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Saracens docked points and £5.36m fine!!
Discussion started by centrethere (IP Logged), 05 November, 2019 11:20
centrethere
centrethere
05 November, 2019 11:20
[www.bbc.co.uk]

35 points



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/11/2019 12:46 by Faithful_City.

centrethere
centrethere
05 November, 2019 11:22
[www.premiershiprugby.com]

They are now on minus 26!

ROLLO on tour
ROLLO
05 November, 2019 11:45
I have little sympathy for the owner but do with the supporters.

WarwickEastie
WarwickEastie
05 November, 2019 12:19
Wow - I wasn't expecting that!

I wonder if it will stick after the inevitable appeal....

I wonder whether any other clubs are sitting a little less easily after that ruling?

WE

MESSAGES->author
Faithful_City
05 November, 2019 12:43
They will still end up 8th/9th or even higher

Does it also mean they have to stop the illegal activity and therefore drop the salaries of certain high profile players??

JP

MESSAGES->author
Faithful_City
05 November, 2019 12:47
Centerthere, just edited your title to show the fine as well. I hope that is OK?

John

ephil
ephil
05 November, 2019 12:49
Club Statement from Wuss

Better be squeaky clean making that kind of statement!

MESSAGES->author
Faithful_City
05 November, 2019 13:09
Press releases updated

Saracens Punishment Club Statement.

JP

TVM Rides Again....Again
TVM Rides Again
05 November, 2019 13:16
Quote:
ROLLO
I have little sympathy for the owner but do with the supporters.

I can't decide. They didn't ask for it, and didn't directly do it.

However, with the other 11 clubs were asking questions, so there must have been a certain amount of looking the other way whilst enjoying the fruits of the position....

Whether or not I sympathise is hardly important mind!

centrethere
centrethere
05 November, 2019 14:04
OK, saw the fine as well, but for a wealthy club, the impact towards us for example is probably not that large.

What I was trying to work out - who benefits most?
- those near the top of the table with less competition? or
- those near the bottom who have someone below them, but at the end of the season may be competing against them to avoid bottom slot?

MESSAGES->author
Faithful_City
05 November, 2019 14:06
I think the clubs that are on the edge of European Cup qualification as 1 more of them will make the cut and get a nice little earner.

JP

Sheldon
Sheldon
05 November, 2019 14:30
I suspect they will end up cutting a deal and both sanctions will be reduced but they will have to jettison half a dozen players to keep within the cap. I would like Itoje.

I doubt we can be anywhere near the cap having released Teo, Adams, Heem, Potgeiter, Singleton etc .

AJWarriors
AJWarriors
05 November, 2019 14:35
Apparently we have spent up to the cap. We have a lot of players off contract this year though so could maybe get a player or two. Get Jack back

centrethere
centrethere
05 November, 2019 15:18
Didn't last long - they are back in 4th place already

[www.premiershiprugby.com]

Got to laugh

TVM Rides Again....Again
TVM Rides Again
05 November, 2019 15:44
That's because there won't be enforcement until post appeal.

I can see Saracens taking this to the High Court if they can and the eppeal fails. The entire future of their financial model - and how they succeed - depnds on it.

Sheldon
Sheldon
05 November, 2019 15:49
AJW my logic is that if we were under the salary cap last year ( and I believe we were) then given the outs look likely to be paid far more than the ins both because of the number and quality of the players then we must be even more under this year. The phrase "up to" can in my view include zero.

Asum Warrior
Asum Warrior
05 November, 2019 20:10
So if they lose their appeal do they forfeit points gained during the process if it is confirmed they are operating with an "illegal" squad ?

Guess not

w4rriorz1980
w4rriorz1980
05 November, 2019 20:54
If Sarries fail with all the conventional domestic appeals they could take it to the CAS.

( Court of Abritration for Sport )



Eats,Shoots And Leaves

MESSAGES->author
Fiver
06 November, 2019 08:31
From the rules I've read regarding the cap, it was such a clear breach you don't even need crayons to prove it. The sanctions written into the rules are also very clear. As such, the points deduction and fine are exactly what is written in the rules.

