Nigel Wray has decided to retire as Chairman of Saracens with immediate effect, the club confirmed in a statement today.
Wray is stepping down from a tenure he took up back in 1995. His financial backing of the club led to several marquee signings over the course of his two and half decades at Saracens.
Club Statement | Nigel Wray has decided to retire as Chairman of Saracens with immediate effecthttps://t.co/HPdzOSZA0g
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) January 2, 2020
Despite the big names and trophies arriving during Wray's time at the Saracens helm, it has not been devoid of controversy.
There was much speculation about how much players were being paid and whether salaries and payments fell within the strict Premiership regulations.
Following an investigation, the club was charged for breaching the salary cap last November, for which the European and Premiership Champions received a record £5 million fine and a 35 point league deduction.
Wray said in the aftermath of that controversy that the club had "made mistakes" and accepted the penalties "with humility".
Today he is stepping down, having issued a statement: “As we enter a new year, a new decade, it is time for the Club to make a fresh start.
"I am not getting any younger and feel this is the right moment for me to stand down as Chairman and just enjoy being a fan of this incredible rugby club. I will always be committed to the wonderful Saracens family.
“The Wray family will continue to provide the required financial support to the Club, and I will remain actively engaged in the work of the Saracens Sport Foundation and Saracens High School, as part of the Club’s ongoing commitment to our community in north London.”
A new independent Chairman will be appointed imminently.
Edward Griffiths will take up the role of interim CEO for a 12-month period. Mitesh Velani will assume a consultancy position at the Club and remain on the Saracens board.
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