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HEC R4) Saracens v Munster @ Allianz Park, BT/beIN, Saturday, 3PM

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    Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post
    I don't like what Sarries did, but I think us complaining about it is a bit futile. There's no salary cap in the competition they knocked us out of. Unless they were significantly outspending the likes of Toulon, Racing, Stade, Toulouse etc over the years, I don't see that it makes much material difference to us.
    If they had not been out spending in their domestic league maybe we would not of come up against them in the HC?
    Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

    Comment


      Originally posted by McCloud View Post

      If they had not been out spending in their domestic league maybe we would not of come up against them in the HC?


      Quite possibly. But we played megastar laden teams from France for years. And we have no salary cap ourselves, and neither do Leinster.

      I can see why Exeter or Quins or whoever would be hacked off. But it's all the one to us in Europe, I think.

      "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

      "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


      "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

      Comment


        Originally posted by McCloud View Post

        If they had not been out spending in their domestic league maybe we would not of come up against them in the HC?
        Exactly. They qualified for the HEC due to breaking the rules of their own domestic league. They cheated to qualify for the HEC. And while its materially no different this year to last year, them qualifying for the QFs - and with a decent shot of winning the competition - having been exposed as cheats and facing relegation as a punishment rankles. And brings the entire competition into disrepute. HEC get their knickers in a twist over a medico telling a hooker he is somewhat overweight but have nothing to say? Its a complete cluster f***. HEC must be praying Leinster win their Quarter.
        Last edited by Yatenga; 20th-January-2020, 13:15.

        Comment


          The worst thing Salaries did is forcing me to cheer for Leinster I the Quarter Finals
          "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

          Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

          Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

          Comment


            Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post



            Quite possibly. But we played megastar laden teams from France for years. And we have no salary cap ourselves, and neither do Leinster.

            I can see why Exeter or Quins or whoever would be hacked off. But it's all the one to us in Europe, I think.
            We have no salary cap but we do effectively have financial fair play in terms of living within our means. Many of the English teams are not living within their means. I would guess, based on looking at the IRFU annual report,
            that the salary costs of each of the four provinces is below GBP 7m plus two marquee players.

            Comment


              What this whole farce reinforces is the monumental scale of the **** up by PRL in that they did not deal with this in the closed season.

              In the Premiership, you could in theory exclude all Sarries results from the reckoning or indeed give all teams a walkover against them and everyone could be considered to have been treated fairly. If they are not competitive over the remainder of the season, it is unfair on the teams who have already played them when they were fighting for their premiership lives.

              In Europe, if you had the power to dump them out mid season, how do you reconcile the games they played, giving the teams they played a walkover isn't fair on the teams they were never due to play. Excluding the results of the games they played isn't fair to the teams they did play when you stack their results up against the teams from other groups. Just kicking them out at this stage is unfair to teams that had them in their group.

              Comment


                I think the best way to deal with them at European Level, once they've been proven to have cheated in qualifying into the competition is
                1. To kick them out of the competition (just after the pools strikes me as an ideal time to do so)
                2. Come to an arrangement to redistribute their results fairly (most probably by an averaging system e.g. each team in their group say gets an average points won taking out the fixtures against the illegal Sarries).
                3. Stipulate that only saracens place in the knock outs is given to the qualifying side after those averaged points were allocated.

                I think that would be the closest to fair way of handling this mess, but of course it would require fair handedness by the EPCR ( incarnated as the nigels cup, so that's unlikely) and also goodwill from the other clubs involved.

                I.e. applying a system like that may well allow Munster be compensated points so that they then would qualify, but another team in another group who are looking at that 8th slot would also have grounds to feel aggrieved.

                Similarly, tho Racing have got a top seeded position (1 or 2) anyway, so that they will have a home QF, & SF if winning thru, what would happen if say they had come 3rd or4th say Just say 1 point outside the top 2 seedings. Do you then give them average results v Sarries and hence maybe displace another side from seed 2 or 1??

                It's messy Jim, sometimes the logical solution may not be that practical....
                ____________________________________________
                Munster were great when they were Munster.

                alas they are just north munster now.......
                ____________________________________________

                Comment


                  All but die-hard sarries supporters will be hoping Leinster win- tidies it up if the past is ignored. Would Exeter be prepared to play them in a final having cheated to qualify?

