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Saracens interim chief executive Griffiths leaving as club handed further 70-point deduction

(Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

English Premiership Rugby side Saracens has announced its interim chief executive Edward Griffiths is leaving after less than a month in the role.

The news came on the same day Premiership Rugby handed the team a further 70-point deduction that guarantees the side will be relegated at the end of the season.

Griffiths was appointed interim chief executive for a 12-month period, beginning in early January, after previous chief executive Mitesh Velani and club chairman and owner Nigel Wray stepped aside following the salary cap scandal.

A nine-month investigation ruled that Saracens failed to disclose additional payments to players in three seasons spanning 2016-17 to 2018-19 and the club were initially handed a 35-point deduction and fined over £5m (€5.87m/$6.54m).

Premiership Rugby said the latest points deduction has been made to guarantee the club will finish bottom of the league and “provide clarity for clubs and supporters”.

It is not clear why Griffiths has left, just 26 days after starting the role. Upon his appointment in January he had said his main objective was to get the club under the salary cap for this season. But the latest points deduction came after the club was unable to prove it could meet the £7m limit on players’ salaries for a fourth consecutive year.

Last week it was also reported he was the subject of an England and Wales Cricket Board investigation into over allegations he worked as an unregistered agent in the transfer of players. He had been working in cricket after a previous seven-year stint as chief executive of Saracens came to an end in 2015. He denies any wrongdoing.

New Saracens chairman Neil Golding said in a statement: “The club is very grateful to Edward for temporarily stepping away from his other commitments to provide significant assistance during a difficult period, and wishes him well in the future.”

Griffiths added: “This was always going to be a very short-term appointment, and others are well-placed to drive forward the rebuilding of the club.”