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Tokyo Calling - Rugby 2019

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    It's interesting that they haven't had the previous English titles stripped from them, I wonder if there will European repercussions of this too.

    As for other clubs, it wouldn't surprise me if some are at it but it's clear that Saracens have been cheating on an industrial scale and they're going to be the poster boys - like Armstrong in cycling.

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      As I've said before, I don't really follow rugby union and in particular I don't understand the points system. A 35-point deduction sounds like an awful lot but is it in reality? For example, a 12-point deduction in football is four wins and if you have a decent team you could still get into a play-off position.

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        Originally posted by Capybara View Post
        As I've said before, I don't really follow rugby union and in particular I don't understand the points system. A 35-point deduction sounds like an awful lot but is it in reality? For example, a 12-point deduction in football is four wins and if you have a decent team you could still get into a play-off position.
        Maximum points possible in any game are five (regular four plus bonus point for four tries), so equates to seven absolute wins, and a rugby season is much shorter than a soccer one (22 regular season games in England).

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          Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
          It's interesting that they haven't had the previous English titles stripped from them, I wonder if there will European repercussions of this too.
          Is the cap relevant in Europe? I thought French clubs didn't have a salary cap which is why players went there in the first place?

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            No, it's not strictly relevant but obviously they have entered European competitions based on English league placings achieved by cheating.

            France does have a salary cap, it's just enormously high.

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              Would this get them relegated? It seems not enough.

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                A 35 point deduction would not have been enough to relegate them in recent seasons.

                However, you have to figure they may have to start offloading players to work within the salary cap and to maybe help pay the fine and that may have an impact on the pitch.

                The squad was built by illegal means, it really should be broken up.
                Last edited by Ray de Galles; 05-11-2019, 20:14.

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                  Thanks for that Ray.

                  Last week there was talk in the Wales press of Sanjay returning home when his contract is up. This confirms that.

                  They should be stripped off all their titles and relegated. The thing is they didn't really hide how they were breaking the rules either. Fuck em.

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                    Originally posted by Jobi1 View Post

                    I can't believe for a second they're the only ones who've been at it. Will be interesting to see if any other clubs start getting chippy about their titles over the last few seasons. I slightly suspect they won't.
                    Exeter's Chief Exec has said they should be stripped of last year's title and relegated.

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                      Originally posted by Rogin the Armchair fan View Post

                      Exeter's Chief Exec has said they should be stripped of last year's title and relegated.
                      I heard that. Exeter have built from the academy with some stars but nothing like Saracens. Fair play to him for his stance.

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                        Saracens face further fine for failing to show up for Champions Cup launch

                        https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...y_to_clipboard

                        Robshaw calls them cheats. Diamond multiple offenders. Baxter says their wins are tarnished.

                        There's little or no sympathy for them.

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                          Saracens judgment is a spectacle of a sport robustly applying its rules

                          https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...y_to_clipboard

                          David Conn is excellent on this.

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                            On the flip side, a Saracens PR man (PR standing for Paul Rees) writes in the same paper.

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                              Admittedly, their brazenness hasn't left him much to work with, but that is still scattered and more than a bit half-hearted.

                              The legal challenge to the very validity of the cap on competition grounds is interesting to me. At least one French club has considered similar action, but were dissuaded by negative legal opinions on the argument's viability. I don't know English competition well enough to know if England may be hospitable to the claim, though my guess is that Sarries are simply desperate at this point.

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                                Given that several other UK sports have salary caps*, I can't see Saracens argument gaining any traction. "This is our competition, this is our rules, if you don't like them then feel free to play elsewhere" should be sufficient.

                                It's notable that that is the argument, as opposed to an interpretation of the rules around salaries.

                                *On paper, at least. Rather amusingly, it is nowhere to be found on the EIHL wiki page.

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                                  The whole thing harks back to the “amateur” days, really, where Will Carling and the like would play for their clubs for free but get paid a hundred grand here or there for promotional speaking at a bank that just happened to sponsor the club. It’s a classic case of “make a simple and apparently straightforward rule, and wait two weeks for people to find all sorts of ways round it or indeed straight through it”.

                                  Sarries will win their appeal because the RFU has nothing to explicitly rule out the payments made to the players’ promotional companies, which are separate legal persons. Footballers have been doing similar for years to avoid tax on their promotional work, and separate that from their employment in the UK.

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                                    Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                    Admittedly, their brazenness hasn't left him much to work with, but that is still scattered and more than a bit half-hearted.

                                    The legal challenge to the very validity of the cap on competition grounds is interesting to me. At least one French club has considered similar action, but were dissuaded by negative legal opinions on the argument's viability. I don't know English competition well enough to know if England may be hospitable to the claim, though my guess is that Sarries are simply desperate at this point.
                                    I think you'll find that the Magna carta essentially states that no central authority shall ever regulate the actions of wealthy and powerful people, and trying to get them to pay their fair share of taxation will lead to war. It's the corner stone of British law.

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                                      That is a rather different context, Rogin.

                                      They already tried that argument in the sporting proceedings (chaired by a former president of the Court of Appeal) and got nowhere because the salary cap rules clearly are intended to cover all types of compensation.

                                      “any salary, wage, fee, remuneration, compensation, match fee, per diem, royalty, gratuity, profit, perquisite, reward, emolument, earnings, incentive, retainer, loyalty payment, preferred payment or any other sum”.

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                                        This isn't about the ERFU (the rules are set by the English Premiership itself) and it's not about "payments made to the players' promotional companies".

                                        It's about co-investment by Saracens in players businesses outside of rugby and, as far as at least one article I've read this week (but now can't find) states, they define any payment to player as salary in a broad catch-all definition.


                                        Edit - cross-post with UA where he has the quote about the broad definition of payment. Where was that, out of interest, UA?
                                        Last edited by Ray de Galles; 07-11-2019, 13:32.

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                                          It was from one of Conn's pieces

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                                            Ah, I must have seen it there but couldn't relocate it, thanks.

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                                              It took me three tries. Knowing that one read it in article about this on the Guardian isn't that helpful at the moment.

                                              This one, for future reference.

                                              It is precisely the sport's deep tradition of shamateurism that led them to adopt such a broad definition when they decided to institute a meaningful cap.
                                              Last edited by ursus arctos; 07-11-2019, 14:09.

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                                                Shamateurism occurred to me yesterday when listening to a discussion about it on Radio 5. They had someone on from Harlequins talking about Bloodgate who reckoned this was a much bigger scandal.

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                                                  Gloucester have decided to stop selling Wolfpack Lager at Kingsholm because of it being owned by two former Saracens players.

                                                  Can't help but think that's a bit petty - but it's the sort of pettiness I can get behind.

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                                                    England to tour Japan in 2020, which is excellent news.

                                                    Speculation that Australia will look to host the World Cup in 2027, with USA looking at 2031. We've never had two consecutive non-European RWCs, have we?

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