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Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: victorfez (IP Logged)
Date: 11 February, 2020 23:07

A deep issue I am sure several if not more Sarries fans have been searching...on what basis do I justify supporting a club and the game I loved post destruction of values and trust, the fundamental of the spirit of the game?

I have followed Sarries since and early awareness of my local top tier team since late seventies, a jersey worn by an aging rugby master at school - Dave Vaughan. Since then interest grew as enquired more through being an early season ticket holder in the dawn of the professional age - that long journey to Allianz Park and building a proud legacy. Now in tatters!

What next? Hard as it is the only option I see is the long journey to earn the right to compete again and gain the respect, through humility.

What does that mean - start again nearly! Relegation to the Championship is the opportunity to unburden the shackles of the misguided past. Lose all the stars and international's - sorry. Having them off on loan is avoiding the issue. Whenever we comeback it must be based on a new sustainable core base of home grown talent assisted by some experienced seasoned professional's ie Wigger's, Goode, Barritt, Wray, Barrington.

Maybe a couple of England squad will stay and play but...the management team again some will leave - those that cannot waste 2-4 years to evolve back from the ashes.

I would rename the club - Saracens 2020. Has a vision attached and date to draw a line under.

Return the Premiership Trophies won but not the European Cups, why the playing field in Europe is not level but we cheated in the premiership.

We can then start to see we are building on values - truly and hold our heads as Sarrie supporters high as we take the medicine and make a sick Club well. I genuinely can buy-in again to Sarries and align with fellow rugby supporters across the country.

One thing we must address in general re Salary Cap - must be a London weighting for housing and childcare/ school.

If we don't - I cannot see myself supporting in the future. It's a wrench I was so surprised!

Any other thoughts from Sarries?



VICTORfez following sarries and bees since '76

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Chris1850 (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 08:37

A considered and heartfelt post that demonstrates the real victims of this scandal - Saracens fans.

However, you fail to mention the real elephant in the room - Wray. I am afraid that as long as he remains associated with your club, it will forever be seen as toxic by the rest of the rugby community. Get rid of him, take the short term punishment in the Championship, sort out your squad and you are well along the road to redemption.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Garym (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 09:39

London weighting is a good idea for those on minimum wage and essential services, but for professional players who get paid more than the average salary I don't think so. Gloucester could go something similar as they have to live in the Cotswolds, Sale could do something similar based on players wanting to Iive in the nice bit of Stock broker belt Cheshire on their doorsteps. If my nephew can buy a flat in barnet on one salary, then I am sure that the players could afford something appropriate

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Primavesi2 (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 10:06

We broke the rules and have been heavily punished for that, with a huge fine and relegation. We should accept that of course but I do not see why we should then continue the self flagellation by voluntarily adding further punishments like giving trophies back just to pander to the fans (online fans) of other clubs.

With the release of the report, the facts are finally out there. That draws a line under it for me. People can have their own views about the scale of what happened and the punishment (which was agreed upon by the other clubs) - thats their right as fans but its really not our concern.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 12:32

Quote:
Primavesi2
...I do not see why we should then continue the self flagellation by voluntarily adding further punishments like giving trophies back just to pander to the fans (online fans) of other clubs.

Erm, that is one of your own fans who suggested returning the trophies, not somebody from another club, and quite reasonably saying that just the Premiership trophies should go, not a complete clearout.

There seems to be a strong feeling from within the Saracens supporters that it would be better to not be associated with what has been done. Just imagine that you discovered that items in your own home had been stolen by a member of your family without you knowing, you wouldn't want to keep them after that. Have some respect for your own supporters, and if they feel that the trophies that were won during this period are now somehow dirty, and they don't want them anymore, you should at least try to understand that point of view, not disregard it as some effort to bow to outside pressure.

For some of your supporters, the only way to draw a line under this episode as you suggest, is to disregard those trophies. That is a perfectly valid point of view and deserves to be respected.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Convex Hull (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 12:45

The fans don't own Saracens, it is the property of Nigel Wray and his group. It is his business and the fans are the customers.



Regardez mon visage. Suis-je bovvered?

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Primavesi2 (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 13:07

Quote:
Monkey1
Quote:
Primavesi2
...I do not see why we should then continue the self flagellation by voluntarily adding further punishments like giving trophies back just to pander to the fans (online fans) of other clubs.

For some of your supporters, the only way to draw a line under this episode as you suggest, is to disregard those trophies. That is a perfectly valid point of view and deserves to be respected.

Firstly, disagreeing with an opinion is not the same as not respecting the opinion. Otherwise you wouldn´t get much of a debate would you.

