WARRIORS chiefs have launched an astonishing attack on Saracens after the Premiership and European champions were docked 35 points and fined more than £5m for breaching the competition’s salary cap.
Sixways chiefs were the only top flight club to speak out publicly in support of Premiership Rugby’s decision to issue the punishment for a breach of the competition’s £7m cap on wages in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Saracens have vowed to appeal what they called ‘heavy-handed’ sanctions, meaning both the points deduction and fine will not come into force until the outcome of the appeal.
Had the points deduction been applied immediately, Sarries would be bottom of the Premiership with -26 points – a staggering 30 points behind 11th-placed Bath.
In a statement yesterday (Tuesday) Warriors said: “The salary cap regulations are there for good reasons. They ensure the financial sustainability of clubs and control inflationary pressures as well as maintaining a competitive Premiership.
“The salary cap regulations were unanimously agreed by all clubs so everyone is aware of their obligations to comply with them and of the potential consequences should they breach them.
“Warriors believe in playing the game within the rules in every event and are proud we adhere to the regulations across the board especially the salary cap which we spend up to but do not exceed.”
On the pitch, Warriors travel to Harlequins on Saturday looking to pick up their first win on the road in the Gallagher Premiership.
Like Warriors, Quins have also won one and lost two of their opening three games and Alan Solomons’ side go into the clash at The Stoop on the back of a narrow 24-20 reverse to high-flying Exeter Chiefs on Sunday.
Warriors secured a losing bonus point but deserved more for a courageous display against last season’s Gallagher Premiership runners-up which saw them lead 17-10 at the break on a bleak November afternoon at Sixways.
Two first half tries from Perry Humphreys rattled Exeter and Warriors dug deep in defence to hold on to their lead until prop Harry Williams crashed over five minutes from time to seal the win.