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Saracens to be relegated from Premiership at end of the season

Reigning champions Saracens will be relegated from rugby union's top flight at the end of this season following persistent salary cap breaches, Premiership Rugby has confirmed.

Saracens had already been deducted 35 points for the current Premiership campaign and fined £5.4m for three seasons' spending above the cap.

Proof of immediate cap compliance was required to avoid further sanctions.

Saracens "accept" the relegation and "apologise for the mistakes made".

In a statement, the club added: "Our goal is to rebuild confidence and trust. We have accepted the unpre­ced­ented measure of automatic relegation from the Premiership at the end of the 2019-2020 season.

"The board must embody the values of the club, learn from its mistakes so the club can come back stronger.

"It is in the wider interests of the Premiership and English rugby to take this decisive step, to ensure everybody is able once again to focus on the game of rugby, which we all love."

Saracens will finish this season before entering the Championship for 2020-21.

"Premiership Rugby is prepared to take strong action to enforce the regulations governing fair competition between our clubs," chief executive Darren Childs said.

"At the conclusion of dialogue with Saracens about their compliance with the Salary Cap Regulations, it has been decided that Saracens will be relegated at the end of this season.

"At the same time as enforcing the existing regulations, we want to ensure a level playing field for all clubs in the future, which is why we have asked Lord Myners to carry out an inde­pen­dently-led review of the salary cap."

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