Secondly, if you ran a poll of Saracens fans, I would be very surprised if more than 1% think we should hand any trophies back.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: victorfez (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 14:00

Thanks for responses todate. The key point of my post is, what is needed to hold your head up after this tragedy? Rugby is based on mutual respect fundamental - you have to earn. As shown in past you cannot buy (ignore most recent salary breach). I shared what I think it will take.

If I was a player or ex-player in the Sarries Premiership Trophy Winning Teams, after much reflection and pain, regretfully handing back those Trophies would be the respectful outcome.

The Club should re-brand Saracens 2020 and rebuild on this new solid foundation. However, long it takes to be a competitive Club again, that's what you seek to earn - with support from your fans. Respect from the wider rugby community too - having evidenced this journey.

Nigel Wray, he is a supporter and should not be discarded as one either. However, the Club's Governance in this respect must not allow such poor decisions be made again nor allow an arrogance of the Rules for all to obey.



VICTORfez following sarries and bees since '76

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Chris1850 (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 14:01

Quote:
Convex Hull
The fans don't own Saracens, it is the property of Nigel Wray and his group. It is his business and the fans are the customers.

You are of course correct. However, as long as Wray owns the club, it will be viewed with resentment and mistrust at the very least by much of the rugby following public. I accept it is his call to make and he will only make it if put under sufficient pressure. Those Saracens fans who really care about the future image of the club should be exerting some of that pressure.

It should not be underestimated the amount of damage and disrepute that man has brought to the game we all love.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: #wolfpack (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 14:27

Quote:
Chris1850
Quote:
Convex Hull
The fans don't own Saracens, it is the property of Nigel Wray and his group. It is his business and the fans are the customers.

You are of course correct. However, as long as Wray owns the club, it will be viewed with resentment and mistrust at the very least by much of the rugby following public. I accept it is his call to make and he will only make it if put under sufficient pressure. Those Saracens fans who really care about the future image of the club should be exerting some of that pressure.

It should not be underestimated the amount of damage and disrepute that man has brought to the game we all love.

Before saying such things, I really do recommend you:

1. Actually read the salary cap report. Yes it is long and boring and if you want to skip the bit about challenging the legality of the cap itself do so (that was always a nonsense, stupid from the club to run that), but the whole issue is far more nuanced than your blanket criticism implies. That has been discussed ad naseum on other threads and I don't intend to waste my time trying to point out the nuances again to people who aren't interested.

2. Try and think beyond: "The Salary Cap Manager (employee of PRL, run by clubs etc) decided Saracens had breached the salary cap - sometimes significantly, sometimes not - and therefore Nigel Wray is the devil incarnate" and look at the other things NW has done through his association with Saracens. Saracens have opened a school. Look at the work done by the Sports Foundation. He has pioneered post-career care and opportunities. And without his philanthropy (because that is what it is, he doesn't make money out of this), Saracens as a club wouldn't exist.

I know outrage is very in vogue in 2020, but I don't think the whole "make him wear sackcloth and ashes" approach to this issue is very helpful or at all appropriate.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2020 14:28 by #wolfpack.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Convex Hull (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 14:59

NW had every right to expect the executive directors to protect his investment. They were paid to ensure what has come about could never happen.

If it was a regular business then the Chairman (and majority shareholder) would have turned on the CEO and FCO in a flash. An E&O lawsuit in the USA, without a shadow of a doubt.



Regardez mon visage. Suis-je bovvered?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2020 15:02 by Convex Hull.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Chris1850 (IP Logged)
Date: 12 February, 2020 16:09

Quote:
#wolfpack
Quote:
Chris1850
Quote:
Convex Hull
The fans don't own Saracens, it is the property of Nigel Wray and his group. It is his business and the fans are the customers.

You are of course correct. However, as long as Wray owns the club, it will be viewed with resentment and mistrust at the very least by much of the rugby following public. I accept it is his call to make and he will only make it if put under sufficient pressure. Those Saracens fans who really care about the future image of the club should be exerting some of that pressure.

It should not be underestimated the amount of damage and disrepute that man has brought to the game we all love.

Before saying such things, I really do recommend you:

1. Actually read the salary cap report. Yes it is long and boring and if you want to skip the bit about challenging the legality of the cap itself do so (that was always a nonsense, stupid from the club to run that), but the whole issue is far more nuanced than your blanket criticism implies. That has been discussed ad naseum on other threads and I don't intend to waste my time trying to point out the nuances again to people who aren't interested.

