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Saracens docked 35 points and fined £5m for salary cap breaches

The alleged breaches spanned the last three seasons when Premiership Rugby claim Saracens "failed to disclose payments to players".

Saracens have been docked 35 points and fined £5.3million over breaches of salary cap rules.

The penalty leaves the London club on -26 points in the early Gallagher Premiership table ahead of Saturday's game against Gloucester, which will be broadcast exclusively live on BT Sport.

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The punishment comes following an investigation into business partnerships between Saracens chairman Nigel Wray and some of the club's players.

A statement from Premiership Rugby announced: “The sanction that has been imposed on Saracens Rugby Club by the panel is a total fine of £5,360,272.31 and a total deduction of 35 league points.”

The alleged breaches spanned the last three seasons but the points deduction will be applied on the European and Premiership champions in full this season.

The Premiership Rugby statement added: “The decision of the independent panel is that Saracens Rugby Club failed to disclose payments to players in each of the seasons 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

“In addition, the club is found to have exceeded the ceiling for payments to senior players in each of the three seasons. The panel therefore upheld all of the charges.

“The salary cap regulations stipulate that a points deduction may be imposed in the current season (2019-20) only. The sanction has no bearing on any other domestic or European competition.”

Premiership Rugby introduced their salary cap in 1999 to "ensure the financial viability of all clubs and the competition, to control inlationary pressures on clubs' costs and to ensure a competitive competition."

Had the same punishment been imposed last season, Saracens would have finished in 10th place in the Premiership.

Saracens won the Gallagher Premiership for the second consecutive season and the fourth time in five seasons when they defeated Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership final. 

Sarries are also the Champions Cup holders after beating four-time winners and defending champions Leinster 20-10 at the St James' Park final back in May.

You can watch Saracens' first game following the punishment exclusively live on BT Sport when they take on Gloucester on Saturday afternoon in the Gallagher Premiership.

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