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Premiership Rugby release statement on salary cap-related investigation into Saracens

Saracens owner Nigel Wray

Premiership Rugby have released a statement in which they say Saracens have not declared all the information relevant to their investigation into a possible breach of salary cap rules.

The Premiership are looking deeper into co-investment arrangements between Saracens owner Nigel Wray and several key members of the playing squad.

In light of the revelations published by the Daily Mail in March, Saracens affirmed their compliance with the salary cap limit of £7million and owner Wray additionally released an open letter saying the club had gone beyond what is required in reporting cap-related information.

Wray wrote: “The Club is open and transparent with the salary cap manager and we proactively disclose co-investments when they occur, even though we are under no obligation to do so.”

In a statement released on Wednesday evening, however, the Premiership stressed that not all the details of business links between club parties and players had been shared, as part of the investigation led by Salary Cap manager Andrew Rogers.

Premiership Rugby’s statement said: “Under the Salary Regulations, clubs are required to supply information to the Premiership Rugby Salary Cap Manager on any arrangements between a Connected Party and a Player which might constitute payment or a benefit in kind.

“Saracens had not at the time of recent media speculation shared with the Premiership Rugby Salary Cap Manager details of all the co-investment arrangements between Connected Parties and Players.

“The information now received from the club and various parties will be reviewed. Premiership Rugby will make no further comment at this stage.”

Saracens have staunchly defended their business links with their players and issued a swift reply to Premiership Rugby’s statement, reiterating their adherence to the salary cap and transparency with the investigation.

“Whilst co-investments are not part of the salary regulations, we disclosed these transactions in good faith and indeed divulged more information than was necessary.

“We remain confident that we comply with the salary regulations and will continue to support the entrepreneurial spirit and future of our players.”

The Premiership will now conduct an additional review of all the information they have at hand, with reports suggesting Saracens stars Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Mako and Billy Vunipola share business interests with Wray.

Saracens rivals Harlequins were received a fine of £6,239 from Premiership Rugby in February after being found to have exceeded the salary cap for 2017-18.

An ‘overrun tax’ is paid by clubs who breach the cap; 50p for every £1 overspent up to £49,999.99, £1 for every £1 overspent from £50,000 to £199,999.99 and £3 for every £1 overspent over £200,000.

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