Today’s back pages: Saracens ‘should be relegated’, Stamford Bridge fireworks, Xhaka is canned
A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 6 November
Rivals round on Sarries
Exeter Chiefs CEO Tony Rowe has told The Daily Telegraph that Saracens “should be thrown out of the league”.
The English rugby Premiership and European champions have been hit with a 35-point deduction and a £5.3m fine after breaching salary cap rules.
A club statement said: “Saracens Rugby Club is shocked and disappointed by these heavy-handed sanctions and will launch an appeal against all the disciplinary panel’s findings.”
With the club appealing the decision, the punishments will be suspended until the outcome is confirmed.
i Sport reports that “rivals have rounded on Sarries” and Exeter’s Rowe told Telegraph Sport: “The penalty does not fit the crime. If you look at other leagues, if you do something like that you get chucked out. They should have been at least relegated and made to reduce their squad immediately.
“If they are still allowed to keep the same members in their squad and maintain the same spending then that is nothing. A fine of £5m although it sounds a lot when you look at the backing they have and what they have achieved with two English titles and European championships.
“For winning a European and English title a year at £2.5m a year, it is cheap isn’t it?”
Fireworks at the Bridge
Chelsea and Ajax played out a Champions League fireworks night thriller at Stamford Bridge. There were eight goals, two red cards, two penalties and two own goals in the 4-4 group H draw.
On “Guy 4s night” The Sun says the two Ajax reds lit the Blue touchpaper as Chelsea battled back from 4-1 down to claim a vital point.
The Sun also reports that Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy following his outburst against supporters during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last month.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery said: “I had a meeting with him and told him he is no longer in the captain’s group. He accepted my decision. I needed to take a decision and now it’s closed.”
Emery also confirmed that striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the new permanent club captain.