This season’s Gallagher Premiership has become farcical now that Saracens will be automatically relegated, according to Kieran Cunningham.
The Irish Daily Star’s chief sports writer was speaking to Off The Ball about the salary cap scandal and questioned whether Premiership Rugby had gone too far.
“It’s possibly because we’ve become so used to soccer with the financial fair play rules that have been flouted big-time by some clubs and have been effectively given a slap on the wrist.
“Or just let off with it. So this is pretty extreme. You wonder have they gone too far? Stephen Jones has been very adamant since this broke that this isn’t as big a deal as people make out.
“Perhaps that’s rooted in him having knowledge in the way some other clubs operate or thinking that it just isn’t that big a deal,” Cunningham said.
The reigning European and English champions had been originally fined £5.3 million and deducted 35 points but will now be automatically relegated as they will break the salary cap again this season.
As a result, the teams in danger of relegation such as Leicester Tiger, London Irish and Wasps will not be relegated regardless of how they do this season.
“I think that line there that they had the option to open their books to forensic audit and they didn’t take it and took relegation ahead of it - that’s very interesting.
“Because that does make people think, ‘Why don’t they want a forensic audit?’ You would think a huge points deduction and a fine would be sufficient punishment.
“Now the Premiership season has become farcical. You also have the Champions Cup - what happens if Saracens win it? There’s going to be an asterisk after this tournament,” Cunningham said.
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