                  I’m not sure why sarries are being allowed to fulfill their PRL fixtures, what do points lost to a team who were trying to avoid relegation at one point, and could not do so at another? what if a member of the opposing side has is injured and out of subsequent fixtures, thus affecting his team’s league potential position.

                  Comment


                    from Irish Times today. Well worth the EUR 16 monthly subscription.

                    Contrition for cheating very belated from Saracens


                    Gerry Thornley

                    Spare a thought for Glasgow. In the heel of the hunt, the Scottish team missed out on the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup to a club who, we now all know, cheated to qualify for the tournament in the first place. True, there is no salary cap in Europe, but Saracens were breaking the Premiership rules when they won the Champions Cup in 2016-17 by beating Clermont 28-17 in the Murrayfield final.

                    What’s more Saracens’ performance in the Premiership that season, when reaching the semi-finals, earned them a tier two seeding in the draw for the 2017-18 Champions Cup in a pool with Clermont, Northampton and the Ospreys from which they qualified for the knock-out stages.

                    Saracens were breaking the salary cap again in that 2017-18 season, when they finished second behind Exeter in the Premiership but beat them in the final. This in turn earned them a top tier seeding in the draw for last season’s tournament, when they won six from six in a pool featuring Glasgow, Cardiff and Lyon to earn a top seeding for the knock-out stages and went on to beat Leinster in the final.

                    But it’s Exeter who have suffered the most from Saracens’ cheating, having lost three finals too them. Exeter’s CEO Tony Rowe has called for them to be stripped of their titles and, if the Tour de France can strip a drug cheat, Lance Armstrong, of his titles one wonders why Premiership Rugby cannot do the same. Certainly Saracens’ impending relegation to the Championship next season will be of scant consolation to Exeter, who abided by the salary cap of £7 million plus two marquee players but were beaten in finals by a club who did not. Clermont have also written to the Champions Cup organisers ECPR (European Club Professional Rugby) demanding that Saracens be stripped of their title in 2017 and the trophy be awarded to them.

                    It’s a long shot, but no doubt Leinster will be watching that one with interest!

                    As an aside, swelled by half a dozen or so central contracts with the IRFU, who also contributed toward another 28 of their 45-man squad, Leinster probably have a playing budget not far off €10 million.

                    Nor, should we forget, Saracens have effectively admitted they have been cheating again this season. Faced with a choice of relegation or having their financial accounts rigorously audited by both the PRL and independent auditors, they took the former option. That is quite an extraordinary state of affairs, and one can only assume they had something to hide; that their breaches of the salary cap have been even greater than the mooted £2 million which has been reported.

                    Independent audit

                    After all, the consequences of relegation are immense. They simply will not be able to retain their squad. They have eight British & Irish Lions on their books but other clubs, not least as they adhere to the salary cap, will not be able to afford them. They will face a huge hit financially. People’s livelihoods will be affected, both playing and non-playing staff. But they preferred that scenario to an independent audit! This compounds the lack of clarity behind the whole saga, as the original report by an independent Sports Resolutions disputes service was never published. Accepting relegation last weekend rather than have their books audited is quite a far cry from the club’s initial reaction to the punishment meted out last November. Their then chairman Nigel Wray, who has since stepped down, expressed his shock and disappointment, and vowed to appeal. It was only over the weekend Saracens, very belatedly, showed contrition through a statement by their newly-appointed club chairman Neil Goldlng. He acknowledged the club had made errors in the past “and we unreservedly apologise for those mistakes”. After reflecting overnight, on Sunday morning the club’s board issued another statement also stating they “unreservedly apologise for the mistakes made”. Their acceptance of relegation, according to the board, followed “open and frank discussions with PRL” but little about this whole process has been open and frank.

                    Meantime, on the pitch, actually qualifying from a group featuring Racing and Munster has to be considered one of this squad’s finest achievements. “By hook or by crook we’ve given ourselves half a chance in the competition,” Mark McCall said before the Racing game. Indeed. It was a rather unfortunate choice of words but you have some sympathy for McCall and one can only commend his intention to stay loyal to the club. McCall and the players cannot be blamed. All players and their agents seek to get the best deal possible. No players in their position would have rejected the chance to play with such a big club nor turn down lucrative contracts to remain with them.

                    Some Saracens fans questioned the timing of the club’s relegation on the weekend they faced their win-or-bust tie with Racing, as if done deliberately to unhinge their preparations. But if anything it probably helped galvanise them further. You always felt that being pinned into a corner would induce a huge performance from Owen Farrell and his teammates. Throughout much of the last decade they’ve developed a siege mentality at the best of times which has served them well and so it continued as they qualified for the knock-out stages for the ninth season in a row.