2. Try and think beyond: "The Salary Cap Manager (employee of PRL, run by clubs etc) decided Saracens had breached the salary cap - sometimes significantly, sometimes not - and therefore Nigel Wray is the devil incarnate" and look at the other things NW has done through his association with Saracens. Saracens have opened a school. Look at the work done by the Sports Foundation. He has pioneered post-career care and opportunities. And without his philanthropy (because that is what it is, he doesn't make money out of this), Saracens as a club wouldn't exist.

I know outrage is very in vogue in 2020, but I don't think the whole "make him wear sackcloth and ashes" approach to this issue is very helpful or at all appropriate.

1. I agree that this has been done to death ad nauseam and clearly there are differing viewpoints. Whilst I, and very many others, would have a different take on it from you, I am happy to follow your lead and not waste my time trying to point out the nuances again to people who aren't interested.

2. I fully accept that Nigel Wray has invested considerable time and money in several laudable projects within the game. I am happy to applaud him for that. The problem, I am afraid, is that one issue has completely undone that good work, and more. He financed and oversaw a process that effectively renders the last five years of premiership rugby null and void. This, in spite of a 'warning shot' in 2015. The effects on other clubs both financially (in terms of affecting league standings), and in a sporting context cannot and should not be ignored. Similarly, he has cheated fans of all clubs by his actions.

I am sorry - bury your head in the sand if you want, but until Wray dissociates himself financially from your club, there will always be resentment and suspicion where Sarries are involved.

To respond to victorfez's point about Wray being a supporter who should not be discarded as one. No problem. He is entitled to support whoever he wants. The point is that his considered actions over several seasons should absolutely prevent him from having any financial influence within the game.

Presumably , he accepts at least some element of wrongdoing, otherwise why has he stepped down as Club Chairman?

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: darktagnan (IP Logged)
Date: 13 February, 2020 00:39

I have read your post. I just disagree with a lot of it.
We have been penalised for our transgressions & having read the report, although there is certainly scope for debate about some of the numbers, transgressions there certainly were.
Does that mean we hand back any silverware? Actually, no, in my opinion. And certainly not to the teams we beat in the finals I attended. Here is why. If our results in finals are subject to any valid challenge (And I'm far from convinced about that), by extension you would have to look at every single result for the season. Which would inevitably mean different teams qualifying for the semis and the final - and quite possibly the teams we beat would not actually have got there. So to hand back the cups and very specifically to reward the losing teams is just plain unjustifiable.
Throw the internationals overboard - including those who have played for us since their early teens - why? You have mentioned Brad & Wiggy as two core players to keep - they are close to the end of their careers, so that really makes no sense at all.
I have not lost my pride in our players, or what they have achieved, & whilst I accept with somewhat gritted teeth that we have been found wanting in compliance terms, I just don't feel the need to burn everything down & adopt a sackcloth & ashes approach. I'm more inclined to look the current adversity in the face, confront it & beat it - and then have a few words with those who have so gleefully jumped on the bandwagon to try & kill us off as a club.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Sorry Sarrie (IP Logged)
Date: 13 February, 2020 19:38

I sense that there is a desire to remove Saracens from the ledger of Rugby Union. I think we as fans of varying duration do not fully understand the angst out there and in fact we can't possibly do that. We just imagine but that's not the same.
I really fear for the club's existence. The RFU has halved and will then cease the Championship payments and I simply don't see how any of our higher profile players can or will stay..
Having put in 20 odd years I'm not packing in and will be there for our remaining games in Europe - hopefully 3.
If we survive this debacle I'll be looking forward to meeting fans in Jersey Cornwall Nottingham etc and I think we'll have some fun which is why I came in the first place. So here's to the future of Saracens 2020 - that has a certain ring to it.
I'll also change my username back to Back to Black!!!



My wife and I are on the verge of splitting up because of my obsession with rugby.
I've decided to give it one last try......

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: victorfez (IP Logged)
Date: 13 February, 2020 19:43

Dartaganan, thanks for reading and your considerations in response. Although, I feel you either missed the point/ inference of my post. This is beyond winning and punishment. The crux is building an enduring foundation beyond the short term wins, which I feel could be unwise. Why, we have not addressed the fundamental humility prove worthy to back and align with the core values of the sport - in my opinion. It's more than a game, a trophy an international cap. Look at all that wider community work and outreach at Sarries. I was interested in how others how have supported and enjoy the game the values it belays in its wider context. Thanks though.



