Sport Rugby

Friday 18 October 2019

Saracens say they 'comply readily' with £7m salary cap after newspaper revelations

Saracens' Brad Barritt lifts the trophy after his side win the Premiership last year
Saracens' Brad Barritt lifts the trophy after his side win the Premiership last year

Duncan Bech

Saracens are convinced they have no case to answer after Premiership Rugby Ltd revealed it is examining whether the Gallagher Premiership champions might be in breach of the league's £7million salary cap.

A report in a national newspaper revealed that the club's owner Nigel Wray has entered into a business arrangement with senior players Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth and Billy and Mako Vunipola.

It raises the question of how benefits arising from the companies set up are accounted for and, as a result, whether Saracens have broken regulations aimed at creating a level playing field in the competition.

However, a club source has told Press Association Sport that all the information contained in the story had already been declared to PRL's salary cap manager Andrew Rogers and is confident the body representing the 12 Premiership clubs will opt against launching an investigation.

The current salary cap ceiling is £7million, but each club is able to make two marquee signings whose wages are excluded from this figure. They also receive 'credits' for home-grown talent used and for those selected by England.

Most recently, Saracens have secured £600,000 of credits for the players who have come through their academy system and £600,000 for the large contingent of players supplied to Eddie Jones' squad.

These sums are bolted on to the salary cap limit to create greater spending power, while additional money can be gained from injury dispensation up to a maximum of £400,000 per season.

"Firstly, we would like to reiterate that the club readily complies with Premiership Rugby salary regulations and information relating to remuneration is declared to the salary cap manager," a Saracens statement read.

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"Although co-investment partnerships between owners and players are not a pre-requisite of the salary regulations, we disclose these transactions to Premiership Rugby and will continue to do so.

"Currently, 57 per cent of the men's squad is comprised of home-grown talent - the highest in the Premiership.

"These players not only produce results on the pitch, they help entitle the club to £1.2m in credits above the baseline salary cap from the RFU and Premiership Rugby.

"This is a direct result of our significant investment in the Saracens Academy which nurtures and develops Saracens and England players of the future.

PRL is looking into the evidence in the report to decide whether to refer the matter for independent investigation.

"We take all information relating to the salary cap framework very seriously," said a Premiership Rugby spokesperson.

"We have received all the relevant information and will consider it in detail to determine if any action needs to be taken."

The newspaper report detailed how Wray owns businesses with the senior quartet, which includes England captain Farrell, and has also co-owned houses with former Saracens players.

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