Reports in England suggest that defending champions Saracens will accept the sanctions for breaching the Premiership’s salary cap.
Saracens received a massive blow earlier this month when an independent investigation found that the club had failed to disclose payments to players in the previous three seasons and exceeded the ceiling for payments to senior players over the same period.
British media reported that Saracens’ England internationals Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and the Vunipola brothers were all implicated in entering into business partnerships with club chairperson Nigel Wray.
Premiership Rugby handed the club a £5.4 million fine and a 35-point deduction as a result – one of the heaviest punishments in sporting history. The sanction was suspended pending an appeal, something Wray appeared to be set on.
However, according to a report in The Times UK, Saracens will abandon their appeal despite their confidence in the outcome of the move, especially given that the Premiership had cleared the club of any deliberate action to break the salary cap.
The deadline for notice of the appeal is on Monday. If they accept their punishment, Saracens will be left on -22 points on the log, 26 points away from the Leicester Tigers, who are currently bottom of the Premiership table. The Newcastle Falcons were relegated last season after finishing with 31 points from 22 games.
The Premiership salary cap was introduced in 1999 to ensure that every club stays financially viable as well as a level playing field. The current cap is £7m, but that does not include two ‘marquee players’ whose salaries are outside the cap.
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