Saracens are set for an immediate Gallagher Premiership return next year even if they can’t earn it on pitch, according to the Mail Online.
The men in black were fined £5.4m and relegated from the top flight following persistent salary cap breaches.
Premiership Rugby introduced the salary cap in 1999 to ensure the financial viability of all clubs and the competition.
However, Mark McCall’s men could now return without playing a game in the second-tier.
The RFU have remained adamant that the Championship will go ahead in January, but without a government bailout it’s unlikely that clubs could afford testing to restart safely.
Chris Foy has reported that ‘Contingency planning is taking place amid growing fears that the 2020-21 season of the Championship – the second tier of English domestic rugby – may not go ahead.’
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The report added: ‘It is understood that up to half the clubs in the Championship would prefer to be moth-balled until the scheduled start of the 2021-22 season next September, to allow them to release players, slash costs and avoid savage losses for staging fixtures without crowds.’
As a result, one of the plans now being discussed for 2021/22 is a 14-team Premiership, with Ealing Trailfinders potentially being given a chance to also play in the top flight for the first time in the clubs history.
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REVEALED | Best Paid XV, Replacements & Head Coach in World Rugby
The highest earning rugby players XV, replacements and head coach from all over the world is as follows...
Fullback: Beauden Barrett (Suntory Goliath) – £780,000
In July, he agreed a multi-million dollar move to Suntory Sungoliath as the exodus of players to Japan continues.
Wing: Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) – £550,000
The Scotland fullback was the highest paid player at Glasgow Warriors (£350,000) but added another healthy chunk to his pay-packet by joining the Premiership side after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Winger: Charles Piutau (Bristol Bears) – £1m
The former All Black full-back or wing, who surprised many by leaving New Zealand before reaching the peak of his powers, becoming British rugby’s first million pound man when he moved to Ashton Gate in 2018.
Outside-centre: Semi Radradra (Bristol Bears) – £750,000
Reportedly signed a £1.5m two-year deal with the Bears, which works out at £750,000 per season.
Inside-centre: Owen Farrell (Saracens) – £750,000
He a points-machine with England and Saracens, and the outside-half or inside-centre is one of England’s best paid players.