Skip to main content

31st January 2020

Scandal at Sarries

Anthony Hayward delves into the turmoil at Saracens
Scandal at Sarries
Photo: hirobi @Pixabay

This week Saracens, the Premiership Rugby heavyweight, were docked a further 70 points to the 35 they were deduced in November for salary cap breaches over the past three seasons. This has guaranteed that the club will finish bottom of the league as well as being relegated to the RFU Championship at the end of the 2019-20 season. This additional point deduction has avoided complications if Saracens were to finish in the top six.

Salary caps were introduced in Premiership Rugby in 1999 in order to create a level playing field and guarantee that top division rugby remained competitive. An investigation into business partnerships between chairman Nigel Wray and a number of the club’s players found that the club used this loophole to repeatedly break salary cap regulations. Last week a leaked report revealed that former England winger Chris Ashton was at the centre of the scandal, although it is understood that no players were complicit in any of the club’s actions.

Exeter have been particularly outspoken about the scandal having lost three Premiership titles in recent seasons.

There have also been fears that the unfolding of events at Saracens could impact England’s Six Nations chance, which kicks off this February. Manager Eddie Jones, however, has downplayed such anxieties. He has held a meeting to defuse potential exasperation from England players of rival clubs, confident that getting various issues out on the table will bring the team tighter.

Saracens will undoubtedly be forced to offload a number of their best players, with high-paid England internationals such as Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola on the books. This will be complicated, however, since clubs have already begun finalising their squads for the 2020-21 season, ensuring that if stars were to leave they would likely be on free transfers.

A significant reshuffle awaits for the giants of English rugby.

More Coverage

The new generation of F1 drivers: Wasted potential?

F1 is the highest class of international racing for single-seaters, but with such extreme competitiveness and only 20 seats on the grid what are the options available to talented drivers like Liam Lawson or Oliver Bearman?

Tyrants cruise to playoff victory against Stirling Clansmen. Final Score: 20 – 8

The Tyrants wrapped up the division title on the final day of the regular season against MMU and progressed to next round of the playoffs with a convincing win.

Memories of the game: A look back at favourite sporting moments

Whether it be on the world stage or during adolescence, there has been one sporting moment that has stuck with everyone. Explore the emotional and accelerating seconds that remain with our team to this day

The not-so-secret epidemic of neglect in women’s football

The dismissal of Sheffield United’s Jonathan Morgan ripens the discussion regarding the safeguarding issues in women’s football