What would be the point of having these rules if, once breached, you then don't apply them?

To me, this is no different to an athlete taking EPO or a cyclist sticking a motor in their bike frame.

If the sanctions get reduced then it turns the whole league into a house of cards, where effectively you can just do as you please as long as you can afford it. The key for me is that the old boy network seems to have turned on Sarries, hence the very public statement from Warriors.

TVM Rides Again....Again
TVM Rides Again
06 November, 2019 08:33
Quote:
w4rriorz1980
If Sarries fail with all the conventional domestic appeals they could take it to the CAS.
( Court of Abritration for Sport )

Fair enough.

They'll do that then!

MESSAGES->author
Faithful_City
06 November, 2019 09:11
Wouldn't we all if there is a chance to prove you have not broken(maybe bent) any rules.

If they win their appeal watch out the cost of wages at every club. The Premiership cannot afford to lose this case, they could have inadvertently opened Pandora's box. There's still hope.

JP

MESSAGES->author
Grasshopper
06 November, 2019 13:09
Surely the Sarries players - and their agents and financial advisers - can't be "Squeaky Clean" in all this?

MESSAGES->author
Faithful_City
06 November, 2019 14:28
Quote:
Chris Robshaw

https://d3gbf3ykm8gp5c.cloudfront.net/content/uploads/2019/11/06140937/Chris-Robshaw-for-Harlequins-PA.jpg


Harlequins captain and flanker Chris Robshaw has declared the pinnacle of English rugby “illegal” and accused Saracens of cheating after they were punished for breaches of salary cap regulations.

Saracens were handed a 35-point deduction in this season’s Premiership and fined more than £5million on Tuesday.

The European champions risked another financial penalty on Wednesday by failing to turn up for the 2019-20 season launch of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup in Cardiff.

Former England skipper Robshaw was scathing of his criticism of Saracens, saying the London club had dragged rugby union’s reputation through the mud.

“It’s not great, the game we love is in the world eye and the pinnacle of English rugby is illegal,” said Robshaw.

“I think it puts our sport in a very dangerous place.

“We’re a sport that claims to be whiter than white, and we always look down on football, we look down on this and that and say how it is but we are like everyone else.

“This is cheating to a certain extent and it’s not a good situation for our sport to be in.

“Whether it’s them (Saracens) or someone else, it’s not a thing we pride ourselves on.

“As a sport, we have got to take the damage that comes with that now and I’m sure it will be like that for a while.

“It will not be easy for our sport to move forward, we have got some damage control to do.”

In 2015, Saracens were one of two clubs who reached confidential agreements with Premiership Rugby Limited – the league’s governing body – over salary cap issues.

The league was accused at the time of turning a blind eye to any misdemeanours and wrote the slate clean to the dismay of some clubs.

So, while Saracens have been under scrutiny for some time over their management of the cap, the latest findings only apply to the last three seasons and do not take into account the investigation of 2015.

“It’s one of those things that have been spoken about for a long time among players and the wider public,” Robshaw added.

“When you look at their squad, it’s a pretty big squad of international players and I think you don’t have to be a genius to work some of these figures out.

“It looks like it’s started to be dealt with (by Premiership Rugby Limited). Is it finished? I don’t know, but hopefully it’s going in the right direction and we can get back to a level playing field where we want to compete because that’s what the salary cap is about.

“It’s making sure everyone has a chance, everyone has the same level of funding, can compete and we have a competitive league.”

at the bottom of the article is a Video interview

Video Interview Chris Robson

JP



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2019 14:29 by Faithful_City.

Ronster
Drahm for England
06 November, 2019 15:04
While I agree with Robshaw that it is tantamount to cheating, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't he at Quins during Bloodgate? Stones and glass houses and all...

Poking With Sticks
Poking With Sticks
06 November, 2019 17:43
Robshaw was at Quins at that time but I don't think that exempts him from stating his view on this. I mean...I doubt he was the instigator of Bloodgate.

w4rriorz1980
w4rriorz1980
06 November, 2019 17:54
Remember Sarrirs aren't appealing the punishment.They've accepted they've done wrong.

They're appealing the severity of the punishment.



