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"I would have stripped them of their title as well" | Matt Williams on Saracens

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

21:26 20 Jan 2020

Saracens should have been stripped of their Premiership title as well as relegated from the competition after breaching salary cap rules, according to Matt Williams.

Saracens' relegation at the end of the season was confirmed on Saturday after they made the decision not to open their accounts for a forensic audit.

The former Leinster and Ulster Head Coach was on Monday Night Rugby and highlighted the case of Melbourne Storm who were stripped of their National Rugby League (NRL) titles in Australia for breaching similar salary rules.

"I would have stripped them of their title as well which is what happened in Australia the Melbourne Storm, which is one of the great sporting franchises," Williams explained.

After the conclusion of an investigation by the NRL in 2010, Melbourne Storm were stripped of all honours achieved as a team between 2006 and 2010.

While relegation was not a prospect as it does not exist in the NRL, Williams recalled that the team was forced to play a whole season where they could not win any points.

"They were going to end up on zero points, they just had to play a year where they won or lost and they were stripped of their Premiership the year before."

Unhappy with Saracens' bending of the rules, Williams noted the importance of salary caps in assuring that "the biggest spender" doesn't always win as often happens in other sports.

"Look, salary caps are there for a reason and one of the main reasons is to spread the talent evenly out across the competition so one team doesn't dominate.

"That's what a salary cap is there for and if you can't afford to keep a player that forces that player to go to another club. Now, there is a lot of negatives to that: there is very little player loyalty with clubs and very little to players from clubs."

With Saracens refusing to open their accounts to a forensic audit, Williams argued that the Premiership will have to do more in the future to assure they can force clubs into being transparent.

"It seems to me that the Premiership has got an idea of a salary cap and hasn't done all the other work that has got to go into running a salary cap. You've got to have an integrity unit, you've got to have a unit that can walk in and check the books."

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