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Going forward...
Discussion started by Rupes , 18 November, 2019 14:13
Going forward...
Rupes 18 November, 2019 14:13
...now that this is closed in terms of the fine / points deductions and the lack of review from the club, I think it's right to ask what happens next.

The cliche "no smoke without fire" has never been truer; as someone said, this has been the largest elephant in the Premiership room for a while now. And regardless of the hows and whys, Saracens as a club has been found to be playing outside the rules - fact.

Unpopular view approaching, but I think Nigel's position is untenable as owner / chairman of Saracens. Going a stage further, I think that the directors involved (including those from Premier Team Promotions) should all leave the club - not just those who have already gone. Sentiment can not play a part in this and, just as in business, if there are "reckless" actions taken (as confirmed by both the panel and the club) then people have to move on. As much as the coaching staff, as per the statement, haven't been involved then the directors will have been.

Nigel has done a tremendous amount for this club and we should all be thankful to have been the recipients of his vision and generosity, but just maybe all good things come to an end for whatever reason. I don't think anyone who was at Vicarage Road for THAT game vs Newcastle all those years ago would have even imagined we'd have ended up where we are today, via Leagues, Champions Cups and everything else in between.

We have no choice but to start again, otherwise fans will rightly ask "how do we know the same people aren't repeating the same tricks?". A fair question - no longer can we say "oh but I know them, they are honest people", it won't wash. As per a comment on another thread, if this avenue is closed off, why won't the directors look for another avenue? That way of thinking has to be taken out of the equation.

Sad day for Saracens, but it was needed in my view.

Re: Going forward...
warwick5763 18 November, 2019 14:28
Not sure Rupes. I don't want Nigel to go as he has done so much but I do want to know that this wont happen again and no more too smart by half monkey business. Billy, Mako and Farrell are millionaires, they can sort of their own lives after they finish rugby or they can get a real job like everyone else. That's all I require but not sure if it will be a long wait.

Re: Going forward...
daz_71 18 November, 2019 14:43
Sadly I agree with you Rupes. The trust has now been broken and in such a way I'm not sure it can ever be returned.

Not sure who realistically would take over the control of the club unless in passed down to Nigel's daughter and he becomes honoury president. However would that even be enough of a shift of power at the club? In my opinion probably not.

It still strikes me as interesting that Nick Leslau left a few weeks before the announcement. On the face of it would seem that perhaps NW hadn't been completely honest with him either!

Re: Going forward...
Rupes 18 November, 2019 14:56
@Warwick - more than fair. I guess you illustrate my point well, ie do you think it could ever get to a stage where the trust is built up enough (not just by Sarries fans but by PRL and rugby as a whole) to make everyone 100% certain that it won't happen again? Given the bridges which have been burnt or at least heavily damaged in the crossfire, I'm not sure that can ever happen.

Re: Going forward...
warwick5763 18 November, 2019 15:22
I think it will take a very long time for wider acceptance but I can live with that. First off he has to get the supporters like us on board and I don't think it would take much as there is so much good will towards him. I was just worried that we had done this before, 3 times I have seen mentioned. I so badly want a good feeling off him and a promise we will stop doing this stuff. Its so much damage for so little.

Re: Going forward...
DoubleChampions 18 November, 2019 15:24
Quote:
Rupes
@Warwick - more than fair. I guess you illustrate my point well, ie do you think it could ever get to a stage where the trust is built up enough (not just by Sarries fans but by PRL and rugby as a whole) to make everyone 100% certain that it won't happen again? Given the bridges which have been burnt or at least heavily damaged in the crossfire, I'm not sure that can ever happen.

Until rugby as a whole stops trying to be run as an amateur sport in a professional environment these types of issues will continue - let’s face facts right from the amateur days the incorrect payment of players etc has always been there.

English Rugby (and Rugby as a whole) needs a good look at itself, especially, in light of the CVC investment.

Great result by Exeter at the weekend and a decent win for Saints (although against a travelling French side never a cast iron guarantee it can be repeated) will not mask the fact that Saracens are the only team capable of competing in Europe (please refrain from the obvious here re well we know why ........ as currently this season we are inside the cap with the same squad) - a slightly more competitive Premiership will not get CVC value for money if the English sides are continually battered in Europe.

Next stop will be a European Super League - how many English sides will be invited into that?

Re: Going forward...
Rupes 18 November, 2019 15:28
DoubleChampions - genuine question for you. Do you believe that Saracens have been found in breach of the PRL regulations by an independent panel? If yes, then what's the issue with accepting and acknowledging it and looking at the effect on Saracens? If no, what's stopping you from agreeing with the club's stance?

