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Saracens Finances Revealed
Discussion started by Ajax Treesdown , 22 January, 2020 22:45
Saracens Finances Revealed
Ajax Treesdown 22 January, 2020 22:45

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
Nick4219 23 January, 2020 07:34
So, this report seems to suggest this is just a series of unfortunate and not deliberate mistakes.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Very shady how Nigel Wray has financially gotten in to bed with current and former Saracens players and used ďindependentĒ commercial companies owned by his daughter to pay lump sums of cash over 3 years to Itoje who did nothing other than play for the club in one proved breach of the cap.

£1.1million 16/17
£98k 17/18
£908k 18/19

19/20 unknown as Saracens wonít submit to an audit as they think itís unfair the other Premiership clubs arenít having the same done to them.

Hopefully the full report will show a bit more than just what Sky sports has leaked.

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
GHA 23 January, 2020 08:54
Quote:
Nick4219
£1.1million 16/17
£98k 17/18
£908k 18/19

19/20 unknown as Saracens wonít submit to an audit as they think itís unfair the other Premiership clubs arenít having the same done to them.

Not the approach a club with nothing to hide would take. Other Premiership clubs aren't having the same done to them as they weren't £2 million over the cap for the previous three seasons.

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
Gray_Lensman 23 January, 2020 11:31
Do you think it is possible that the variation in the amounts in those seasons is down to the contract cycle at Saracens?

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
Nick4219 23 January, 2020 11:49
Quote:
Gray_Lensman
Do you think it is possible that the variation in the amounts in those seasons is down to the contract cycle at Saracens?

Who knows until the full report is released. They seem to be attributing £800k just to Maro Itojeís imaging rights plus 3 separate payments of £30k every year for hospitality events that he did not attend. He was also on below average pay to keep under the cap (why when he has been outstanding he could have demanded top whack).

Interest free loans to the Vunipolaís for house purchases and renovation costs. Loans to others as well for house purchases.

Just all very dodgy IMHO and the management was either completely incompetent or has hidden some very serious circumvention of the cap rules behind it.

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
Gray_Lensman 23 January, 2020 12:23
From the new Saracens' chairman

Quote:
Prior to my time here, there were discussions with PRL in relation to conducting a mid season audit spanning several seasons ó you will have seen references to that in the press. These discussions continued last week after my appointment.

It would be fair to say that other PRL stakeholders were sceptical about our compliance with such an audit.

We carefully considered the option of a full investigatory audit. However, that inevitably would have involved a long period of more financial and emotional strain and this in turn meant this was not a viable option for us. We therefore agreed with PRL on relegation in the hope that we could draw a line under the mistakes made by Saracens with respect to compliance with the regulations and concentrate on putting our new robust procedures in place.

So, willing to accept the financial and emotional strain of accepting relegation in order to avoid the financial and emotional strain of being audited.

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
Shawshank 23 January, 2020 17:31

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
Nick4219 23 January, 2020 17:57
Quote:
Shawshank
Full Report

Iíve got to page 23 so far. Saracens failed to provide documents to
the salary cap manger as per the regulations. Mr Velaniís statement was copied and pasted version of Ed Griffiths statement and was deemed not knowing enough to assist Saracens defence.

Saracens board members argued that the cap broke competition law, the ďexpert witnessĒ they used did not provide any evidence of an in depth knowledge of English rugby union and all of the board contradicted this argument by agreeing that there should be some form of salary cap.

Pretty damning so far!

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
Ecksile 23 January, 2020 21:04
Canít help but feel that the only thing Wray / Saracens are sorry about is the fact that they were caught cheating and not sorry for the manner they went about it.

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
Derby Irish Fan 23 January, 2020 21:40
it is interesting to read the sarries message board as it seems there are more wriggling that a worm on a hook.
It amazes me that there is so much blinkered comments as if it's a conspiracy of Trump proportions .

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
Ecksile 23 January, 2020 22:59
Shamelessly copied from St. Andy on the Saints board - excellent

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: Saracens Finances Revealed
bigbitty 24 January, 2020 06:18
It is indeed an excellent summary, and dissection, of Saracens.

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
GHA 24 January, 2020 08:06
+1

(as they also like to say on the Saracens message board)

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
AnotherPhil 24 January, 2020 13:01
So, having looked through that report, it's not surprising that the cap is difficult to enforce. Trying to say that purchasing a house through a company is something that was always going to be suspect. Trying to put a monetary value onto that and other breaches to attribute to any particular salary cap year seems like a thankless task. Taking into account the increase in value of houses and the benefit in kind of an option to purchase at a set price, calculating the value of a loan in any particular year, estimating the value of image rights and whether it pertains to a somebody as a sportsman, or specifically as a Saracens player.

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
JamesC 24 January, 2020 22:33
Top read - thanks, Ecksile.

Re: Saracens Finances Revealed
waltham 27 January, 2020 12:06
So much better than Stephen Jones' article in yesterday's Sunday Times.. and much more as I remember things moving over the years..


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