Eats,Shoots And Leaves

Malvernman
Malvernman
06 November, 2019 18:26
I think Sarries are appealing the findings as well as the punishment. Their press statement challenges the finding that co- ventures with players count towards the cap.

centrethere
centrethere
06 November, 2019 19:51
Expect the punishment then a change in the rules to allow external income, once legal cases start flying

Malvernman
Malvernman
06 November, 2019 20:25
Have had a quick look at the Salary Cap Rules - 114 pages of them! Although a retired solicitor, the following are more observations than a proper legal opinion.
1. The 35 points deduction is the maximum allowed and can only be imposed when a club has breached the salary cap of £7m by £650k or more. So Sarries’ infringement is at the least £650k - hardly marginal. Of course it could be much more....
2. A club is “taxed” for overrunning the cap by £350k or more by having to pay at the rate of £3 for every £1 over. I have seen no mention of this. But this may be included in 3. below?
3. A fine of £5.3m was awarded. A fine may only be imposed if a club has recklessly or deliberately exceeded the cap. So it has been judged a blatant offence.
4. I can see no power in the Salary Cap Regs to relegate a club, which Exeter have asked for. However, such a power may exist elsewhere in the Prem legal framework? I don’t know.
5. There is a power to reduce an offending Club’s salary cap. I have not read anything to suggest this has been done.
6. The Regs are very detailed and cover not just the Club but connected parties -eg shareholders. They cover any payment or benefit in kind which a player would not have received if not for his involvement with the Club. Would Mr Wray have ever gone into an investment business with Billy Vunipola had the latter not been playing for Sarries? I think not!
7. The offence is in respect of the past three seasons. I am not clear what this means for this season - see eg 5. above. Presumably Sarries must reduce their salary pool to come under their cap. But if eg this meant making players redundant, I think redundancy payments count towards the cap!
8. Might other clubs sue Sarries for losses? Eg the club next in line for a Europe place. This might be difficult. How can anyone know what a result might have been in circumstances where Sarries were in compliance. Yet there is litigation afoot in the Football Championship along these lines.
All very interesting!

centrethere
centrethere
06 November, 2019 21:28
A bit long MM,

But point 7 - redundancy payments? These are pay out clauses in contracts for whatever reason - are these really included - not sure? -could be for injury or other reason.

Got a feeling that if there's a punishment then new rules (which are likely) will grudgingly have to be accepted - this is the start of the beginning - has trying to stop commercial image or other income rights in sports worked anywhere else. Its coming.
(agree in a closed shop - can't go alone, but inevitably those shop rules will be updated once in a while)

Malvernman
Malvernman
06 November, 2019 22:26
Yes sorry centrethere it was long but it’s complex!

I can confirm redundancy payments do count. Schedule 1 para 1(q)!

TVM Rides Again....Again
TVM Rides Again
07 November, 2019 08:35
Quote:
Malvernman
n offending Club’s salary cap. I have not read anything to suggest this has been done.
6. The Regs are very detailed and cover not just the Club but connected parties -eg shareholders. They cover any payment or benefit in kind which a player would not have received if not for his involvement with the Club. Would Mr Wray have ever gone into an investment business with Billy Vunipola had the latter not been playing for Sarries? I think not!
7

This is - probably - going to be the fulcrum that the whole thing pivots on.

In laymans terms, MalvernMan, as all Malvern folk are wont, is 100% correct. Nigel Wray wouldn't be in the business with them if they weren't playing rugby for him.

However - the difference (as MalvernMan will also be well aware) between court standard evidential proof, and 'everyone knows' is night and day.

The first thing is that it won't require proof, and likely just a 'balance of probabilities' finding.

However, I would suggest (perhaps incorrectly) that they key could be the direction of the burden of evidence. Namely - is it up to Premiership Rugby to demonstrate he would not have otherwise done it, or up to Saracens to demonstrate he would?

MESSAGES->author
Faithful_City
07 November, 2019 09:08
he info and the discussion.

I would guess that the burden of proof will be on the appellant (Saracens not the owner, the club) to "disprove" the decision taken by Premiership Rugby.

I am no legal mind and probably quite naive.

JP


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