Premier League clubs could lose titles for future salary cap violations

LONDON: Clubs in the English Premier League that violate the league's salary cap rules in the future could be stripped of their titles and suspended, according to a review published Thursday after the Saracens scandal.

Other recommendations include stronger investigative powers and increased responsibility for club officials, players, and agents, as well as Premier League Rugby itself.

The review, led by the former British government finance minister Paul Myners , was commissioned after reigning Premiership champions Saracens were found to have breached salary cap regulations in each of the past three seasons.

Saracens , also the reigning European champions, will be relegated from the English top-flight at the end of the current campaign as a result of the salary breaches.

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The London club was hit with a huge cumulative deduction of 105 points after repeatedly breaching the £ 7 million ($ 8.5 million) salary cap limit imposed on the 12 clubs in the top flight and then refused to open their books to full scrutiny.

Saracens were also fined £5.3 million but there was no mechanism under the existing regulations for Premier League Rugby to deprive them of their titles while the club were operating outside the salary cap.

The recommendations of the review have yet to be approved by Premier League clubs before they take effect and Myners urged their full adoption.

It is important that my recommendations are seen as a package of measures that, if taken together, will go a long way towards restoring the integrity of the regulations, he wrote in his report.

They should not be seen as a menu of options to choose from.

The relegation of Saracens , the club of England captain Owen Farrell , is still scheduled to take place even though the league is currently suspended due to coronavirus .

Premier League Rugby chief executive Darren Childs , who established the review prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, appreciated the recommendations.

In the next stage of this process, we will carefully consult with our clubs and other stakeholders as we finalize the new salary cap regulations for the long-term benefit of our sport, he said.