Saracens face fine for failing to appear at Champions Cup launch
Last Updated: 06/11/19 1:44pm
Saracens are facing another fine after failing to send any representatives to the Champions Cup launch in Cardiff on Wednesday.
Director of rugby Mark McCall and club captain Brad Barritt had been due to attend, but the cup holders told organisers on Tuesday they would no longer be there.
The club have been informed they are in breach of the competition's participation agreement and a financial penalty is likely.
A statement issued by European Professional Club Rugby on Tuesday said: "EPCR is disappointed to learn of Saracens' decision to make their club representatives unavailable for today's official 2019/20 season launch of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup in Cardiff.
"EPCR will now consider what action is appropriate in this instance and will be making no further comment at this time."
This comes a day after Saracens' fine of £5.3m and a 35-point deduction for breaching the Premiership's salary cap rules, which the club has said it will appeal.
Analysis: Plenty of concerns for Saracens
Sky Sports News reporter James Cole on Saracens' salary-cap breach
"This decision will have huge ramifications - not just for Saracens but for the Premiership as a whole.
"Right now, it prompts more questions than it provides answers for.
"The fallout from this will spread far and wide. Should other clubs be worried? Are Saracens the only club to have failed to disclose business partnerships?
"Relegation will be a worry for Saracens - but they should still avoid the drop.
"If you docked 35 points from their tallies for the last three seasons, Mark McCall's side would still have been safe.
"The biggest concern going forward will be how they keep their top players, while still operating on reduced budgets.
"With business investments now disclosed, can they still afford the likes of Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and the Vunipola brothers? The likely answer is 'yes'.
"Saracens will be desperate to keep the core of this squad together - and no changes to the current squad would need to take place until next season.
"Could other players be forced to leave the club next season? Potentially.
"Liam Williams, Richard Wigglesworth, Alex Lozowski, Ben Spencer, Nick Isiekwe, Brad Barritt and Sean Maitland are all out of contract next summer.
"Wales full-back Williams is already being linked with a move away.
"If Saracens don't win the Heineken Cup this season, then they likely won't be part of Europe's elite competition next term.
"That too will have financial implications and affect their ability to attract the top players.
"Much depends on the outcome of their appeal."