Saracens have been handed a 35-point deduction and fined more than £5m by Premiership Rugby after being found guilty of breaching salary cap rules.

The Premiership and European champions drop from fourth to bottom in this season’s table and are now on -26 points after three games.

A statement from Premiership Rugby said: The charges, which relate to the seasons 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19, were brought in June 2019 following a nine-month investigation by Premiership Rugby.

The decision of the Independent Panel is that Saracens Rugby Club failed to disclose payments to players in each of the seasons 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

In addition, the Club is found to have exceeded the ceiling for payments to senior players in each of the three seasons.

The Salary Cap Regulations stipulate that a points deduction may be imposed in the current season (2019-20) only.

The sanction has no bearing on any other domestic or European competition.

More to follow…

(c) Sky Sports 2019: Saracens deducted 35 points and fined £5.3m for salary cap breach