Saracens Cap Investigation

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teds
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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by teds » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:00 pm

JP14 wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:03 pm
The news is very quiet on the western front regarding the sale, will it actually come off, god forbid does Brexit have anything to do with it?!
Tigers PLC is presumably a relatively steady investment over the next ten years whereas no one knows what the likely effects of this Brexit “will they/won’t they” will be on the investment markets. Our weak pound also makes the purchase far more attractive for an overseas investor.

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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by JP14 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:38 pm

Thanks for explaining Teds, by the way I wasn’t seriously suggesting the lack of news was Brexit related it was just a bit of gallows humour.
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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by Scott1 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:35 am


TigerBoy1880
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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by TigerBoy1880 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:29 am

This looks a little bit promising however it depends on what the punishment will be if found guilty. If they just get a fine, then it’s pointless. As a minimum, they should be made to adjust their players wages to come within the salary cap by a deadline. I’d give a points deduction too but for me, as long as they are made to reduce their wage, including the money they have spent on players businesses etc, then I’d be happy.

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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by JP14 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:02 am

Whilst a points deduction would be lovely, I doubt it would happen especially since it’s a World Cup year and Saracens have a lot of players away.
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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by fleabane » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:27 am

There is an excellent summary by Owen Slot in today’s Times of the possible outcomes and their likely consequences.

Sorry I can’t copy it, but its worth a read.
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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by Cagey Tiger » Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:44 pm

fleabane wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:27 am
There is an excellent summary by Owen Slot in today’s Times of the possible outcomes and their likely consequences.

Sorry I can’t copy it, but its worth a read.
Managed to copy it :smt001

If Saracens escape punishment, it will kill the salary cap

The Times



Wales dropped from first to fourth in the world rankings at the weekend. A fortnight after being dismantled by England, Ireland have hopped up to second. Yet while it has become fashionable these past few weeks to poke fun at the randomness of the rankings, one of the best sides in the world doesn’t get a ranking and is not going to the World Cup. This is Saracens.

Just imagine how far Saracens could go in Japan. They have five of the England pack; seven of the starting XV. In a week, by which time all the World Cup squads will have been announced, they will probably have another six going with other nations. Will Skelton, the Australian, would be a seventh if he had not found his Saracens deal preferable. Elliot Daly is the starting full back for England but may only be third-choice No 15 for Saracens.

If we agree that they could compete at world level, we could probably agree that Saracens are phenomenally strong favourites to win the Gallagher Premiership again this season. If/when they do they will have won five Premiership titles out of the past six.

You doubt that when CVC, the private equity firm, bought its 27 per cent share of the Premiership this year, it wanted to buy a monopoly. You would presume that it wanted a competition full of intrigue and knife-edge tension. The value of the competition is hardly going to rise if we already know who will be champions.

On to the salary-cap investigation, then. If Exeter Chiefs, Wasps et al cannot break Saracens, will it be this that finally does it?

You will recall that at the end of last season, Saracens were placed under “review”. Several players’ businesses were revealed in the media, particularly Faz Investments Ltd, a company run by Owen Farrell, Wiggy9 Ltd (Richard Wigglesworth’s) and VunProp Ltd (the Vunipola brothers’) all of which were launched with Nigel Wray, the Saracens owner, as a financial partner.

This demanded an answer to the question: is this not a smart way around the salary-cap rules? A payment in kind? Wray quickly issued a substantial, unyielding statement in which he sought not to deny these investments — quite the opposite, he said that they were within the salary-cap rules and that he was proud to be helping his players to become businessmen and invest in their futures in this way.

That is where we left the stand-off. Andrew Rogers, the Premiership salary cap manager, was left investigating it. The pressure is growing on him now because, five months on, the other clubs are chomping at the bit. The Premiership does not start until mid-October, but the Premiership Rugby Cup begins in three weeks.

Some clubs would love to see Saracens brought to their knees with a guilty verdict accompanied by a points deduction and severe reputational damage. Yet while none of them seems to be in a particularly forgiving mood, even if you attempt to take the emotion out, what they all need, before the season’s start, is clarity. Whatever the conclusion, it is hard to see how it cannot damage Saracens. There are three most likely outcomes. One: despite a well-resourced legal battle, Wray fails to show that his co-investments are not a benefit in kind that break the cap. Saracens are found to be in breach of the rules. The maximum penalty is a 35-point deduction.

