LEAKED: How Saracens breached the salary cap

In the three seasons that Saracens breached the Premiership’s salary cap regulations their overspend totalled £2.1m, leaked figures from the official investigation have revealed.

The report, overseen by senior British judicial expert Lord Dyson, details the extent and separate avenues used to diverge sums to players in off-the-field business ventures.

On Wednesday, a Premiership Rugby spokesperson announced the league organisers were preparing to disclose the full findings of the report into public eye.

This came within hours of a statement issued by Saracens chairman Neil Golding rejecting comments made by Premiership Rugby chief Darren Childs, which claimed Saracens had vetoed the release of the report detailing how the salary cap was breached.

But before PRL were able to disclose the information on their own terms, Sky News obtained the document.

It shows that Saracens overspent in the 2016-17 season by £1.1m; by £98,000 in 2017-18; and by £906,000 when completing their domestic-European double last season.

Nigel Wray, the long-standing chairman of Saracens until his resignation earlier this month, had invested £1.3m into property ventures, hospitality contracts and image rights.

At the centre of these interests were England stars Maro Itoje, Billy and Mako Vunipola, Richard Wigglesworth and former Saracens wing Chris Ashton.

In the report Lord Dyson makes clear his acknowledgment that Saracens ‘did not deliberately’ attempt to subvert the salary cap, nor does he suggest players were complicit in attaining income which skirted around the regulations.

England and British & Irish Lion lock Itoje is one four players found to have entered property investment with Wray.

He invested £250,000 into a company headed by Itoje, while he also received £95,000 from a hospitality company based at Saracens over the three years where Saracens were found to be in breach.

Wray made a £450,000 investment in Vuniprop, a company majority-owned by brothers Billy and Mako Vunipola.

Richard Wigglesworth had £220,000 pumped into his property and Saracens breached the cap by £319,600 by helping Ashton to purchase a house worth £1.4m.

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