Sorry - edited to add, do you think Nigel should stay in charge then?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 18/11/2019 15:34 by Rupes.

Re: Going forward...
DoubleChampions 18 November, 2019 15:46
Quote:
Rupes
DoubleChampions - genuine question for you. Do you believe that Saracens have been found in breach of the PRL regulations by an independent panel? If yes, then what's the issue with accepting and acknowledging it and looking at the effect on Saracens? If no, what's stopping you from agreeing with the club's stance?
Sorry - edited to add, do you think Nigel should stay in charge then?

Hi Rupes - yes we have been found guilty and I do acknowledge it.

I have always said in sport and in particular professional sport, people and teams will always look for that edge and I have no issue with that as long as the edge is legal - that is professionalism.

However, I have also said that if the edge is found to be illegal I will not renew my season ticket next year and I stand by that.

With regard to NW I do not think his position is untenable as I believe (alluded to in my post above) that Rugby will head towards his thinking sooner rather than later.

To step down now whilst the school and community projects are in their infancy / growing would be a sad day for Saracens and in the end Rugby as a whole in my opinion.

Re: Going forward...
DoubleChampions 18 November, 2019 15:54
Quote:
Westy68
Do you seriously believe that you are below the salary cap?
The reason it shows you are below the cap is because you have manipulated the figures. You can't have the amount of quality players, who DO command a certain salary and expect people to believe you are below the salary cap.

If you have the same squad next season, and NW hasn't found another way to manipulate the figures you can't get that squad below the cap

We have had 5 years of Saracens supporters saying proof it, the proof is now there, you can't do it

Genuine questions:

Are you saying that PRL in their investigation did not check to make sure we are legal this season?

Or are you expecting us to be clobbered again next season?

Re: Going forward...
Westy68 18 November, 2019 16:01
No i don't believe this has happened and yes i do expect you to be 'clobbered' next season

I'm not trying to cause offense, this is a genuine question, do you believe with the amount of quality players you have, it can be below the cap without some form of manipulation, especially if the players refuse to play for they country (this is of course not 100%)

Re: Going forward...
Rupes 18 November, 2019 16:01
DoubleCh - I agree that rugby will move towards Nigel's way of thinking in the future apropos player welfare, albeit not necessarily in the manner with which it has happened this time, ie outside the rules. In fact, I think they'd miss a trick by not doing so.

I think where we disagree is that, if Nigel is to be involved (and why wouldn't you ask a successful businessman to contribute), then his involvement will need to be outside of Saracens in my view. Sadly, I think the club's reputation is so tarnished that it will take a complete change of management / ownership etc...to be trusted again and for fans to believe that what they are watching is equal for all.

Interesting discussion though - there are many, many possible outcomes here, I genuinely don't know what the next few weeks / months will bring.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 18/11/2019 16:05 by Rupes.

Re: Going forward...
DoubleChampions 18 November, 2019 16:06
Quote:
Quinten Poulsen
PRL has no obligation to determine whether a club is operating within the cap this early in the season. I believe the clubs submit reports in September and then again at the end of the season. I suspect Nigel Wray will probably have made the required adjustments to ensure Sarries are within the cap for this season, or rather he will have made adjustments to the degree that he feels he could argue with the help of some lawyers that they're within the cap.

No obligation - but one would hope on both sides that to limit the bad headlines to one season (I know it will never be forgotten but the press move on) they would have been prudent to do so. If not and Saracens go through all this agin next year then PRL will have to begin to explain how they have allowed a team for 4 season straight to cheat the system.

I know if I were one of the other 11 I would begin to question if the current PRL were fit for purpose if this was the case.

Re: Going forward...
DoubleChampions 18 November, 2019 16:15
Quote:
Rupes
DoubleCh - I agree that rugby will move towards Nigel's way of thinking in the future apropos player welfare, albeit not necessarily in the manner with which it has happened this time, ie outside the rules. In fact, I think they'd miss a trick by not doing so.
I think where we disagree is that, if Nigel is to be involved (and why wouldn't you ask a successful businessman to contribute), then his involvement will need to be outside of Saracens in my view. Sadly, I think the club's reputation is so tarnished that it will take a complete change of management / ownership etc...to be trusted again and for fans to believe that what they are watching is equal for all.

Interesting discussion though - there are many, many possible outcomes here, I genuinely don't know what the next few weeks / months will bring.

CVC will want a return on their investment and a slightly more competitive Premiership will not bring it.

Rugby now has to play as a big boy in the world of Professional sport - my opinion on the next couple of years will be:

Firstly a loosening of the Salary Cap to allow for bigger squads / player welfare beyond the game and or Academy developed players to be completely removed from the cap altogether.

