Latest news:

Welcome to the Newcastle Falcons Fans Forum

This forum is for all Falcons' fans, and is independent of the both the club and the supporters association. If you have something to say about Newcastle Falcons this is the place to say it. However please keep it clean and non abusive, and respect the other users of this board!

While the editors of this site monitor the board, they are not responsible for the content of the postings. Any concerns, complaints etc., should be emailed to Sportnetwork. If you want to spam, please go,elsewhere any spamming will be deleted.

*****

SEASON CANCELLED - DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

RESULT:Friday 13th March Newcastle Falcons 41 v 0 Bedford Blues League Championship


Cheaters payments revealed
Discussion started by trummy200 , 22 January, 2020 22:42
Cheaters payments revealed
trummy200 22 January, 2020 22:42

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
dick g 23 January, 2020 09:07
At last something approaching the facts if not the truth (And they are not the same) is available. Lord Dyson concluded that Wray and Co did not deliberately plan to subvert the salary cap. But, of course, the offence is in the outcome not the intent.

And that is quite clear. The cap was subverted. Dyson also felt that relegation would be too great a penalty. PRL agreed and so initially imposed a minimal penalty.

But when it became clear that Sarries could/would not comply with the cap this season PRL imposed, as is allowed, a further penalty which makes relegation inevitable.

For me, one if the crucial points is that Sarries chose relegation rather than a further examinaton of its financial affairs. That's a "fair cop" admission.

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Gray_Lensman 23 January, 2020 10:11
Saracens' feeble reason for not wanting to open the books is that every other club should do the same thing. Remind me again which club broke the rules over several seasons and lied about it? And for some inexplicable reason they weren't trusted any more. Taking relegation instead tells you all you need to know.

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
steve1888 23 January, 2020 11:16
Surely all clubs should open the books anyway if the cap is actually audited at all ?

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
A tramp abroad 23 January, 2020 11:33
[quote dick g] Lord Dyson concluded that Wray and Co did not deliberately plan to subvert the salary cap.

Astonishing!

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Barry555 23 January, 2020 11:48
I don’t believe this to be as bad as a lot of people were expecting me included. You can say it wasn’t deliberate but they found ways to pay players at their club more money.

The 35 point deduction was due to previous seasons breaches which was recommended to be 70 points which would have lead to relegation anyway.

Think this outcome was inevitable. And I still think there’s more to this tho..... and there will be other clubs worried about what might come out about them!

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Falc Dancer 23 January, 2020 13:31
If there’s nothing left to hide why not allow their books to be audited and stay in the league?
More to it than meets the eye

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Barry555 23 January, 2020 15:12
I agree Falc Dancer. Clubs should be audited every season regarding the salary cap if not already done so.

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Exiled Falcon 23 January, 2020 16:23
I’m not a Saracens apologist however the hang ‘em high mob and general glee expressed by people on this forum and others have been a little over the top. However, they have cheated and been caught so punishment needed to be administered.

Two things about the Sky thing linked to above stand out to me, well three actually....

1) Lord Dyson says basically there was no intention to deliberately cheat, as such, are they really the demons many a poster make out to be? It was unintentional after all, or am I missing something.

2) Yeah there were two bumper seasons but one was only £90k, that is pretty insignificant in all honesty, certainly not enough to change the outcome of that season.

3) Why did Lord Dyson not want them relegated, did he think they hadn’t cheated but rather simply made an error?

Unless of course I’m really reading this and totally misinterpreting what’s being said.

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
matt1il 23 January, 2020 16:52
Quote:
Exiled Falcon
1) Lord Dyson says basically there was no intention to deliberately cheat, as such, are they really the demons many a poster make out to be? It was unintentional after all, or am I missing something.

Very much an interpretation, which is an issue with the rules as they are.

2 examples, how can you know if they meant to overvalue Itoje's image rights or if Wray's daughter paid him for hospitality that he never planned to do or just did happen to?

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Barry555 23 January, 2020 17:05
I believe because it was from Mr Wrays daughters company and it was 3 x 30k payments this was deemed as salary. And according to Flatman on Twitter Itoje did make the commercial visits.

