Expert view Could rivals sue?
As I see it, there are two possible legal claims that Premiership clubs might bring against Saracens in light of the salary-cap breach – but both would have a slim chance of succeeding.
The most straightforward would be a claim for breach of contract.
Sporting regulations are readily construed as contracts by the courts. As such, a club might argue that Saracens owed them a contractual duty to comply with the regulations.
But what would they be claiming for? To recover any damages, a club would have to prove they suffered loss, and that Saracens’ breach caused it. Quantifying losses, such as prize money and sponsorship, and proving who caused them, would be incredibly difficult.
A second possibility would be a claim for the economic tort of “causing loss by unlawful means”. For a claim to succeed, the wrongdoer must also have intended either to do the unlawful act, or to cause the claimant to suffer a loss.
Again, this would be very tough to prove.
Ben Cisneros edits the blog ‘Rugby and the Law’