Brian O’Driscoll & Lawrence Dallaglio Have Their Say On Premiership Rugby’s Decision To Relegate Saracens
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Brian O’Driscoll reckons Saracens have tarnished the English Premiership following their salary cap breach that has led to them being relegated to the championship at the end of the season.
The current holders of the competition were initially handed a find in excess of £5 million as well as a 35 point deduction for breaching the cap in each of the last three seasons following a lengthy investigation.
But after it was discovered that they would be once again over the cap come the deadline this season, Premiership Rugby decided to take a drastic measure and automatically relegate them from the competition.
O’Driscoll said it’s a “dark day” and said things were always going to be “messy” because of the lies that have been told.
“[The Premiership] is certainly tarnished. They’ve brought the Gallagher Premiership into disrepute and as a result, we are here talking about it at European rugby level,” O’Driscoll told BT Sport.
“That has been brought into disrepute as well because the holders of it have managed to procure their way into it via winning the Premiership.
“I think it’s a bit of a dark day and now is the time that Saracens need to try and get back to zero. They’ve been fighting to get here and that’s why it’s it’s been dragged out.
“It was always going to be messy but it could have been done a long time ago if we hadn’t been lied to. That’s why it’s all coming out now in the wash.”
Dallaglio meanwhile believes the 35-point deduction was “not enough” and said there will be huge ramification not just for Saracens but for English rugby as well.
“Clearly the 35-point deduction in the eyes of some of the owners and a lot of people was not enough,” Dallaglio said.
“More needed to be done to regain the credibility and the integrity of the competition. If you’re going to have a salary cap and people are going to abuse it consistently over a period of time, there have to be consequences.
“If the consequences are only a 35-point deduction, that doesn’t really work because what it says is you can abuse the salary cap, you can retain your trophies, and retain your status within the division.
“And will have huge ramifications not just for Saracens, because this squad will be disbanded, but for English rugby.”
A dark weekend for Saracens. A dark weekend for rugby.
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 19, 2020