A discussion to commence on a European Super League with Promotion and Relegation - Maybe as many as 6 up and 6 down to give those not included a fair chance of achieving promotion and to sustain a pyramid, however, expect the early incarnation to not have many English sides in it - will be driven along the lines of the Celtic and French Leagues.

Re: Going forward...
DoubleChampions 18 November, 2019 16:25
Quote:
Quinten Poulsen
I would first be questioning why a club is cheating its fellow PRL members year after year rather than why PRL have struggled to keep abreast of the said cheating. Remember, PRL has been shown to be a weak organisation when faced with legal threats by Spiv Wray in the past. Wray is the key to all of this - all he has to do is stop cheating the cap.

So the squad stays the same, we stay up and PRL sign it off as OK and Saracens pick up the winning thread next season and we continue - you will accept that QP? You will accept that PRL have done their job?

Re: Going forward...
AB 18 November, 2019 16:28
Quote:
Quinten Poulsen
I would first be questioning why a club is cheating its fellow PRL members year after year rather than why PRL have struggled to keep abreast of the said cheating. Remember, PRL has been shown to be a weak organisation when faced with legal threats by Spiv Wray in the past. Wray is the key to all of this - all he has to do is stop cheating the cap.

How dare you QP to come on here and call Nigel Wray a spiv? Nigel has personally invested and underwritten maybe £ 40 million and without his vision and leadership we would still be an amateur club.

The trouble is that the RFU and PRL are staffed by amateurs who do not and never will understand that the rugby establishment needs a complete overhaul and to be based in the real world.
To be at La Defense yesterday was almost surreal and to witness rugby played in a stadium like that every other week is frankly amazing.

That is the future and the professional game need to wake up.

Also Rupes comments I find highly offensive as Nigel Wray has dedicated himself to building Sarries up - at no small personal cost - and for him to tell Nigel to walk away is sounding a death warrant for our club.

It's very easy to criticise from afar but are you willing Rupes to put your money where your mouth is?

Re: Going forward...
Rupes 18 November, 2019 16:43
AB - wow, what a post. I very carefully worded my post to explain my view, not to instruct Nigel Wray to do anything. You are 100% right that he has dedicated himself to building Saracens. Read my post again - "Nigel has done a tremendous amount for the club and we should all be thankful...."

The BUT is that recent achievements have been sadly (and I stress that word) damaged as a result of the panel's deliberations.

So what I posted is my personal view as to what should happen. If you find that "highly offensive" then that's up to you, but if we aren't allowed to express opinions then where does that leave us? I may be wrong, but that's my view.

As for putting my money where my mouth is, I'm not sure that £2.50 would get us far. That's just a polarised rant at someone who expressed an alternative opinion, sorry if it isn't the corporate line.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 18/11/2019 16:44 by Rupes.

Re: Going forward...
boomer! 18 November, 2019 16:43
Wow, it must be a wonderful view from that glass tower of yours Rupes, I bet your **** smells of roses too.

You've always held the moral high ground. "Hoosah!" for you.

Line drawn. Put it to bed and crack on for Premiership survival.

Re: Going forward...
DoubleChampions 18 November, 2019 16:55
Quote:
Rupes
AB - wow, what a post. I very carefully worded my post to explain my view, not to instruct Nigel Wray to do anything. You are 100% right that he has dedicated himself to building Saracens. Read my post again - "Nigel has done a tremendous amount for the club and we should all be thankful...."
The BUT is that recent achievements have been sadly (and I stress that word) damaged as a result of the panel's deliberations.

So what I posted is my personal view as to what should happen. If you find that "highly offensive" then that's up to you, but if we aren't allowed to express opinions then where does that leave us? I may be wrong, but that's my view.

As for putting my money where my mouth is, I'm not sure that £2.50 would get us far. That's just a polarised rant at someone who expressed an alternative opinion, sorry if it isn't the corporate line.

Your opinion is valid Rupes and if this were a city company then his leaving would be when not if.

I have chosen to not renew my season ticket next year as my protest.

However, in my opinion I am not convinced that NW leaving Saracens would help all those employed and the school etc as previously mentioned.

Re: Going forward...
derbyshire fan 18 November, 2019 17:10
Rupes- to suggest that Nigel Wray should now walk away and the other connected directors with him is just mad; of course a public company who had been through the same thing ‘should’ expect the chairman to fall on his sword - but that is where you have the separation of shareholders from directors. With Saracens, the shareholders ARE the directors (well, the shareholders are the Wray family).