All very complicated. I bet there are a few clubs that have paid players in similar ways. Fact that Saracens do not wish to be forensically audited for this season and other seasons shows they’ll be many other cases of this type of payment through co-investments etc that would breach the salary cap hence Saracens accepting relegation.

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
dick g 23 January, 2020 19:37
All of this reminds me of the old (sh)amateur era when while players were not paid for playing, jobs - with no questions asked about days off - were provided along with homes, cars etc. Oh, and money stuffed into boots in the changing room. This was supposed to have ended with open professionalism.

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Leipziger 23 January, 2020 20:21
Quote:
dick g
All of this reminds me of the old (sh)amateur era when while players were not paid for playing, jobs - with no questions asked about days off - were provided along with homes, cars etc. Oh, and money stuffed into boots in the changing room. This was supposed to have ended with open professionalism.

My favourite story was a club (no idea who) providing all-you-can-drink to the first team. Which probably cost more than paying salaries would have :-)

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Exiled Falcon 23 January, 2020 20:27
Quote:
dick g
All of this reminds me of the old (sh)amateur era when while players were not paid for playing, jobs - with no questions asked about days off - were provided along with homes, cars etc. Oh, and money stuffed into boots in the changing room. This was supposed to have ended with open professionalism.

I seem to remember in the days soon before shamateurism finsished two guys moving from West Hartlepool to Quins; from memory they were both farmers but they went to Quins to work in the City. Fun times!

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Robs 23 January, 2020 20:43
Quote:
dick g
All of this reminds me of the old (sh)amateur era when while players were not paid for playing, jobs - with no questions asked about days off - were provided along with homes, cars etc. Oh, and money stuffed into boots in the changing room. This was supposed to have ended with open professionalism.

Aye
Spearheaded by two clubs on opposite sides of the old A1 north of Newcastle

Nothing's really changed has it?
"ambitious" Clubs buying success!!

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Monkey1 24 January, 2020 07:36
Quote:
Robs
Aye
Spearheaded by two clubs on opposite sides of the old A1 north of Newcastle

Nothing's really changed has it?
"ambitious" Clubs buying success!!

I think that might be a bit harsh. The big boys were stuffing money into boots a long time before professionalism. When the game went pro, John Hall hit the ground running & did a wee stint of willy waving in the chaos before he got bored with it, but I haven't heard any suggestions that the boys at Gosforth & Northern were coining it before then.

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
dick g 24 January, 2020 07:43
Quote:
Monkey1
Quote:
Robs
Aye
Spearheaded by two clubs on opposite sides of the old A1 north of Newcastle

Nothing's really changed has it?
"ambitious" Clubs buying success!!

I think that might be a bit harsh. The big boys were stuffing money into boots a long time before professionalism. When the game went pro, John Hall hit the ground running & did a wee stint of willy waving in the chaos before he got bored with it, but I haven't heard any suggestions that the boys at Gosforth & Northern were coining it before then.

Back in the day, I couldn't workout why so many rugby players wanted to live in the Souh West or East Midlands. Must have been the weather......

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Monkey1 24 January, 2020 07:44
I just had a quick read of the Sky News article, and no wonder Sarries decided to face the firing squad rather than allow their books to be audited. Overspent by £98,000 my shiny @rse. I did a back of an envelope totting up a couple of seasons ago, and there is no way they could have put that squad together for less than about £10m. I can only assume that this report that shows no wrong doing by the sainted ones at Sarries, just honest mistakes, is based only upon the stuff that Sarries fessed up to. All the stuff that someone could now go digging for, armed with the 'huge dossier' to guide them, will be passed to Fred the Shred.

In many ways the whole thing stinks more now than it did yesterday.

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Bedlington Lad 24 January, 2020 08:00
Quote:
Monkey1
I just had a quick read of the Sky News article, and no wonder Sarries decided to face the firing squad rather than allow their books to be audited. Overspent by £98,000 my shiny @rse. I did a back of an envelope totting up a couple of seasons ago, and there is no way they could have put that squad together for less than about £10m. I can only assume that this report that shows no wrong doing by the sainted ones at Sarries, just honest mistakes, is based only upon the stuff that Sarries fessed up to. All the stuff that someone could now go digging for, armed with the 'huge dossier' to guide them, will be passed to Fred the Shred.
In many ways the whole thing stinks more now than it did yesterday.

