Saracens expected to drop appeal against punishment for breaking salary cap

Saracens expected to drop appeal against punishment for breaking salary cap

Saracens are expected to drop their appeal against heavy punishments for breaking the Premiership’s salary cap.

The PA news agency understands the English and European champions have decided not to contest the £5.4million fine and 35-point penalty imposed for infractions over the course of the past three seasons.

This marks a change of direction for the club, who had previously indicated they would appeal against the “heavy-handed” sanctions imposed earlier this month.

The news is set to be confirmed on Monday, which is the deadline to serve notice of any appeal.

Director of rugby Mark McCall, however, was unwilling to shed light on the matter as he spoke to media on Sunday.

“Other people in the club are going to make that decision,” McCall told BT Sport as his side opened the defence of their Heineken Champions Cup title with a 30-10 loss to Racing 92 at the Paris La Defense Arena.

“As far as I know the deadline is tomorrow (Monday). My job is very clear and that’s to get on with the rugby and get the very best out of this group.

“This group have done so well for us over the last four weeks and we’re really excited to see how they go again today.”

Pressed on whether he was being consulted on the matter, McCall stressed: “It’s not my decision. It’s a decision for other people in the club.”

The punishments have been suspended pending an appeals process but, if imposed on Monday, Saracens will crash from third in the Premiership to rock bottom on -22 points, 26 adrift of Leicester.

With regard to the fine, which totals exactly £5,360,272.31, it is understood the club will be given a short period of time to make payment.

Mark McCall is Saracens’ director of rugby (Richard Sellers/PA)
Mark McCall is Saracens’ director of rugby (Richard Sellers/PA)

Saracens, who have won the Premiership for the past two seasons and in four of the past five, boast a number of the game’s elite players.

An independent panel, led by barrister Lord Dyson, found the club had failed to disclose payments to players in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, and had also exceeded the ceiling for payments to senior players.

No details have been revealed on the size of the undisclosed payments or the recipients.

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