I have had the good fortune to have had the chance to talk with Nigel on various occasions over the years, and I am entirely clear in my mind that he is an honourable man, focussed on doing good for rugby, for his players and for the community. And I am equally convinced he genuinely believed that the co-investment deals and loan arrangements with those entities were fair, at arms length and not against the cap. Clearly the panel concluded differently - and unless and until the detailed findings and underlying facts are published we can’t know whether the panel took a shade of grey and made it black, or whether we would all agree black was the colour.

Clearly there are significant bridges to be built with PRL and the other clubs - and that will clearly take a lot of time and a lot of effort (and maybe never be possible with one or two current chairmen/chief executives). But to suggest that the only way that can be done is for NIgel and other Premier Team directors to walk away from the club is disingenuous.

Re: Going forward...
Rupes 18 November, 2019 17:30
Derbyshire / DblCh - thanks for the constructive posts. I guess I come at it from the "pure" corporate perspective, rather than "sport" corporate perspective. So, very possibly, time will indeed be a healer and all will resolve itself with Nigel at the helm. For Saracens, that may prove to be the best outcome. And if so, great.

My views on the untenable piece comes form the huge reputational damage which has been caused to both the club and to Nigel himself. No doubt unintended.

As I said, much more to happen in the next few weeks/months and I genuinely don't know what that will be.

PS Boomer - thanks for that lot, totally uncalled for and, if you knew anything about me, you'd know I'm not trying to take the moral high ground as I've never been on that in my life. Bless you, my little keyboard warrior, enjoy your tulips..



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 18/11/2019 17:32 by Rupes.

Re: Going forward...
myleftboot 18 November, 2019 18:02
I am waiting for the club statement on this. After Nigels defiance I'm very confused as to the quiet acceptance now. Has he got to go? Maybe. How do Saracens pay the £5mill without him? Pretty gutted all in all, its very hard to take in, I personally have never known a Saracens without Nigel at the helm, but is there any way back for him considering his bluff rejection of any guilt and now this whimper of acceptance.

Re: Going forward...
DoubleChampions 18 November, 2019 18:10
Quote:
myleftboot
I am waiting for the club statement on this. After Nigels defiance I'm very confused as to the quiet acceptance now. Has he got to go? Maybe. How do Saracens pay the £5mill without him? Pretty gutted all in all, its very hard to take in, I personally have never known a Saracens without Nigel at the helm, but is there any way back for him considering his bluff rejection of any guilt and now this whimper of acceptance.

Statement has been on the website since around 11 and an email was sent to season ticket holders.

Re: Going forward...
Sara'sman 18 November, 2019 18:11
derbyshire fan - thanks for your excellent post. I've wanted to contribute (something similar) to our discussion but am mightily sic of repeated criticism (and worse) by visitors who show little respect for our "home". (I understand fans anger but too many have a track record of attacking all things Sarries). I'll stay out other than to say that on the one occasion that I met Nigel my impression (and in general I'm no fan of the high energy, relentlessly positive, fortunate, wealthy type) matched yours exactly. He's made a big mistake, taken a huge amount of often vile abuse and has a tough job ahead. Stay with us please Nigel and build on the excellence you've built for rugby, for Sarries and for so many in the wider community.

I've just bought two tickets for the Bris and Wuss games and three for NWHL. There is too much excellence about our culture for a (very serious) error to dissuade me from supporting the team after watching our development on and off the pitch over nearly 50 years. Amidst some very fair criticism there is clearly also much envy that our club, starting with so little, has come so far.

Re: Going forward...
BlackheathSaracen 18 November, 2019 19:14
A day later and confirmation of the financial penalty and points sanction.

With a bit more information coming to light re the Co-investments not being initially declared my stance has changed to a degree. I find it far harder to accept that there was nothing untoward, at least in terms of breaching the spirit of the cap, as it seems to me that not running it past the SCM is covered by the loophole rule. Even if Wrays intentions were legitimate I think it's too charitable a reading to say that this was plain oversight. It leaves me conflicted with regard to Wray. Is it just me or does his public statement suggest he might step back somewhat?

Moving on unfortunately the reality is that above and beyond the infringements now accepted and punished there are still questions to be asked and answered and a system that looks unlikely to provide either. To me this lack of transparency is unacceptable but I'm not sure what can be done?

Having been found guilty and accepted that verdict I have some sympathy aswell with opposition who would like proof that we are currently in cap but again that is not something that the club needs to prove or the PRL can compel. Part of that reasoning probably because many of the clubs who operate near the cap will be on course to overspend at some time during the season and it's at the end of the season that the balanced figure is audited. I can see how that is unsatisfactory for many though.