I quite agree Monkey. These people are not fools IMHO they knew exactly what they were doing and I imagine as time goes by the dossier details will appear. Wray's "Mea Culpa Mea Culpa" may have satisfied some of the cheats fans who feel hard done to but i imagine a lot are totally cheesed off with the whole business

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Bedlington Lad 24 January, 2020 08:07
Richard Cranmer, the managing partner of Front Row Legal : “What Saracens did was a form of cheating and they compounded it by not sticking up their hand after a high-powered panel headed by one of the most senior legal figures in the country, and one of its best brains, found it to be guilty. Had they admitted they had broken the regulations and asked for help because they were going to be outside the cap again this season, they may have been treated sympathetically. Instead, they invited contempt and the outcome will be the break-up of a squad and several seasons of rebuilding. Those running the club at the time are responsible and they have let down not only Saracens’ players and supporters, but the game itself.”

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Bedlington Lad 24 January, 2020 09:17
Over on the Saints forum;

Quote:
St. Andy
May I say I have no contacts, no inside information, but I was in the police force for 17 years, most of it as a detective and often worked closely with the forces commercial fraud department, so this may give me a certain angle.
At the moment, especially on the Saracens board, they are, understandably looking for any little nugget to mitigate the case for the defence. I especially feel for the old time fans, who have done no wrong and wish them the best. But what they and some of us are looking at is the minutiae of the case, we are maybe failing to see the wood for the trees.

This sort of case is by no means unique in life in general, or sport in general but is probably the worst of its kind in rugby. It is about people, and one man in particulars hubris and arrogance, it is about money, it is about deceit. And in my view is not about this year, or the last three years, or even the last ten. It goes back to the last century. Also, like many cases it is not so much the crime that is seen as so heinous it is the continual cover up, with only anything actually being admitted once the evidence is overwhelming and not a hint of real contrition or apology to all the thousands of fans, employees and players of other clubs whose time, money, glory and medals they have stolen

Mr. Nigel Wray is not remembered fondly by Nottingham Forest Football fans, he had money, but wanted to be the sportsman who was parading around the pitch with the big silver cup. Unfortunately, money cannot buy you sporting talent for yourself, so the only way is to get others to do it for you. Mr. Wray realised, that even with his large wealth, the way football was going this was never going to be nearly enough to compete with the billionaires on the way. And he was right.

Rugby on the other hand was in its professional infancy and very much finding its feet. In the first instance I think there may have been a genuine attempt to grow the club and the fan base, with the free tickets, gimmicks and matches at Wembley. "If you build it they will come", but they didn't.

I remember us all being told that the astronomic losses were temporary and the club planned to at least break even within a few years. Eventually that message stopped and the South Africans had arrived complete with riches beyond the dreams of avarice. This I believe is where the rot really set in.

In spite of all the money. it could not be spent because of the salary cap, but that cap was only voted in by a slender majority, Mr Wray had to sign up to it and looked the other owners and stakeholders in the eye and lied to their faces, it looked like it was not taken particularly seriously by a number of clubs anyway. Saracens however were the ones who pushed it the most, with a myriad of South African stars gracing their team. And so the period of domination began, rumours abounded about monies and property being paid in South Africa.

The Saffacens era eventually evolved, into hoovering up UK and especially English talent and an academy which was excellent, although not quite as excellent as they would have us believe because it has been allowed to operate in a way that would have been impossible if abiding by the cap. This was a good plan because not only were the best English players playing for Saracens, they weren't playing for anyone else in the Premiership. It became increasingly suspicious that every other club would have to lose star players to stay within the cap, but Saracens never did in fact it was often Saracens they would go to. It was then the spin machine had to click into gear, it was about the academy, it was about the facilities, it was about the medical care, it was about the creche, it was about the bonding trips, the brotherhood, the wolfpack. The only thing it was never about was the money. And every signing, had the tagline attached "There is something special was happening at Saracens." Well at least that bit was true.

