Premiership clubs turn on Saracens
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Premiership clubs are threatening legal action demanding Saracens are expelled from the tournament if they challenge any guilty verdict materialising from their alleged breach of the salary cap.
According to Daily Mail informal talks have taken place between some rival top-flight clubs and the feeling is that the Londoners should be punished severely if they have flouted the £7million cap which all 12 Premiership clubs must abide by.
It is alleged that there is now a determination to take the issue to court if the reigning Premiership and European Champions Cup double champions attempt to appeal any sanctions handed down if they are found guilty in the case.
These discussions have apparently led to a resolve to pursue the matter through the courts if the Premiership and European Champions Cup holders appeal against any sanctions handed down once independent arbiters Sport Resolutions review a report by Premiership Rugby’s (PRL) salary-cap manager Andrew Rogers.
Under existing salary-cap regulations, the maximum sporting sanction for any club found to be in breach is a 35-point deduction, which could be imposed this season.
If found guilty of a breach, Saracens would have 14 days to appeal to an independent panel. However, rivals clubs are apparently threatening to push for even tougher sanctions if they refuse to accept Sport Resolutions’ punishment.
The Mail had uncovered evidence last spring which revealed co-investment arrangements between owner Nigel Wray and star Saracens players including Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and the Vunipola brothers.
It is said that the general attitude of the Premiership clubs towards enforcing the cap has hardened since a previous row over alleged breaches four years ago. Two clubs — understood to be Saracens and Bath — were cleared following that particular investigation.