Saracens have given Premiership Rugby the go-ahead to publish the full report into how the champions of England and Europe committed repeated breaches of league salary cap rules.
The London club’s new chairman, Neil Golding, said on Wednesday that Saracens are “keen” for the details to be made public, in order to bring “context and clarity” to the situation.
Premiership Rugby welcomed what it said was an about-turn from Sarries and confirmed publication will go ahead, saying it will “begin preparations” for Lord Dyson’s report to see the light of day.
Golding was adamant Saracens had no objection to the report’s release, but Premiership Rugby insisted the club’s lawyers had previously expressed resistance “in the strongest terms”.
Demotion to the Championship at the end of the current season is the grim fate that awaits Saracens, who were first hit by a 35-point deduction and £5.36million fine, later compounded by last week’s swingeing second punishment.
Golding’s assertion conflicted with comments from Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs, who on Tuesday said Saracens’ lawyers wanted the judgement to remain confidential.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Saracens chairman Golding said: “With regards to the publication of the disciplinary panel’s full report, I am surprised by the suggestion that Saracens are objecting to the publication of the report.
“Since my appointment on 9 January, I have spent considerable time in discussions with PRL and nobody has asked me what my position is on the matter.
“To confirm, we are keen for the report to be published in full and I made PRL aware of this earlier today. It will provide much needed context and clarity.”
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Golding’s remarks led to a swift response from Premiership Rugby, which said in its own statement: “Premiership Rugby welcomes Saracens’ decision to withdraw its previous objection to publication of Lord Dyson’s decision.
“These objections were stated in the strongest terms and in writing on behalf of the club by its lawyers.
“We believe that publication of the decision in respect of Saracens’ past breaches of the salary cap is an important step towards upholding trust in our enforcement of the regulations and the disciplinary process.
“We will now begin preparations for release of the decision. Further details will be provided in the coming days.”
Golding’s latest comments included the confirmation that Saracens swallowed the bitter pill of relegation rather than allow their books to be raked over in a “full investigatory audit”.
“It would be fair to say that other PRL stakeholders were sceptical about our compliance with such an audit,” Golding said.
“We carefully considered the option of a full investigatory audit. However, that inevitably would have involved a long period of more financial and emotional strain and this in turn meant this was not a viable option for us.
“We therefore agreed with PRL on relegation in the hope that we could draw a line under the mistakes made by Saracens with respect to compliance with the regulations and concentrate on putting our new robust procedures in place.”
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