With Saracens agreement could a PRL statement be made, if it is the case, that without the co-investments Sarries have been under the cap in previous seasons? If that is the case and could be done that would help a lot.

For the rest of it it will be a very tough season. Relegation is a real possibility and the club will need it's supporters more than ever. I guess we'll also see from the players how much it really is about the club and their culture and how much it is about the money.
A tough season ahead but I still feel privileged to support a great group of players and coaches.

Re: Going forward...
MGB 18 November, 2019 19:17
Quote:
Sara'sman
derbyshire fan - thanks for your excellent post. I've wanted to contribute (something similar) to our discussion but am mightily sic of repeated criticism (and worse) by visitors who show little respect for our "home". (I understand fans anger but too many have a track record of attacking all things Sarries). I'll stay out other than to say that on the one occasion that I met Nigel my impression (and in general I'm no fan of the high energy, relentlessly positive, fortunate, wealthy type) matched yours exactly. He's made a big mistake, taken a huge amount of often vile abuse and has a tough job ahead. Stay with us please Nigel and build on the excellence you've built for rugby, for Sarries and for so many in the wider community.
I've just bought two tickets for the Bris and Wuss games and three for NWHL. There is too much excellence about our culture for a (very serious) error to dissuade me from supporting the team after watching our development on and off the pitch over nearly 50 years. Amidst some very fair criticism there is clearly also much envy that our club, starting with so little, has come so far.

For what it's worth, my tuppence worth. I've been a supporter/season ticket holder since the Bramley Road days. During that time I've seen us lose to the likes of Harlequins knowing they poached some of our best players with off-book financial arrangements, I've watched Wasps bend the rules with uncontested scrums and refusing to play games on spurious grounds, I've seen Leicester cheating in cup finals and Martin Johnson's thugery on Robby Russell and others go virtually unpunished, not to mention bloodgate. Anyone 'visitors' coming on this board need to think on this before they criticize. None of this excuses what Saracens have done, but they have done so much right for the players and England that I am willing to cut them some slack. I will renew my season ticket and continue to support them through thick and thin in the same way I have done for the last 30+ years.

Re: Going forward...
Dolph42 18 November, 2019 20:17
Nigel leaving would be worse for the club than the points deduction and fine. The man bleeds Saracens and we should support him through this time. Everyone makes mistakes, we've been punished, we move on. Hopefully the fans see that as well and come out and support Nigel and the players/coaches.

I hope we push hard for first place in the GP, that will take relegation out of the equation and give us an outside shot at the EC next season, while allowing the players to prove we're still the best team in the country points deduction or not. This seasons EC was always going to be harder anyway given the different finishes to the RWC from Ireland, Scotland, France (to a lesser extent) and England.

Re: Going forward...
derbyshire fan 18 November, 2019 20:27
Well said Dolph

Re: Going forward...
hanuman 18 November, 2019 20:39
Saracens will play their way out of the relegation battle and stay in the premiership. After the Racing game their Championship defence is shaky and they need to decide which competition to focus on. The squad remains for this season but big question mark for next 2020/2021. No need for Wray to resign but boy do they need to be so squeaky clean in the future. Can see many players on the move.

Re: Going forward...
tigersince74 18 November, 2019 20:46
14.7 Individual responsibility for a false Certification

In the event of an overspend of the Senior Ceiling, where the Disciplinary Panel is of the
opinion that, on a balance of probabilities:

(a) the Club Recklessly, or Deliberately breached the Senior Ceiling; and

(b) any Chairman, CEO or Finance Director of a Club has signed a false Certification,

then the Salary Cap Manager shall notify the Board accordingly and the other Clubs may
resolve by special resolution that the director be removed from office, whereupon the relevant
Club will procure that the director immediately ceases to be a director of that Club and no Club
shall thereafter appoint that person as a director.

Re: Going forward...
Marlow Nick 18 November, 2019 21:04
Quote:
Sara'sman
He's made a big mistake ... a (very serious) error
Sara's man
Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Can I just check I've interpreted your statement correctly. Do you really believe this was a genuine error and that there was no intent to gain competitive advantage in breach of the agreed objectives of the cap?

Re: Going forward...
JL904 18 November, 2019 21:29
Quote:
Marlow Nick
Quote:
Sara'sman
He's made a big mistake ... a (very serious) error
Sara's man
Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Can I just check I've interpreted your statement correctly. Do you really believe this was a genuine error and that there was no intent to gain competitive advantage in breach of the agreed objectives of the cap?

Nick, I wouldn't presume to speak for Sara's man - but with respect, on principle you can't seriously expect an answer as to intent. None of us are mind readers.