VICTORfez following sarries and bees since '76

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: jonnybrowne (IP Logged)
Date: 13 February, 2020 19:53

Quote:
Primavesi2
We broke the rules and have been heavily punished for that, with a huge fine and relegation. We should accept that of course but I do not see why we should then continue the self flagellation by voluntarily adding further punishments like giving trophies back just to pander to the fans (online fans) of other clubs.
With the release of the report, the facts are finally out there. That draws a line under it for me. People can have their own views about the scale of what happened and the punishment (which was agreed upon by the other clubs) - thats their right as fans but its really not our concern.

+1 from me - let’s move on now.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: boomer! (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2020 15:39

Quote:
Primavesi2
We broke the rules and have been heavily punished for that, with a huge fine and relegation. We should accept that of course but I do not see why we should then continue the self flagellation by voluntarily adding further punishments like giving trophies back just to pander to the fans (online fans) of other clubs.
With the release of the report, the facts are finally out there. That draws a line under it for me. People can have their own views about the scale of what happened and the punishment (which was agreed upon by the other clubs) - thats their right as fans but its really not our concern.

Hear hear.



It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: boomer! (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2020 15:51

Quote:
victorfez
.
.
.
.
If we don't - I cannot see myself supporting in the future. It's a wrench I was so surprised!

Any other thoughts from Sarries?
You must do what you think is right for you.

Me? I started supporting Saracens in 1990. No one promised me good times and plain sailing.
We have had some dreadful times and some wonderful times.
And before the trolls jump down my throat. we worked hard for those wonderful times, they were not "bought".
Just because Nigel structured business investments that fell foul of the SCM & the Prems' parochial rules does not mean they were illegal.



Nothing is going to stop me supporting my club. Nothing.
I will wear my shirts with pride, I am not going to shirk from the naysayers.
Subject to my work commitments I will be at Cornish Pirates next season.

“It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.”




It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Sarakene (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2020 17:23

Ditto

Re: Sarries - Phoenix from the Ashes?
Posted by: Sara'sman (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2020 18:19

Unlike the Trolls (one of whom has made over 100 posts on OUR board, many of which go on about "respect") I've made only one salary cap related comment despite wanting to discuss your and my thoughts, the facts and our future with fellow Sarries fans. MODS - WHY ARE WE TOLLERATING THEM? MANY OF OUR POSTERS HAVE BEEN DRIVEN AWAY BY THESE UNWELCOME VISITORS ABUSING OUR HOSPITALITY? So here is my first contribution since before Christmas, partly inspired by and starting with a portion of JG's quote in the Graun:

Quote:
Jamie George
I guess we as players feel a responsibility to pay back what the club have given us. They have shown a huge amount of loyalty to me, as well as remorse in terms of what they have done. That is appreciated. I don’t feel let down. The opportunities that Nigel Wray has given to me as a person from the age of 17 … he has invested so much time and love in me so I will be for ever grateful for that.

We were deemed to have cheated, punished, accepted our punishment, punished further despite Dyson's statement and now there is a concerted effort by 12 business rivals to permanently destroy those former council pitch tenants, so regularly made unwelcomed by "better" clubs. (Did anyone else notice Wasps' worryingly low share price rise by over 25% as their threat of relegation was removed? Leicester's sale made more likely...). We will never move beyond the hatred some trolls have but fortunately I believe their level of vitriol to be confined to a small vocal minority. It is time to fight back.

The "holier than thou" stance of bile spewers on other boards goes beyond understandable anger. Personally I'd far rather support a club that has broken the boundaries in supporting players' post rugby careers than one whose success was founded on a brand of rugby thuggery, another relaunched on the racist appropriation of a minority culture, another supporting a captain who TWICE eye gauged in the same game, called a top referee a cheat, named a stand after someone who, as their own fans acknowledge, consistently cheated the salary regulations, several others who built their club on "incentives" paid to players in the amateur era, uncontested scrums, falsified accounts, Bloodgate, …

It is my view that Nigel badly let down our (his) club, the players, we fans, and the wider rugby community. But I don't believe he deliberately set out to break the regulations, knowing that his actions could destroy the club. Like most wealthy "entitled" men he pushed the boundaries too far (as most of the other clubs have done at various times) and was foolish, perhaps arrogant in his failure to communicate and clear detail with the SCM, who in turn is guilty of not doing his job over the past 5 years. Our punishment has gone far beyond proportional and is likely to destroy our club.

I remain grateful for so much of what Nigel has done for Sarries, the community and rugby in general, far more than any of the other 12 chairmen. He has paid a heavy price for his failings. I will be battling whatever Dennis can throw at us on the A1 tomorrow on my 400 mile journey to see a large group of our reserves take on Sale. As usual I shall seek out some visiting fans, hope to help make them feel welcome and enjoy their company as our rebuilding continues. I just hope that Nigel and his family are on board for our hardest battle yet.

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