Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has confirmed the double winners’ squad must be broken up after acknowledging the “end of an era” at Allianz Park.
The crisis-stricken north London club will be relegated from the Gallagher Premiership at the end of the season as punishment for breaching salary cap regulations.
When given the choice of opening up their books for a forensic audit and handing back trophies for the triumphant years of 2018 and 2019 or accepting demotion to the Championship, they opted for the latter.
They had already received a 35-point deduction and £5.36million fine for exceeding the £7million limit for each of the last three seasons, but their rivals’ patience over attempts to reduce their wage bill ran out.
“We will meet every player next week as a first off to see how they are feeling. It won’t be straight forward.”
In a statement released on Sunday, Saracens apologised unreservedly for the salary cap scandal, adding “our goal is to rebuild confidence and trust”, while club captain Brad Barritt offers a player’s perspective.
“People have given their lives to this club, the better part of their career. Everyone is hugely disappointed. Everyone is devastated about it,” Barritt said.
“This is something we’ve all grown up loving. In many ways we don’t go into it to make money.”