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Saffercens are back!

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Post by demosthenes Sat 02 Oct 2021, 11:13 am

Sarries sold.

BBC story : Saracens agree £32m takeover deal from consortium of investors - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/58772000

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Oct 2021, 2:59 pm

Not exactly sad to see Wray go. He obviously did alot for player welfare (nothing to do with bank balances) but made sense he went. His successor was speaking on Hamilton's podcast and I lifted this from xv. I agree with him it's not just playing to the rules now but being very publically seen to be playing within the rules and also the spirit of the rules:

'“Nigel did fall on his sword and he has no executive role in the club since I started. As you’ve seen from the press release, Nigel confirmed that although he’s going to be a shareholder, he’s going to return to being a fan, albeit a super fan.


“Everything has changed. He’s had zero executive responsibility from January 2020. Zero.

“In light of this new financing, I think his role has changed again. If people think it’s same old, same old, that’s absolutely not the case. It’s a very different situation at Saracens now.

“Nigel’s a minority shareholder and he’s a super fan. He’s had a contribution to the club over time has been huge but that’s in the past and we’ve moved on from that.”

Golding says that any suggestion that Saracens might be tempted to breach salary cap regulations again are farcical.

“From the club’s perspective, any more salary nonsense would be doubly disastrous. It’s already been a bit messy, to say the least.

“From the start I said we are going to be the ‘poster children’ and what that means in practice is that we have a salary cap committee. I sit on that. It is chaired by a very senior ex-PWC partner who knows his business and we’ve got the finance director of the club as well.

“We’ve laboured the point. We’ve had training for the employees, training for the players, we’ve got the new Lord Myners salary cap report, we’ve had conversations with Andrew Rogers, the new salary cap director. It’s really not that difficult.

“If in doubt you ask Andrew Rogers before you buy Maro Itoje a coffee, or Owen Farrell a round of golf, let’s just be squeaky clean about that. That’s the club’s position.”

“Leave aside the club, frankly from my own perspective. I’m a solicitor. I’m been in the same firm [Freshfields] for 31 years. It’s a pretty respectable firm. It’s what the journalists call the magic circle. The firm’s been around since 1740.

“The idea that I have any interest that I’d have any interest a headline that read ‘Freshfield partner Golding in salary cap scandal’ is complete BS. I cannot tell you how inconceivable that is to me. It’s complete nonsense.”'

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Post by Poorfour Thu 14 Oct 2021, 3:53 pm

Well, let's hope third time's a charm when it comes to staying within the cap.
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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 01 Nov 2021, 5:06 pm

Very interested conversation with someone in a pub in Bath on Saturday.

Wasps supporter who said he personally knew, a senior past Wasps player (International level). He named him but I won’t.
He was told by said player that he believed Mrs Elliott Daly was paid £300,000 a year for working for 2 days in the canteen in 2019-20

Don’t shoot the messanger


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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 01 Nov 2021, 5:16 pm

Sounds like the old Rugby League style methods of topping player's contracts up. You'd hope that, that kind of thing would be picked up by any Prem level audit into the salary cap.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 01 Nov 2021, 5:18 pm

God you'd hope so. Not sure I believe it if they meant it happened at wasps though given the players they lost while seemingly trying to balance the books. Did he mean at saracens?

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 01 Nov 2021, 7:38 pm

He did means Saracens

2019-20 Daly was a Saracens player

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Post by Brendan Mon 01 Nov 2021, 10:45 pm

I would like to think the Salary Cap watchdog would know to check things like that but past experiences would say they have no idea what's happening inside a club.

I also doubt that Sarries were the only ones cheating the system, they just ended up upseting the wrong people so it all came out.

For years we were told how Sarries big players were on good money and the rest were on small wages.  We have since heard that about Exeter and Bristol who have amassed good squads.  Not saying they are but they both remind me of the early Sarries rumours when it appears they were cheating. Not sure how Bristol pays the top players what they do and still afford the rest of the squad.

Anyway Sarries I would say would be the favourites for the Prem this year. Tigers are good but don't have the experience to win the knockouts part.  They are unlikely to be able to play the all court running like Quinns though I still doubt Quinns would have beaten Sarries if they where there last season.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 02 Nov 2021, 8:50 am

Dont be so quick to dismiss the Tigers. They have everything you need,.

Experience in Key positions...(Cole, Genge, Ford, Youngs, Nadolo, Scott...)
A top playmaker at 10
Real Physicality and aggression all over
Lineout options
Pace and power all over the back line.

And a coach whos been to a World Cup final...

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Post by Irish Londoner Tue 02 Nov 2021, 9:14 am

Brendan wrote:I would like to think the Salary Cap watchdog would know to check things like that but past experiences would say they have no idea what's happening inside a club.

I also doubt that Sarries were the only ones cheating the system, they just ended up upseting the wrong people so it all came out.

For years we were told how Sarries big players were on good money and the rest were on small wages.  We have since heard that about Exeter and Bristol who have amassed good squads.  Not saying they are but they both remind me of the early Sarries rumours when it appears they were cheating. Not sure how Bristol pays the top players what they do and still afford the rest of the squad.

Anyway Sarries I would say would be the favourites for the Prem this year. Tigers are good but don't have the experience to win the knockouts part.  They are unlikely to be able to play the all court running like Quinns though I still doubt Quinns would have beaten Sarries if they where there last season.

Saracens problem was that they carried on "stretching" the rules after they were caught - just before the 2015 RWC several clubs including (allegedly) Saracens, Bath and Wasps were caught but the clubs and the RFU didn't want a public row just before the RWC so it was settled "behind closed doors" and the clubs promised to play nice in future. Saracens didn't.

I've no doubt that other clubs have attempted to find loopholes as well but either were just on the right side of the rules or were not caught, of course even today Saracens still refuse access to their books, wonder why?

