Q&A Could the champions be stripped of titles?
Q What is the salary cap?
A Premiership Rugby introduced a salary cap in 1999 to ensure both a level playing field between clubs and to stop those topflight clubs overreaching themselves. It currently stands at £7 million, but with certain add-ons, such as credits for producing academy players and providing internationals for England, it can be raised to £9 million. Q What have Saracens done wrong?
A An independent panel appointed by dispute service Sport Resolutions ruled that
Saracens failed to disclose payments to players over the past three seasons. These almost certainly relate to owner Nigel Wray’s investment in companies such as Vunprop Ltd (Mako and Billy Vunipola), Faz Investments Ltd (Owen Farrell), Wiggy9 Ltd (Richard Wigglesworth) and MN Property Solutions Ltd (Maro Itoje). Q Will Sarries be stripped of the titles won in past two seasons?
A No. The ruling made clear that the punishment applies only to this season. Exeter Chiefs chairman Tony Rowe also made clear that his club would not want to be awarded titles retrospectively. “We will never get those days back,” Rowe said. “It would mean nothing to us.” The salary cap laws only apply to the Premiership and do not impact upon Saracens’ three European titles. Q Do the club currently comply with the salary cap?
A It is not known, but if they were in breach in the past three seasons it is highly likely. Although they offloaded 15 players last season, they recruited England full-back Elliot Daly from Wasps along with fellow internationals Jack Singleton and Rhys Carre. With Wray’s business investments with players now counting against the cap that further reduces Saracens’ breathing space. Q Does that mean they will be forced to offload England stars? A No. The vast majority of Saracens’ England contingent, including Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell and Jamie George have signed long-term contracts. However, a number of leading players, including Liam Williams, are out of contract and will almost certainly be forced to leave.