By Andrew Baldock
Exeter have donated their share of Saracens’ fine for breaching the Premiership salary cap to charity.
The reigning English champions were fined £5.36m and docked 35 points after admitting breaching cap rules for the previous three seasons.
The remaining 12 clubs with Premiership shares have each been given £350,000 of the fine levied on Sarries.
Exeter’s money has been donated to the Exeter Chiefs Foundation, the club’s official charity.
The foundation has raised almost £2m for projects around the city, including play parks for disabled children, an outdoor learning centre, refurbishing hydrotherapy pools and wheelchairs for a wheelchair rugby team.
“As this sum was not budgeted for and looking at our own future forecasts, we feel we do not need to absorb this sum of money into the rugby club,” Exeter chairman and chief executive Tony Rowe said. “Given where it has come from, the board felt it should go straight into the Foundation’s funds, which will benefit hugely and use the money to help a great deal of charities and organisations within our local community.”
Exeter were one of the clubs most aggrieved about Saracens’ financial transgressions, having lost to them in the last two Premiership finals.
Rowe stated in November that he believed Saracens should be relegated from the Premiership, but his side exacted some revenge when they put in a superb defensive display to beat their rivals 14-7 just after Christmas.