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Post by PhilBB Tue 02 Nov 2021, 9:43 am

The GP salary cap regulations explicitly state:

"Connected Party"

2. in relation to a player:
a) any family member of that Player, where family member shall mean, in relation to that Player:
i) a spouse, civil partner, cohabitee or any other person living with that Player in an enduring family relationship;
ii) children, step-children or dependents;
iii) siblings; and
iv) parents;

So Mrs Daly working in the canteen would have counted towards the salary cap.
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Post by PhilBB Tue 02 Nov 2021, 9:43 am

https://d2cx26qpfwuhvu.cloudfront.net/premier/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/16094417/Salary-Regulations-2020-21-Final-Approved-28.10.20.pdf

Link here for the 20-21 document.
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Post by PhilBB Tue 02 Nov 2021, 9:45 am

Irish Londoner wrote:of course even today Saracens still refuse access to their books, wonder why?

Are you sure? It's just that action would in itself break the regulations:

"The Salary Cap Director has the ability to investigate at any time any arrangement between a Player (and/or their Connected Party) and a Club (and/or their Connected Party)"

"Each year a firm of independent auditors will carry out the Annual Audit on each Club in accordance with the Regulations. The audit results are presented to the Board of Premiership Rugby and shared with each Club."
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Post by Brendan Tue 02 Nov 2021, 2:44 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Dont be so quick to dismiss the Tigers. They have everything you need,.

Experience in Key positions...(Cole, Genge, Ford, Youngs, Nadolo, Scott...)
A top playmaker at 10
Real Physicality and aggression all over
Lineout options
Pace and power all over the back line.

And a coach whos been to a World Cup final...
Tigers look good and wouldn't be surprised to see them make a final but Sarries are one of the best teams to stop teams playing and force the game to be played their way.  Tigers were lucky to get the win v Sarries earlier.  Sarries effectively trained for a year so by the time you hit the end of the season they will be a well oiled machine.  

Tigers did fall in the final of the Challenge Cup last year after beating Ulster in the semi final.  They will have learn alot from that but let's see what happens when they lose a game and doubts set in.

McCall is one of the best coaches in Europe, would love him to be in charge of Ireland but not sure the IRFU could afford him.

Tigers a definately the second best team in England and probably England's best hope in the Champions Cup as Quinns can be slow starters in games and not sure Tigers/Sarries or the top Euro teams would be so forgiving as a Bristol defence.  Bordeaux though will be a good test to see where Tigers are.


Still find it madness that Ford seems to be discarded when he is so young.  Not sure of what's behind him at Tigers if England take him or he gets injured.  He has done it at international level and was the reason they didn't get relegated when Tigers were rubbish.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 02 Nov 2021, 2:53 pm

Not sure you can pick a best or second best team this early in the season. Too much chopping and changing goes on. The league over the season will sort it out but I don't think I'd want to call who is going to end in the top 4 let alone champions. As open as I've seen.

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Post by Brendan Tue 02 Nov 2021, 3:09 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Brendan wrote:I would like to think the Salary Cap watchdog would know to check things like that but past experiences would say they have no idea what's happening inside a club.

I also doubt that Sarries were the only ones cheating the system, they just ended up upseting the wrong people so it all came out.

For years we were told how Sarries big players were on good money and the rest were on small wages.  We have since heard that about Exeter and Bristol who have amassed good squads.  Not saying they are but they both remind me of the early Sarries rumours when it appears they were cheating. Not sure how Bristol pays the top players what they do and still afford the rest of the squad.

Anyway Sarries I would say would be the favourites for the Prem this year. Tigers are good but don't have the experience to win the knockouts part.  They are unlikely to be able to play the all court running like Quinns though I still doubt Quinns would have beaten Sarries if they where there last season.

Saracens problem was that they carried on "stretching" the rules after they were caught - just before the 2015 RWC several clubs including (allegedly) Saracens, Bath and Wasps were caught but the clubs and the RFU didn't want a public row just before the RWC so it was settled "behind closed doors" and the clubs promised to play nice in future. Saracens didn't.

I've no doubt that other clubs have attempted to find loopholes as well but either were just on the right side of the rules or were not caught, of course even today Saracens still refuse access to their books, wonder why?

The problem is though when you look at the Exeter Squad from last year that was putting out B Teams that still had alot of good players in there.  Was that squad cheaper than Sarries team which was over the cap.

I think it's naive to think Sarries were the only team after 2015 who didn't declare all payments made in relation to the players wages.  Fairly sure in the chats Mr Lansdown has with his teams of accounts and lawyers that his sports teams come up in conversation and things are mentioned that are done in either Basketball or football that could be done at the Bears.

But like Sarries everyone is currently abiding by the rules completely and always have except Sarries and those unnamed clubs from 2015 until we are told they are not.

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Post by Brendan Tue 02 Nov 2021, 3:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not sure you can pick a best or second best team this early in the season. Too much chopping and changing goes on. The league over the season will sort it out but I don't think I'd want to call who is going to end in the top 4 let alone champions. As open as I've seen.


We are 25% of the way through and one team is undefeated and the second team only lost to the undefeated team by 1pt.

Quinns have scored 50pts less than Tigers and Sarries but conceded 30-50 points more.

Exeter and Sale have struggled with the rule change around binding so are able to steamroll teams as before.

I haven't said who the top 4 will be but Tigers and Sarries are currently head and shoulders above everyone else (mainly due to teams like Bristol, Exeter and Sale dropping back)

Lots can change but I think most have those two in the top 4.  Bookies would seem to back it up aswell but they do believe Exeter will fix their problems.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 02 Nov 2021, 3:57 pm

Hmm. Agree to disagree then.

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