To keep the whole thing rolling on they managed to get one and then two marquee players outwith the cap. They could snap up a couple of players others could not afford, pay them what you like, thereby tilting the balance but it was not enough.

The deception was now in full swing the trophies were flooding in, but that was still not enough, now it was time to really rub our noses in it. From a Saints point of view, who can forget the free beer tent and the march en mass to the stadium. The loud singing of "their" song in the dressing rooms. In the stands, waving their free flags singing as "When the Saints go marching home," after yet another drubbing. Away from home, the lack of grace by putting a 2014 league champions sign up when they had lost the final, and the guard of honour with children in arms BEFORE the match.

Meanwhile me and I am sure many other fans across the country, would year after year scan down the team sheet and especially the replacements and ask ourselves, how do they actually, really afford all this lot and be under the cap.

And so it went on and progressed from domestic to European domination and matches in the USA.

This brings us to three years ago and it would seem the other clubs, who obviously knew more than they would ever let on to the ordinary supporter, decided this could not be allowed to continue, but because a couple of other clubs had breached the cap by a small amount, it was decided that a fine would be paid, a line drawn and the whole thing brushed under the carpet. Again Mr. Wray looked them all in the eye and agreed.

He knew though that to comply in future he would have to reduce his squad, less cups perhaps, less lovely photos of him and his team on the pitch with the big silver cup. "Can't have that, we'll do what we did last time and find a way round it." But this time it was supercharged, it would seem schemes were hatched and lot of money paid to lawyers for opinions. But opinions are exactly that, and different lawyers have different opinions. So instead of taking the schemes to the league to get them signed off or not, he ran with it and the salary cap breach sky rocketed. The likes of Saints were being thrashed by 50 or 60 points every time we played them. Enough was finally enough and an independent inquiry has been done. Of course by this time, it seems the South Africans had seen the writing on the wall and perhaps that Mr. Wray had become a loose cannon and left the scene.

Now it is perfectly fair to argue that the results of this inquiry have been handled badly with diplomatic language used, redactions and the thing coming out piecemeal, revealing slowly a picture emerging. That said it is clear Saracens have no way of getting below the cap this season and thus if they could make up the 35 penalty, with an illegal squad then the result would be an innocent club relegated. This would have been unacceptable. But even then they could've taken the forensic audit option, so I suspect they know that what that would reveal would damn them to relegation anyway. But before this we once again got the old lines about the academy, and perhaps the most sickening of all, the co-investments "looking after players futures." But it emerges not the marquee players futures, can pay them as much you like anyway, not the fringe players futures. No, only the ones we need to make it look we are paying less, to keep them and stay under the cap.

And so to the future, it seems that the RFU are bending over backwards for the Saracens players, Farrell is on about staying on, fine what about the others? The problem now is Saracens RFC need to cut all ties with Nigel Wray to come back with any integrity at all, but without his money they are a complete basket case, nobody is going to want to back them and the sponsors are already decamping. The brand is toxic. How then are they going to pay these players, even the vastly reduced amounts that they would need to to get under the cap? They certainly dont have the fan base to do it.

So the sorry saga draws to a conclusion, where nobody comes out with much credit. So I think the words of the character Valery Lugasov, who was the nuclear scientist who carried out the Soviet investigation into the Chernobyl. And no I am not saying the two are comparable but the words from the TV series where he told the truth and thereby damned himself to exile until his later suicide, are apt:

"Our secrets and our lies, they are practically what define us, when the truth offends we lie and lie until we can hardly remember that it is even there. But it is still there. Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth, sooner or later that debt is paid."

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Falcona 24 January, 2020 10:03
What an excellent summary of the whole affair by St.Andy

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
trummy200 24 January, 2020 10:06
Some post that!

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
A tramp abroad 24 January, 2020 10:21
Outstanding post!

Re: Cheaters payments revealed
Monkey1 24 January, 2020 11:25
A superbly written history, that unlike the hogwash of this report we have all been waiting for, actually rings true and fits the picture that we have seen week after week, year after year.


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing abuse@sportnetwork.net