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Saracens chairman Nigel Wray has confirmed they have accepted their 35-point deduction for breaching the Premiership salary-cap.

The English and European champions were handed a 35-point deduction and a fine of more than £5m, after they were found guilty of breaching their domestic league's rules on salary.

Sarries owned and chairman Nigel Wray had entered into private business arrangements with a number of their high-profile stars, which was in breach on the league's salary-cap.

Despite pleading their innocence when found guilty a fortnight ago, the club have now accepted the hefty punishment, which sees them drop to the foot of the league table on -22 points, 26 points adrift of 11th place Leicester.

In a statement, Wray says that they have chosen against appealing the decision, adding that he now accepts that mistakes were made.

However, he says these mistakes were made in good faith.

"Any review or further appeal would be a costly, time consuming and destabilising exercise and so for the good of the game, the Premiership and this wonderful club and all its great people, a club which I have loved and served for 25 years, we have decided not to appeal but to take our punishment and hopefully soon put this behind us.

"I recognise that the arrangements between myself and players, made in good faith, which comprise the material element of the charges, should have been brought to the attention of the salary cap manager for consultation prior to entering into them.

"It is significant that following extensive investigations the independent panel stated that we have “not deliberately sought to circumvent the regulations” albeit we recognise that some of our actions were considered to be “reckless”," he says.

"As chairman, I must take full responsibility for the arrangements that led to this outcome. It is important to stress that our excellent coaching staff were not involved in these issues in any way," he added.

Crucially, the club say that they are currently within the salary-cap regulations, denying speculation they would be forced to offload some of their high-profile internationals.

"In addition, we can confirm that we are complying strictly with the salary cap regulations in the current season and will continue to work transparently with Premiership Rugby in this regard.

"We will shortly introduce robust independent governance measures acceptable to all, including the appointment to the Saracens board of a director, who will oversee a new governance regime. I will continue as always to support the club financially going forwards to ensure there is no financial instability or uncertainty."


As a result of their precarious position in the Premiership, the club fielded a second-string outfit for the opening game of the Heineken Champions Cup yesterday, going down 30-10 to Franch side Racing 92.

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