                    So it is Leinster, having won all six pool matches for a fourth time and reached their highest-ever match points total of 28, are “rewarded” with a meeting against the discredited back-to-back champions.

                    As things stand, this quarter-final is Saracens’ only remaining competitive match this season and it’s their last shot at Europe for at least another three seasons. Grist to the mill for their “no-one likes us but we don’t care” mentality. And it’s never been truer. gthornley@iristhimes.com

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by The Last Stand View Post

                      We have no salary cap but we do effectively have financial fair play in terms of living within our means. Many of the English teams are not living within their means. I would guess, based on looking at the IRFU annual report,
                      that the salary costs of each of the four provinces is below GBP 7m plus two marquee players.


                      Thornley is saying 10m for Leinster. We were having costs of c.7m bandied around 3 years or so ago. So Sarries inflated budget lands somewhere between Munster and Leinster, and about on a par with the French salary cap.

                      Again, I can see why English clubs are hacked off. But I think the wringing of hands from Irish fans is a bit off. Ospreys have a player budget of about 5m. Dragons 3.4.

                      I don't think we're being particularly hard done by here.
                      "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                      "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                      "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by jagawayagain View Post
                        All but die-hard sarries supporters will be hoping Leinster win- tidies it up if the past is ignored. Would Exeter be prepared to play them in a final having cheated to qualify?

                        I’m not sure why sarries are being allowed to fulfill their PRL fixtures, what do points lost to a team who were trying to avoid relegation at one point, and could not do so at another? what if a member of the opposing side has is injured and out of subsequent fixtures, thus affecting his team’s league potential position.


                        TV contracts, Gates. RFU regulations lean heavily towards teams fulfilling their fixtures by hook or by crook.
                        "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                        "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                        "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post



                          Thornley is saying 10m for Leinster. We were having costs of c.7m bandied around 3 years or so ago. So Sarries inflated budget lands somewhere between Munster and Leinster, and about on a par with the French salary cap.

                          Again, I can see why English clubs are hacked off. But I think the wringing of hands from Irish fans is a bit off. Ospreys have a player budget of about 5m. Dragons 3.4.

                          I don't think we're being particularly hard done by here.
                          Leinster in particular, given that they also benefit from an incredibly well run and financed schools system that produces a number of highly developed athletes each year. They are essentially running a small scale NFL draft where they have all the picks.
                          "It’s not the team you support, it’s the club you should support. The team on the pitch will ebb and flow because that’s the nature of sport. No team has ever been successful decade on decade. The club has the history and that’s the passion you should have."

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post



                            Thornley is saying 10m for Leinster. We were having costs of c.7m bandied around 3 years or so ago. So Sarries inflated budget lands somewhere between Munster and Leinster, and about on a par with the French salary cap.

                            Again, I can see why English clubs are hacked off. But I think the wringing of hands from Irish fans is a bit off. Ospreys have a player budget of about 5m. Dragons 3.4.

                            I don't think we're being particularly hard done by here.
                            Sarries inflated budget is reportedly at least a couple of million over the £7m + two marquee players + academy credits. That would put them over £10m, more than Leinster or any team in the Top14.

                            And, on the basis that they’d take relegation over opening their books, it would appear they’re hiding a bit more too.

                            Of the Irish provinces, only Leinster have anything close to Sarries’ wage bill. We’re a few world class players off that kind of spend.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

                              And, on the basis that they’d take relegation over opening their books, it would appear they’re hiding a bit more too.
                              This bit has been mis-reported everywhere, the options were 1. Take relegation or 2. Open your books for full audit & hand back trophies

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

                                Sarries inflated budget is reportedly at least a couple of million over the £7m + two marquee players + academy credits. That would put them over £10m, more than Leinster or any team in the Top14.

                                And, on the basis that they’d take relegation over opening their books, it would appear they’re hiding a bit more too.

                                Of the Irish provinces, only Leinster have anything close to Sarries’ wage bill. We’re a few world class players off that kind of spend.


                                The only figure I've seen is a 2m overspend. The off the books elements all seem tied to what would be their marquee players, so I've assumed that's all bundled into the 2m.
                                "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                                "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                                "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                                Comment

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