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Griffiths resigns from Saracens interim chief executive role

Last week Griffiths told the PA news agency he had never worked as a cricket agent.

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Ed Griffiths (centre) has resigned as interim chief executive at Saracens with immediate effect (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ed Griffiths (centre) has resigned as interim chief executive at Saracens with immediate effect (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ed Griffiths (centre) has resigned as interim chief executive at Saracens with immediate effect (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ed Griffiths has resigned as interim chief executive at Saracens with immediate effect, the Gallagher Premiership club have announced.

The former South Africa Rugby Union adviser had rejoined Saracens to help steer them through the salary cap scandal that resulted in the north London side accepting the punishment of relegation at the end of this season.

But Griffiths said: “This was always going to be a very short-term appointment, and others are well placed to drive forward the rebuilding of the club.”

Saracens chairman Neil Golding thanked Griffiths for his assistance, despite only agreeing a 12-month contract at the start of January to be interim chief executive at Allianz Park.

He said: “The club is very grateful to Edward for temporarily stepping away from his other commitments to provide significant assistance during a difficult period, and wishes him well in the future.”

An official statement read: “The recruitment process is under way for a long-term CEO and an appointment will be made in due course.”

Last week Griffiths denied working as a cricket agent, following claims he had been reported to the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The former Saracens chief executive rejected any wrongdoing after reports in a national newspaper alleged that the ECB was investigating a possible conflict of interest over his consultancy role with Middlesex.

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Nigel Wray resigned as Saracens chairman at the start of January (Mike Egerton/PA)

Nigel Wray resigned as Saracens chairman at the start of January (Mike Egerton/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Nigel Wray resigned as Saracens chairman at the start of January (Mike Egerton/PA)

On January 24, Griffiths told the PA news agency: “I am not an agent, I have never acted as an agent and I have never received a commission to work as an agent.

“I have worked as a consultant acting for Middlesex for the last three years, helping players there with areas beyond cricket, and that’s involved doing lots of things that would perhaps in other circumstances be thought of as things an agent would do.

“But I have only ever been acting on behalf of and for Middlesex.”

I am really sorry for the heartache I have caused you due to my ill-considered approach to matters relating to salary-cap compliance.Former Saracens chairman Nigel Wray

An independent panel’s 103-page judgement into Saracens’ salary cap breaches last week condemned the club’s “egregious” conduct.

Saracens were found guilty of “reckless” failure to comply with the £7million salary cap, in the initial investigation that led to a £5.36million fine and a 35-point deduction.

Following the report’s publication, former chairman Nigel Wray said: “I am really sorry for the heartache I have caused you due to my ill-considered approach to matters relating to salary-cap compliance.

“My intention with co-investments was always to support players beyond their playing careers.

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“I recognise that the actions of the club were described by the panel as ‘reckless’ primarily due to my failure to consult with Premiership Rugby Limited’s salary cap manager prior to entering into any agreements and then disclosing the transactions to him.

“I take full responsibility for this. We should have been far better. Equally important is the panel’s determination that neither the club nor myself deliberately attempted to breach the cap.”

Conservative MP Damian Collins, who is standing for re-election as chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, criticised Premiership bosses for allowing the crisis to unfold.

He said: “Things should never have been allowed to develop in the way they did and it’s right for people to challenge the Premiership as to why it didn’t take more effective action sooner.

“It has, though, now given Saracens the heaviest punishment it could, which gives a clear warning to others.”

PA