Saracens deny Premiership salary cap breach

Saracens have denied that they have broken the salary cap rules in the Guinness Premiership after a media report yesterday stated that at least one leading Premiership club was being investigated.

The Premiership currently has a £4million salary cap and clubs cannot exceed that amount with their salaries.

Edward Griffiths, Saracens’ chief executive, says that his club has not exceeded the cap and has called for an end to political “sabre-rattling” between rival English sides.

“To try and portray Saracens as a club bankrolled by millionaires seeking the best players in the world would be about five years out of date,” Griffiths told the Guardian.

“Unless the Premiership clubs start working together and we stop this culture of making wild attacks on each other in the media we’re not going to advance.”

Saracens have made a number of high-profile signings for next season such as English internationals David Strettle, Matt Stevens and Richard Wigglesworth, plus Scotland’s Kelly Brown and South Africa’s Deon Carstens along with a number of players from the lower divisions .

While Sarries have signed what seems to be a truckload of talent they will be losing the likes of Justin Marshall, Glen Jackson, Moses Rauluni, Kevin Sorrell, Richard Haughton and Kevin Sorrell which will ease their salary bill.

While Griffiths says they have not exceeded the cap he does accept that that there is a difference of opinion between richer and poorer clubs as to whether the salary cap should be raised next year.

“There has to be a balance between those clubs looking anxiously at the bank manager and those clubs looking anxiously at the leading French clubs,” he said.

“In any group people have different needs and some clubs are finding running an elite rugby club very challenging. It is in their interests that the costs are contained.

“Others may have bigger ambitions to compete in Europe against French teams with a salary cap of €7m [£6m] and Irish teams with no salary cap. I don’t doubt that all the clubs are operating within the regulations but whether there are some clubs who are frustrated by that I don’t know.”

“At Saracens we want to play our part in making English domestic rugby the most respected in the world. We don’t want it to be second-rate. Having said that we’re not oblivious to the economic reality facing some of our clubs.

“We have to face the reality that there are different demands on different people but the sabre-rattling on both sides is counter-productive. I hope the league will be able to find a sensible compromise.”

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