Saracens say they want full salary cap report to be published
New chairman Neil Golding says he was surprised by suggestion they objected to it
Saracens say they have looked into doing a mid-season audit with Premiership Rugby over several seasons. Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images
Saracens’ new chairman Neil Golding has called for the independent report that found that the Premiership champions guilty of persistent breaches of the salary cap to be published in full, saying it would provide “much needed context and clarity”.
The club were initially deducted 35 points and fined £5.36m after an inquiry into business dealings between ex-chairman Nigel Wray and some Saracens players was published in November. Last week they then agreed to be relegated and apologised for the mistakes they had made.
In a message to supporters on Wednesday, Golding recognised that the club had let them down, but said the club “really appreciated your support, now more than ever.”
“There is no doubt this has been an emotional time for you all”, he added. “We know we have let you down as well as the wider rugby community. I was not part of the club’s past actions but I am committed to the club’s future.”
Golding also revealed that club had looked into doing a mid-season audit with Premiership Rugby spanning several seasons. However, he admitted: “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,” he added. “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.
“We know our path will not be a smooth one in the short term. We must face that challenge together; be resilient, united and open in order to move forward.”
Golding also called for the publication of the disciplinary panel’s full report, saying he was surprised by the suggestion that Saracens were objecting to the publication of the report.
“Since my appointment on 9 January, I have spent considerable time in discussions with PRL and nobody has asked me what my position is on the matter,” he added. “To confirm, we are keen for the report to be published in full and I made PRL aware of this earlier today. It will provide much needed context and clarity.”
A Premiership Rugby spokesperson said preparations would now begin to release the decision document.
“Premiership Rugby welcomes Saracens’ decision to withdraw its previous objection to publication of Lord Dyson’s decision,” the spokesperson said.
“These objections were stated in the strongest terms and in writing on behalf of the club by its lawyers.
“We believe that publication of the decision in respect of Saracens’ past breaches of the salary cap is an important step towards upholding trust in our enforcement of the regulations and the disciplinary process.
“We will now begin preparations for release of the decision. Further details will be provided in the coming days.”
Meanwhile, England captain Owen Farrell insists he will start the Six Nations in February against France without any baggage from his club’s salary cap scandal. The fly-half is among several star players facing uncertain futures at club level following the announcement of Saracens’ relegation.
“I don’t think it will be difficult for me at all,” Farrell said, speaking at the Six Nations launch in London. “We’re excited to get into camp and get on with the rugby. We’ll be honest and up-front about it, but we’ll come through it.” – Guardian