confirm we now have a robust governance framework in place and this will be overseen by an external counsel to ensure the Club follows best practice.
"Furthermore, it is the Club’s belief that the Panel’s narrow interpretation of the regulations is detrimental to player welfare across the league and is damaging the development of elite level rugby in the UK.
"Saracens is proud of its pioneering, innovative approach to player welfare, developing their talents and supporting their entrepreneurial spirit for life beyond rugby."
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