On the pitch, the referee isn't expected to decide on intent where a tackler makes contact with an opponents head. Accidental, reckless or malicious ? Depends on whether the tackler or the player going for the HIA is on your side doesn't it ?

FWIW, I personally think that it was an error - not so much of procedure, but of judgement.

Rather than a deliberate attempt to gain *unfair* competitave advantage per se - I think he and his legal team were half-ar$ed in getting total clarification from the SCM as regards financial arrangements with playing staff. For all the good things Mr Wray has done over the past quarter of a century, that was pretty daft - to put it kindly.

Re: Going forward...
Static 18 November, 2019 22:29
First let me say that at the very least we have broken the spirit of the rules around the salary cap .

However, here is what still confuses me.

We didn't mean to break salary cap according to PRL and it was an Admin error. However, we had approx 600k in payments per year that took us over the cap, that seems odd to me.
I also note on the Beeb that we don't need to sell players and are within the salary cap this year. This was the article Beeb article on Saracens not to request a review

What goes through my head is:
Is the PRL spineless or why couldn't they state we broke the cap in their statement?
Does this mean it was because we failed to report the co-investments, and not that they are illegal by themselves?
Are we likely to be under investigation this year if we keep all players?

If as seems to be implied by the above, we should not be under a cloud this year, but we all know that will not be the case from other supporters. Then how many years would it be until we legitimately win a trophy again in opposition eyes?

Personally I don't believe NW should step down. Since the night of the long knives he has worked with a team to build a structure in the club that I think has done more than just the salaries, if Jim Hamilton and others are to be believed.

Re: Going forward...
Innings 19 November, 2019 00:07
It has been written in one paper that the Sarries England players have considered retiring en bloc from England rugby for a year to concentrate on the club's need for GP survival. If that canard gains traction the levels of comment on every website will be certain that the club has accounts for each of the players in every secretive tax haven that ever existed.



Innings

Points win matches: tries win hearts and minds.

Re: Going forward...
GerryK 19 November, 2019 08:13
It would be interesting to know how many of the squad that benefited from the co-investment would have left the club without it. I suspect none, Therefore it follows that the clubs record of success is untainted, especially as there is no suggestion that the club breached the actual salary cap.

Re: Going forward...
myleftboot 19 November, 2019 08:43
Quote:
DoubleChampions

Statement has been on the website since around 11 and an email was sent to season ticket holders.
I was looking on newsnow for it to pop up, thanks. Pretty underwhelming, and hard to tally up with the Facebook statement

Re: Going forward...
Marlow Nick 19 November, 2019 08:53
Quote:
GerryK
the clubs record of success is untainted, especially as there is no suggestion that the club breached the actual salary cap.

What?
£5.4m fine and 35 points deduction were the punishment for breaching the salary cap! What else do you think they are?

Re: Going forward...
SaintRich 19 November, 2019 08:57
Quote:
GerryK
It would be interesting to know how many of the squad that benefited from the co-investment would have left the club without it. I suspect none, Therefore it follows that the clubs record of success is untainted, especially as there is no suggestion that the club breached the actual salary cap.

This is really what grates on other supporters. It's just willful ignorance to claim that this financial doping has in no way benefited the team. The reason that Sarries can claim 'we stayed within the cap' is specifically as they targeted external methods of additional income for their players in an attempt to circumvent the rules. They were hardly going to be as flagrant as to simply declare they were paying in excess of the cap.

Have a little humility, accept and independent judgement has found the club guilty, that the club has accepted there is no point challenging the ruling and we can begin to move on as a game. This type of self-righteous drivel claiming that STILL there is nothing that has been done wrong does little to help you or your fellow supporters.

Re: Going forward...
#wolfpack 19 November, 2019 08:57
Talk of Wray leaving the club is madness. I totally accept he has done wrong and at the very best been arrogant and stupid, but the reality is that if he goes the club will collapse in months. It isn't a normal business - professional rugby clubs aren't sustainable. Only Exeter made a profit last year (£500k - hardly a mouthwatering return for the amount of money invested). Who is going to buy? Who is going to underwrite the debts?

Re: Going forward...
Gaz 19 November, 2019 09:22
Quote:
#wolfpack
Talk of Wray leaving the club is madness. I totally accept he has done wrong and at the very best been arrogant and stupid, but the reality is that if he goes the club will collapse in months. It isn't a normal business - professional rugby clubs aren't sustainable. Only Exeter made a profit last year (£500k - hardly a mouthwatering return for the amount of money invested). Who is going to buy? Who is going to underwrite the debts?

