Saracens to accept penalties for salary cap breaches

Saracens to make dramatic u-turn and accept £5.4m fine and 35-point deduction for salary cap breaches

  • Saracens given £5.4million fine and 35-point deduction for salary cap breaches
  • Initially club had made it clear that they wanted to ask for review of the decision  
  • They are set to accept the punishments ahead of Monday deadline to review

Saracens are set to accept the 35-point penalty and £5.4m fine for a breach of the salary cap, having reportedly made a dramatic u-turn in the last few days on whether they will review the judgment.

The club had been forthright this week that they would challenge the independent panel’s unprecedented sanctions, in the face of suggestions from director of rugby Mark McCall on Wednesday that there was still a decision to be made.

Yet it appears that they have now opted not to seek a review ahead of Monday’s deadline to do so, according to reports in the Sunday Times.

Saracens were given £5.4million fine and 35-point deduction over breaches of salary cap rules

Some club chairmen had opted not to speak pending any review, so if the sanctions are now accepted it could open the floodgates for yet more criticism and fallout than has already come in the last two weeks.

Saracens did not share any such decision with strategic communications firm FTI Consulting, despite hiring the City-based company to help navigate the salary cap scandal.

Indeed, when the reports emerged that the club would not be reviewing, representatives of the company were unable to comment.

Owner Nigel Wray had initially claimed club would ask for a review but this now seems unlikely

Saracens had responded to the decision of the QC-led panel by describing the sanctions as ‘heavy-handed’, and both the club and owner Nigel Wray issued statements saying that they would be ‘appealing’.

However, the scope for any such challenge is limited, and is strictly a review rather than an appeal, meaning that the evidence is not pored over for a second time.

Within the regulations, a review ‘can only be on the basis that there has been an error of law, the decision is irrational or that there has been some procedural unfairness’.

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