Of longer lasting significance, then, is: what would happen to the squad? Saracens would have to re-budget fast to come down under the cap. There could be a reduction in player wages, a fire sale of players or Wray would have to sell his shareholding in his players’ companies. Maybe a bit of all three.

Two: Wray wins the legal argument and Saracens are found to be not in breach. At that point, suddenly, the salary cap has been detonated. It currently stands at £7 million. If every other club is informed that, legally, they can go into business with their players, like Wray, then the game has been immediately transformed. The ramifications are vast.

At that point, each club would have to decide whether or not they wanted to compete at this level. Money would rule. Wage inflation would rage. The southern-hemisphere nations have few defences to stop their players from being lured by the lucre of the north; they would now find it even harder to cope.

Three: Wray wins the legal argument and Saracens are found not to be in breach, but the reaction of the other clubs is to close the legal loophole. Wray could fight it and we would get into a further legal dispute. However, at some point, the votes of the other 12 clubs would beat the Saracens one. At what stage could those clubs just refuse to play against them?

The inside information is that, with the new season approaching, this is all soon to come to a head. Even if Saracens win this fight, though, it is hard to see how they do not lose.

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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by CitizenSmiff » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:09 pm

Ah that is very helpful, cheers! Has there been any discussion over exactly how much Sarries have smuggled into their wage budget?

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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by Hot_Charlie » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:28 pm

CitizenSmiff wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:09 pm
Ah that is very helpful, cheers! Has there been any discussion over exactly how much Sarries have smuggled into their wage budget?
With the 3-4 examples given, it’s hard to see how it’s not millions over the cap.

Sadly, I think the outcome will be a legal challenge, the result of which will be the realisation that a cap cannot be enforced. We then get a free for all with investors “buying” success as has become the norm in football.

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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by TigerBoy1880 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:00 pm

JP14 wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:02 am
Whilst a points deduction would be lovely, I doubt it would happen especially since it’s a World Cup year and Saracens have a lot of players away.
That would be their own fault for breaking the rules. I’d expect the same punishment whether it’s done this season or next season.

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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by Hot_Charlie » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:29 pm

TigerBoy1880 wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:00 pm
JP14 wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:02 am
Whilst a points deduction would be lovely, I doubt it would happen especially since it’s a World Cup year and Saracens have a lot of players away.
That would be their own fault for breaking the rules. I’d expect the same punishment whether it’s done this season or next season.
Just not on last season’s results; they’d still finish above us!

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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by Traveller » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:27 am

From The Mail today

'Saracens salary cap storm transferred to independent panel as Premiership Rugby escalate case

The inquiry into allegations Saracens breached salary cup rules has escalated. Premiership Rugby has seen review taken by an independent disciplinary panel. It has been close to five months since it was revealed a review would take place

Premiership Rugby's inquiry into allegations that Saracens may have breached the salary cap has been escalated to an independent disciplinary panel. Under the salary cap regulations, matters only get referred to the specialist disputes body Sport Resolutions when there is deemed to be a case to answer, including where there is a breach of over £350,000 or a club is guilty of failing to cooperate. It has been almost five months since Premiership Rugby (PRL) announced a formal review into evidence uncovered by Sportsmail about co-investment arrangements between Saracens owner Nigel Wray and several star players, including Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Mako and Billy Vunipola.

Sportsmail understands that an independent body - which according to PRL's regulations would be Sport Resolutions - is handling the case. Whilst it is not clear what conclusion PRL's salary cap manager Andrew Rogers has drawn following the review into Saracens, it appears he has now passed the case on.

According to the regulations there is very clear criteria for when an investigation is referred to an independent panel convened by Sport Resolutions. They include cases where the salary cap manager is of the 'reasonable opinion' that there has been a breach of £350,000 or more or the club is deemed to have failed to cooperate. Other scenarios are where there is an overrun of under £350,000 but the club opts to have the matter dealt with by a panel and where there is a dispute over the regulations themselves.

Saracens declined to comment.'

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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by Traveller » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:02 am

Cagey Tiger wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:44 pm
fleabane wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:27 am
There is an excellent summary by Owen Slot in today’s Times of the possible outcomes and their likely consequences.

Sorry I can’t copy it, but its worth a read.
Managed to copy it :smt001

If Saracens escape punishment, it will kill the salary cap

The Times



Wales dropped from first to fourth in the world rankings at the weekend. A fortnight after being dismantled by England, Ireland have hopped up to second. Yet while it has become fashionable these past few weeks to poke fun at the randomness of the rankings, one of the best sides in the world doesn’t get a ranking and is not going to the World Cup. This is Saracens.

