Facing The Consequences

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Yesterday Saracens rugby club were knocked out of Europe in the semi finals of the Champions Cup. This will be their last European encounter for some time having won this cup 3 times in the last 4 years. The team has also won 4 of the last premier titles but that counts for nothing now. This shows you what money can buy as one could say they bought all of these trophies and the success that goes with it.

The club breached the rules by cheating with the salary cap and now pay the consequences. many players have left and others have taken massive pay cuts to stay around and help bring the club back up. This is an example of what can happen and what should happen if rules are broken. Rules are there to protect the integrity of the sport and it is good to see a sport making sure this does not happen again.

If we look at football we see a sport that is badly governed and laws are flouted all the time. Imagine if Barcelona or Manchester City were dumped to lower leagues for breaching the rules. Instead they get a slap on the wrist pay a fine and miss out on the transfer market for one term. That is not a punishment and no wonder teams try their luck.

Saracens paid a fine and were removed from their league which is harsh compared to what FIFA sees as punishment. No other rugby club will do this again as the consequences are just to severe. Football clubs on the other hand will always be looking to try and cheat the system knowing that the consequences are worth taking.

I was reading an article the other day and one of the biggest reasons why footballers transfer fees have escalated like they have is down to crookedness with money laundering. This makes sense and why certain individuals and companies see football as such a viable proposition. The Chinese government has been clamping down on certain individuals buying clubs for tax evasion and money laundering purposes. Many of the deals don't make business sense like the Inter Milan deal done a few years ago. The club was losing 10's of Millions each season over a 5 year period yet they still saw it as a good investment.

As sad is it is to see Saracens disappear from the radar it is comforting to know that the sport is at least policing itself and it doesn't matter who you are. Saracens were a power house in English Rugby having many star players and now they will be turning out in grounds that hold 4 000 spectators. A humbling experience but they will be back in two years time as any longer would be just too damaging long term for the club.