Saracens interim chief executive Ed Griffiths leaves role after 26 days

Saracens’ salary cap scandal has claimed another victim after interim chief executive Ed Griffiths stepped down with immediate effect.

Griffiths departs just 26 days into the 12-month contract that brought him back to Allianz Park for a second spell designed to steer the double winners through the crisis that has engulfed the club.

Saracens will be relegated from the Gallagher Premiership in June for breaching the £7million salary cap for 2019-20, having already been docked 35 points and fined £5.36million for exceeding the limit for the previous three seasons.

Griffiths joins former chairman Nigel Wray and former chief executive Mittesh Velani in leaving positions made untenable by the scandal that has plunged the double winners into tier two of English rugby.

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

In a short statement released on Tuesday afternoon, new Saracens chairman Neil Golding thanked Griffiths for his time in a role that began on January 2, with the recruitment process for his successor already under way.

“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,” the statement said.

Last week, Griffiths denied working as a cricket agent, following claims he had been reported to the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Griffiths rejected any wrongdoing after reports in a national newspaper alleged that the ECB was investigating a possible conflict of interest over his consultancy role with Middlesex.

Nigel Wray resigned as Saracens chairman at the start of January
Nigel Wray resigned as Saracens chairman at the start of January (Mike Egerton/PA)

On January 24, Griffiths told the PA news agency: “I am not an agent, I have never acted as an agent and I have never received a commission to work as an agent.

“I have worked as a consultant acting for Middlesex for the last three years, helping players there with areas beyond cricket, and that’s involved doing lots of things that would perhaps in other circumstances be thought of as things an agent would do.

“But I have only ever been acting on behalf of and for Middlesex.”

Saracens have now breached salary cap regulations in five of the last seven seasons and their conduct was repeatedly condemned by the report into their ‘financial doping’. The club cannot be stripped of their titles under PRL regulations.

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