Saracens are looking at the possibility of losing some of their star players or cutting their salaries to comply with the Premiership’s salary cap rules.
The defending Premiership champions were docked 35 points and fined over £5-million pounds for breaching the salary cap regulations in a saga which ultimately resulted in Nigel Wray’s decision to step down as the club’s chief executive.
Wray’s position has been taken up by Edward Griffiths, who has returned to the club after a five-year absence and faces a clean-up operation to show that Saracens are operating legally this season.
In an interview with the RugbyPass website, Griffiths admits that the Saracens brand has been damaged and is keen to ease any doubts about how the club is run.
‘Clearly there is damage to the brand,’ Griffiths said. ‘We are only obliged to show compliance with the salary cap at the end of the year, but we recognise there are special circumstances and that is why we want to demonstrate compliance as soon as possible.
‘I am currently examining what the scope of any issue is and there are two ways of dealing with it. You either reduce your headcount by letting people go or alternatively you reduce the salaries of those already there.
‘This will clearly cause instability and uncertainty within the squad and it is in everyone’s interest that this is sorted as soon as possible while also being mindful that we are dealing with people’s lives, livelihoods and reputations.’
Saracens have already lost Welsh fullback Liam Williams, who will be moving back to his home country with the Scarlets next season. Springbok tighthead Vincent Koch, Argentinian prop Juan Figallo and Wallabies lock Will Skelton are among the other foreign players on the club’s books.
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