Just imagine how far Saracens could go in Japan. They have five of the England pack; seven of the starting XV. In a week, by which time all the World Cup squads will have been announced, they will probably have another six going with other nations. Will Skelton, the Australian, would be a seventh if he had not found his Saracens deal preferable. Elliot Daly is the starting full back for England but may only be third-choice No 15 for Saracens.

If we agree that they could compete at world level, we could probably agree that Saracens are phenomenally strong favourites to win the Gallagher Premiership again this season. If/when they do they will have won five Premiership titles out of the past six.

You doubt that when CVC, the private equity firm, bought its 27 per cent share of the Premiership this year, it wanted to buy a monopoly. You would presume that it wanted a competition full of intrigue and knife-edge tension. The value of the competition is hardly going to rise if we already know who will be champions.

On to the salary-cap investigation, then. If Exeter Chiefs, Wasps et al cannot break Saracens, will it be this that finally does it?

You will recall that at the end of last season, Saracens were placed under “review”. Several players’ businesses were revealed in the media, particularly Faz Investments Ltd, a company run by Owen Farrell, Wiggy9 Ltd (Richard Wigglesworth’s) and VunProp Ltd (the Vunipola brothers’) all of which were launched with Nigel Wray, the Saracens owner, as a financial partner.

This demanded an answer to the question: is this not a smart way around the salary-cap rules? A payment in kind? Wray quickly issued a substantial, unyielding statement in which he sought not to deny these investments — quite the opposite, he said that they were within the salary-cap rules and that he was proud to be helping his players to become businessmen and invest in their futures in this way.

That is where we left the stand-off. Andrew Rogers, the Premiership salary cap manager, was left investigating it. The pressure is growing on him now because, five months on, the other clubs are chomping at the bit. The Premiership does not start until mid-October, but the Premiership Rugby Cup begins in three weeks.

Some clubs would love to see Saracens brought to their knees with a guilty verdict accompanied by a points deduction and severe reputational damage. Yet while none of them seems to be in a particularly forgiving mood, even if you attempt to take the emotion out, what they all need, before the season’s start, is clarity. Whatever the conclusion, it is hard to see how it cannot damage Saracens. There are three most likely outcomes. One: despite a well-resourced legal battle, Wray fails to show that his co-investments are not a benefit in kind that break the cap. Saracens are found to be in breach of the rules. The maximum penalty is a 35-point deduction.

Of longer lasting significance, then, is: what would happen to the squad? Saracens would have to re-budget fast to come down under the cap. There could be a reduction in player wages, a fire sale of players or Wray would have to sell his shareholding in his players’ companies. Maybe a bit of all three.

Two: Wray wins the legal argument and Saracens are found to be not in breach. At that point, suddenly, the salary cap has been detonated. It currently stands at £7 million. If every other club is informed that, legally, they can go into business with their players, like Wray, then the game has been immediately transformed. The ramifications are vast.

At that point, each club would have to decide whether or not they wanted to compete at this level. Money would rule. Wage inflation would rage. The southern-hemisphere nations have few defences to stop their players from being lured by the lucre of the north; they would now find it even harder to cope.

Three: Wray wins the legal argument and Saracens are found not to be in breach, but the reaction of the other clubs is to close the legal loophole. Wray could fight it and we would get into a further legal dispute. However, at some point, the votes of the other 12 clubs would beat the Saracens one. At what stage could those clubs just refuse to play against them?

The inside information is that, with the new season approaching, this is all soon to come to a head. Even if Saracens win this fight, though, it is hard to see how they do not lose.
This is an excellent summary. The only weakness I can see in the options is that there is an assumption that the other clubs will respond in unison. When this came around in 2012 my understanding is that it was the delighted Bruce Craig who did most of the talking around salary cap and exploding it. It may be that clubs split along ownership 'sugar daddy' and 'non-sugar daddy' lines. Bristol, Bath, Saracens might attempt to go one way..........

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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by fentiger » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:14 am

Daily Fail saying if Saracens found guilty a lot of clubs want them expelled, sorry unable to do a link from my phone!

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Re: Saracens Cap Investigation

Post by trendylfj » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:27 am

fentiger wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:14 am
Daily Fail saying if Saracens found guilty a lot of clubs want them expelled, sorry unable to do a link from my phone!
Sadly if that was to happen they would go to court and if they then lost I suspect without any evidence, that they would try to join the French - not enough money in the Celtic league. Would others join them??? - very possibly.
Hehehehehehehehe

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