Saracens apologise 'unreservedly' for salary cap 'mistakes' that led to relegation from Rugby Premiership

Saracens have "unreservedly apologised for mistakes made in relation to the salary cap" which will see the rugby team relegated from the Premiership at the end of the season.

In a statement, the club said it accepted their imposed relegation as well as expressing a desire to "rebuild confidence and trust".

On Saturday, Premiership Rugby confirmed Saracens would be demoted to the Championship next season for charges relating to a failure to disclose player payments in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

Gloucester fans expressed their opinion of Saracens salary gap breach when the teams met at Kingsholm Stadium in November 2019. Credit: PA

Reacting to the relegation, the Premiership champions wrote in a statement on their website: "We understand this decision will be difficult for the Saracens family to accept.

"The board must embody the values of the club, learn from its mistakes so the club can come back stronger.

"It is in the wider interests of the Premiership and English rugby to take this decisive step, to ensure everybody is able once again to focus on the game of rugby, which we all love."

The latest punishment follows a 35 point deduction and £5.3 million fine in November for having broken the cap for the past three seasons.

The club might struggle to keep hold of international stars like Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje. Credit: PA

Saracens have won four of the last five titles - beating Exeter Chiefs in the last two Premiership finals.

Their sizeable England contingent - one that includes the likes of national captain Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola - would still be available for international selection if they were playing in the Championship.

But it would be an unsatisfactory situation for England head coach Eddie Jones, who is due to announce his Six Nations squad on Monday.

  • What is the salary cap?

Premiership Rugby introduced its salary cap in 1999 to ensure the financial viability of all clubs and the competition.

On their website, Premiership Rugby says the cap helps "to provide a level playing field for clubs".

The salary cap focuses on the combined salaries of each player at the club within the salary cap year - July 1 to June 30.

The current level of the Salary Cap is £7 million, plus two Excluded Players whose salaries sit outside the cap, enabling clubs to recruit and retain world class talent.

As a result there is no restriction to individual player's salary, but on the whole squad spend.