Saracens facing relegation from Premiership over salary cap breaches

By Chris Jones & Laura ScottBBC Sport
Saracens players Owen Farrell (left) and Maro Itoje (right) during a Premiership match against Bath
Saracens remain bottom of the Premiership on minus seven points after eight games

Saracens will be relegated from the Premiership unless they can prove compliance with Premiership Rugby's salary cap rules in the next few days.

They were deducted 35 points and fined £5.3m in November, having broken the cap for the past three seasons.

However, there is widespread belief Saracens will once more struggle to get under the £7m limit this campaign.

The champions have been told to comply with the rules immediately or face relegation at the end of the season.

But the club say nothing has been finalised and they are still trying to work through a solution before the deadline.

Saracens interim chief executive Edward Griffiths said: "Discussions are continuing, and nothing has been finalised but our position remains the same.

"It is clearly in the interests of the league and English rugby that this matter is dealt with as soon as possible, and we are prepared to do whatever is reasonably required to draw that line."

On Saturday, Saracens posted on social mediaexternal-link to confirm the club is "engaged in constructive dialogue" with Premiership Rugby.

The bosses of the top-flight clubs met at a Premiership Rugby board meeting in London on Tuesday.

It was decided that unless Saracens could prove their compliance, they would face the unprecedented step of dropping into the second tier.

Although Griffiths revealed to the BBC earlier this month that the club may need to trim their squad to fit under the cap, no players have yet been released.

The contract season has already run for seven months - since the start of July - with all the money paid to players who have featured for the club during that period counting towards the cap.

Furthermore, any money paid as compensation to players for cutting short contracts would also be included in the wage bill.

Premiership Rugby announced last month a comprehensive review of the current salary cap regulations, conducted by former government minister Lord Myners.

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