Wednesday 11 December 2019

Saracens hit with another fine after 'breaching Champions Cup participation agreement' with launch snub

Saracens coach Mark McCall. Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Saracens coach Mark McCall. Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Newsdesk Newsdesk

Saracens have been fined by the Champions Cup organisers after accepting that the club 'breached' the tournament's participation agreement by not attending the 2019/20 launch.

Director of Rugby Mark McCall and captain Brad Barritt were not in attendance for the media event, which came shortly after the club were found guilty of breaking the Gallagher Premiership salary cap.

The English giants, who won a domestic and European double last season, have subsequently decided not to appeal the 35-point deduction and the £5.4m fine following the salary cap investigation, but they have now been hit with a further sanction from the EPCR.

In a statement released today, the European governing body confirmed that Saracens have been fined for not attending the launch:

"Saracens have accepted that they breached the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup Participation Agreement by not making the required club representatives available for a key EPCR promotional event.

"On Wednesday, 6 November 2019, Saracens’ Director of Rugby, Mark McCall, and captain, Brad Barritt, did not attend the official Season Launch of the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup for Premiership and PRO14 clubs which was being staged at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

"Having previously indicated that they would be represented at the event, Saracens’ failure to attend constituted a breach of the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup Media Rules, and compromised EPCR’s ability to deliver the rights contracted to its broadcast, commercial and media partners.

"In light of this breach of its rules, EPCR has decided to impose a fine on Saracens which has been paid by the club, and the sum of which will remain undisclosed.

"EPCR appreciates the subsequent efforts made by Saracens to grant rights-holding broadcasters special interview access to members of their Heineken Champions Cup squad in the week before the start of the tournament."

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