Saracens rugby scandal: Main sponsor ending deal with club

LONDON (AP) — The main sponsor of Saracens is ending its deal with the European rugby champion, another blow to a club in disarray after being relegated from England’s top league for breaching salary-cap regulations.

Allianz, a German insurance group, said on Thursday it was a “difficult decision” to cut ties with the club from north London and its stadium after a partnership of eight years.

“Allianz intends to continue to be involved in the great work that the Saracens Sports Foundation does in their local community and wishes Saracens well in the future,” the group said in a short statement.

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Saracens, whose star players include England captain Owen Farrell and lock Maro Itoje, was punished for three seasons of spending above the salary cap in English rugby by being docked 70 points, ensuring its relegation from the Premiership.

It is one of the most spectacular downfalls in the history of club rugby, with Saracens having won four of the last five English league titles and three of the last four European Cup titles.

Allianz had naming rights for Saracens' stadium and the team's playing jerseys.

Saracens said it was “excited about developing new commercial partnerships in the coming months.”

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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