EPCR left disappointed over absence of Saracens in competition launch

Saracens celebrate winning the Premiership in 2019

Saracens have won four of the past five Premiership titles

Should the appeal fail and the original sanctions are upheld, the club are liable for the full £5,360,272.31 within 21 days of the decision under Premiership Rugby regulations.

The Premiership Rugby statement added: "The decision of the independent panel is that Saracens Rugby Club failed to disclose payments to players in each of the seasons 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19".

It's by far the biggest sanction in the history of the competition after an investigation found there to be improper arrangements made between Sarries owner, millionaire Nigel Wray and players in the squad.

"Maybe that is why you can see they have been so successful when everyone else has been struggling, everyone else has been competing to be competitive to try and keep in their salary caps, to get the best quality as possible to try and be competitive".

Former England captain and current Harlequins skipper Chris Robshaw was extremely critical of Saracens and slammed the club.

Saracens Rugby Club, who beat Exeter Chiefs in the 2019 Premiership Final, have been fined £5 million - and they've also been hit with a 35 point deduction - for breaching the salary cap.

Saracens could face punishment from EPCR for not attending the launch event in Cardiff, having committed McCall and Barritt to represent the club.

"But that's different from saying & # 39; would we have won those games that day?" As a sport we've got to take the damage that comes with that now.

"Call it what you want".

Meanwhile, Baxter said: 'If your first response is "Ah yes, but these payments, investments, whatever they are, are outside the cap, but they are okay because the wording of the cap doesn't catch them", well straight away, I think your concern is going to be: "So what are you going to do, you are going to move on from this by finding another way of doing it that's outside the wording of the salary cap".

The Heineken Champions Cup kicks off on Friday, 15 November with the Pool 5 clash of Gloucester and TOP 14 winners, Toulouse, at Kingsholm live on BT Sport, and the following day will see the continued free-to-air exposure of the tournament which has generated increased audiences in the United Kingdom and Ireland when Bath and Ulster meet at the Rec live on Channel 4 and Virgin Media, with the match also going out live on BT Sport.

"The reality is that there is no way for me to say, or any other person who says, how any of those seasons would have gone, when we lost to the Saracens in the final, if the Saracens had been working only within the salary limit".

A separate statement from the club defended the use of co-investment arrangements with players, and stated "PRL precedent already exists whereby co-investments have not been deemed part of salary in the regulations".

'I know the World Cup didn't finish as we would have liked but look at the high it brought the country.

Saracens responded strongly and will seek a review of the decision by an arbitration body. 'We will appeal all the findings'.

"I feel a bit bitter about it because we were only just beaten".

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