English Premiership champions Saracens say they will appeal what they've called a 'devastating' decision.
The club, who have won three of the last four European Champions Cups, was handed a 35 point deduction and fined £5 million for salary cap irregularities on Tuesday.
The punishment came after an investigation into investment and property deals involving their owner Nigel Wray and star players such as Owen Farrell were investigated.
The Current champions have been found to have exceeded the £7 million limit by more than £650,000.
An Independent Panel ruled Saracens failed to disclose payments to players over the previous three seasons.
A seven-month investigation into the club was led by Premiership rugby before it was passed on to sports arbitrators Sport Resolutions. The outcome of the probe was delayed so that England's Rugby World Cup campaign would not be affected.
Saracens boast Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy and Mako Vunipola in their ranks.
Owner Nigel Wray released a statement on Tuesday afternoon:
"For over 25 years, I have put my heart and soul into the game I love.
"Together we have created something incredibly special with the Saracens family, both on and off the field.
"This is absolutely devastating for everyone associated with this amazing group of players, staff, partners and fans.
"It has been acknowledged by the Panel that we never deliberately sought to mislead anyone or breach the cap and that’s why it feels like the rug is being completely pulled out from under our feet.
"We will appeal all the findings."
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