I think that concern cuts to the heart of the reasoning behind a salary cap in the first place. The idea of a salary cap was primarily to stop clubs from over-extending beyond their means in the early years of professionalism. That might mean that professional rugby remains a relatively modest business when compared to football, for example, but it would be sustainable. The fact that there is ability to spend in some clubs undermines that, and if those owners were to walk away there would be a painful period of adjustment. It is the same, albeit at a much smaller scale at my club. If Derek Richardson wasn't around, Wasps would be a lower league club.

Re: Going forward...
Chilham 19 November, 2019 09:33
Quote:
SaintRich
Quote:
GerryK
It would be interesting to know how many of the squad that benefited from the co-investment would have left the club without it. I suspect none, Therefore it follows that the clubs record of success is untainted, especially as there is no suggestion that the club breached the actual salary cap.

This is really what grates on other supporters. It's just willful ignorance to claim that this financial doping has in no way benefited the team. The reason that Sarries can claim 'we stayed within the cap' is specifically as they targeted external methods of additional income for their players in an attempt to circumvent the rules. They were hardly going to be as flagrant as to simply declare they were paying in excess of the cap.

Have a little humility, accept and independent judgement has found the club guilty, that the club has accepted there is no point challenging the ruling and we can begin to move on as a game. This type of self-righteous drivel claiming that STILL there is nothing that has been done wrong does little to help you or your fellow supporters.

Exactly.

Re: Going forward...
Marlovian 19 November, 2019 13:48
Given the strength of feeling of other supporters I would be very surprised if the majority shareholders of PRL (the other 12 clubs) do not take further action and take it soon. I expect further announcements over the next 2/3 weeks.

Re: Going forward...
LTigerFan 19 November, 2019 14:16
Quote:
GerryK
It would be interesting to know how many of the squad that benefited from the co-investment would have left the club without it. I suspect none, Therefore it follows that the clubs record of success is untainted
Some wouldn't have joined, some wouldn't have stayed. As a result also you would have been less successful and so less attractive to play for. And so on.

Quote:
GerryK
there is no suggestion that the club breached the actual salary cap.
OOooookay

Re: Going forward...
Bedlington Lad 19 November, 2019 14:44
For me the problem you have as a club is that there was an undisclosed settlement a number of years ago and now you've been found to have acted recklessly for the past three years.

This has in the eyes of, I imagine, a majority of other clubs supporters (including my own) jaundiced the success your club has had in recent times.

I do not honestly know how your club can overcome this stigma without a change of management at the top.

I appreciate this would be difficult given Mr. Wray's personal stake in the club but what confidence could other clubs have that he is not just looking at "alternative" ways of attracting top class players? Leopards do not generally change their spots.

I am not posting here to attempt to provoke or upset supporters, but I am curious about how you see the club moving forward.

Re: Going forward...
DaveyP1982 19 November, 2019 14:59
My personal feeling is that the so-called co-investments were more used as a tool to reduce the number of departures from the club - particularly the England players. As much as I think the club genuinely thinks about player welfare in that way it is ambiguous and this scenario was always a risk of such a strategy. I don't believe that the infrastructure and environment was the result of such a pay structure so I genuinely think that we would be winning the league without it. European Cup not so sure.

Frankly the Champions Cup is flooded with over spend and I'm not confident we could have battled in two major competitions without the larger squad. I do worry that English teams will now struggle to compete in the competition. I do understand that this is for legitimate reasons but England will pay the price for that one.

I do find the general acrimony towards Saracens both prior to the news and afterwards to be extremely frustrating. The culture, coaching and fitness at Saracens alongside the player development has helped build a successful England side. Tough to accept that some recognition of that is impossible.

I also think that some of the idiots on social media spouting rubbish about a lack of humility forget some of the fantastic and selfless work of the community. Yes other clubs are doing this but the club have been real champions of it and arguably built the foundations for other clubs to begin their involvement.

I think the short term impact of this will be minimal on the playing staff but I suspect it will be harder to keep the back bone of the England side together . We'll have to see how that effects individual performances and development. I have faith but there's little doubt that there are marquee places available in clubs with the money to spend.

I think another factor will be striking the balance between retaining faith with our squad and giving youngsters a chance / resting our internationals. We shouldn't forget the value of those opportunities to those young players. They need the game time and to know the club considers them the future.

Re: Going forward...
#wolfpack 19 November, 2019 15:11
Quote:
Bedlington Lad
For me the problem you have as a club is that there was an undisclosed settlement a number of years ago and now you've been found to have acted recklessly for the past three years.
This has in the eyes of, I imagine, a majority of other clubs supporters (including my own) jaundiced the success your club has had in recent times.

