Lord Dyson chaired the Independent Panel that upheld the charges against Saracens for breaches of the Premiership Rugby Salary Cap Regulations (“Regulations”). The Panel found that Saracens failed to disclose payments to players in the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. In addition, the Club was found to have exceeded the ceiling for payments to senior players in each of the three seasons. The Panel has imposed the following sanction:
The 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.
The Club also brought a challenge on competition law grounds to the validity of the Regulations but the Panel rejected that argument. In setting out its conclusions, the Panel noted that the salary cap operates in a pro-competitive manner by promoting the objectives of ensuring the financial viability of Clubs, controlling inflationary pressures, providing a level playing field, ensuring a competitive league and enabling Clubs to compete in European competitions.
Under regulation 13, the Panel’s decision can be challenged on grounds of ultra vires, irrationality or procedural unfairness, with the sanction being suspended pending the determination of the challenge.
Written by Stephanie David.