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Premiership Rugby to publish Saracens’ salary cap breaches report

Premiership Rugby confirm report to be published.

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A report into Saracens’ salary cap breaches will be published (Paul Harding/PA)

A report into Saracens’ salary cap breaches will be published (Paul Harding/PA)

A report into Saracens’ salary cap breaches will be published (Paul Harding/PA)

Premiership Rugby will publish the report into Saracens’ salary cap breaches.

They announced last weekend that the reigning English and European champions will be relegated from the Premiership at the end of this season.

That followed Saracens’ failure to comply with Premiership salary cap regulations for the current campaign.

They were deducted 35 league points and fined £5.36million in November for breaking the salary cap in the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

But the dossier of an investigation led by Lord Dyson into those breaches has so far not been released.

In a message to supporters from Saracens chairman Neil Golding, he said Saracens were “keen” for the report to be published, adding he was “surprised” by suggestions Saracens were objecting to the report being released.

Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs claimed on Tuesday that Saracens had to agree for publication of the report.

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 processPremiership Rugby

“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.”

Golding told Saracens fans on the club’s official website: “Since my appointment on January 9, I have spent considerable time in discussions with PRL (Premiership Rugby Limited) and nobody has asked me what my position is on the matter.

“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.”

Lord Dyson, speaking earlier in the month to the Law in Sport podcast, expressed his frustration that the report had not already been published.

He said: “I don’t really know why the public is kept out of all this because there is a real public interest in this.

“If the PRL and Saracens had agreed to the publication of the decision then presumably it could have been published. I don’t think either was willing to agree to it.

“There were two particular factors which, in our view, made it a particularly serious case.

“I drafted a summary for their consideration, which included those two factors but they didn’t include them, so the public has no idea why we imposed the penalty we imposed.

“I can’t see a justification for the cloak of privacy that is imposed in these cases.”

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.Saracens chairman Neil Golding

Assessing the current campaign, Golding, who succeeded Nigel Wray as chairman, added: “Prior to my time here, there were discussions with PRL (Premiership Rugby Limited) in relation to conducting a mid-season audit spanning several seasons.

“These discussions continued last week after my appointment.

“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. 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.”

PA