I do not honestly know how your club can overcome this stigma without a change of management at the top.

I appreciate this would be difficult given Mr. Wray's personal stake in the club but what confidence could other clubs have that he is not just looking at "alternative" ways of attracting top class players? Leopards do not generally change their spots.

I am not posting here to attempt to provoke or upset supporters, but I am curious about how you see the club moving forward.

I have say I understand where this is coming from.

We've said we're not going to need to release any players. If I was a supporter at another club I wouldn't be at all confident that we're all happy and compliant going forward if we have exactly the same squad.

Saying that - as I said above the club folds if Nigel leaves. It isn't really an option.

As such, I think to try and get credibility back at all I think we should publish all salaries, payments etc. Not sure how else we can show we're under cap in future with the same squad. Why would anyone just take our word?

Re: Going forward...
DaveyP1982 19 November, 2019 15:16
Quote:
#wolfpack
Why would anyone just take our word?
W
ould seem a reasonable request for the club to ask for the backing of Premier Rugby regarding the accounts at the end of the season? Perhaps some kind of announcement to highlight a working relationship. Ultimately Premiership Rugby have given all the other clubs the result they craved (except from certain quarters). I think they've earned the respect as arbitrators of the sport (Although I guess that was the reason for the kitchen sink approach)

Re: Going forward...
Saint For Life 19 November, 2019 16:41
Quote:
DaveyP1982
Quote:
#wolfpack
Why would anyone just take our word?
W
ould seem a reasonable request for the club to ask for the backing of Premier Rugby regarding the accounts at the end of the season? Perhaps some kind of announcement to highlight a working relationship. Ultimately Premiership Rugby have given all the other clubs the result they craved (except from certain quarters). I think they've earned the respect as arbitrators of the sport (Although I guess that was the reason for the kitchen sink approach)

Not sure clubs craved for such a result - I would suggest however given the seriousness of the issue other clubs and rugby probably deserved this result ? Similarly a kitchen sink approach would almost certainly have included automatic relegation , stripping of previous trophy’s etc - majority of rugby supporters probably think your club has got off fairly lightly ?
Best of luck rest of season .

Re: Going forward...
BlackheathSaracen 19 November, 2019 16:48
Quote:
derbyshire fan
Rupes- to suggest that Nigel Wray should now walk away and the other connected directors with him is just mad; of course a public company who had been through the same thing ‘should’ expect the chairman to fall on his sword - but that is where you have the separation of shareholders from directors. With Saracens, the shareholders ARE the directors (well, the shareholders are the Wray family).
I have had the good fortune to have had the chance to talk with Nigel on various occasions over the years, and I am entirely clear in my mind that he is an honourable man, focussed on doing good for rugby, for his players and for the community. And I am equally convinced he genuinely believed that the co-investment deals and loan arrangements with those entities were fair, at arms length and not against the cap. Clearly the panel concluded differently - and unless and until the detailed findings and underlying facts are published we can’t know whether the panel took a shade of grey and made it black, or whether we would all agree black was the colour.

Clearly there are significant bridges to be built with PRL and the other clubs - and that will clearly take a lot of time and a lot of effort (and maybe never be possible with one or two current chairmen/chief executives). But to suggest that the only way that can be done is for NIgel and other Premier Team directors to walk away from the club is disingenuous.

+1 well put.

Re: Going forward...
MarchingIn 19 November, 2019 17:34
As an opposing fan, I suspect Wray will stay, and as such, the miasma of cheating will cling to Saracens (it's not the first time) which some of you will hate. If he went, it would dissipate far more quickly, and so would your success, which some of you will hate. You aren't going to get a say in that either way, and one side will be disappointed either way, but I understand both viewpoints - neither is outrageous or illogical.

Re: Going forward...
BovvySarrie 19 November, 2019 18:12
PRL and other clubs may well try to stop NW being a director, but they can do nothing about his shareholding. He doesn't need to be a director to have influence, and I for one am very pleased this is the case.

It is quite simple. If you are a Sarries fan but cannot live with the "disgrace", go and support a nice clean club, if you can find one. If you decide you can deal with this and move on, shut up.

NW is Saracens. Without him it would have gone under years ago. I will continue my support, well aware that I (like ALL of you) have no idea of the facts and instead work on the principle that punishment, once suffered, means the issue is closed.

If you serve the sentence, then hold your head up high. You have paid the price. Do not listen to blather, especially when unenlightened, vindictive, small minded and self seeking. I assume some of you have never known anyone who has served time, but reading these comments apparently they will be a pariah for the rest of their days.

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