What is the history of Saracens rugby club?

Saracens have been the best rugby club in England over the last decade. Due to their recent success, not a lot of people realise the history of the club. So let’s take a look at the history of Saracens. 

What is the history of Saracens rugby club? Saracens Rugby Club was formed in 1876 by the Old Boys of the Philological School in Marylebone. They played their first game at Primrose Hill. 

Saracens may be a club who have benefitted from an injection of cash over the last decade, but they are actually one of the oldest rugby clubs in the UK. The club were first formed by the Old Boys of the Philological School in Marylebone and they played their first fixture at Primrose Hill. 

Two years after the club was first created, Saracens merged with local club Crusaders. In the first few decades of the club, they moved locations a few different times. They often moved because originally, Saracens could not get fixtures against top-class opposition because their own facilities were so poor. 

The club’s popularity grew through the 20th century and made it to the top flight of English rugby very quickly after league rugby was created. However, in the 1990s, Saracens were more of a mid-table team and could not win a title despite producing players like Jason Leonard, Dean Ryan and Ben Clarke. 

Saracens were one of the clubs to massively benefit from rugby turning professional. Nigel Wray invested a huge amount of money into the club which brought in World Cup winners Michael Lynagh and Francois Pienaar. 

Despite those signings, Saracens did not have a huge amount of success in the 2000s. They managed to stay in the Premiership despite flirting with relegation a few different times. It wasn’t until 2010 onwards that they started to get closer to winning the Premiership. 

Since the start of the professional era, Saracens have improved, but their most successful period was definitely the 2010s. With a superb mix of young talent and international superstars, Saracens were able to win five Premiership Rugby titles as well as three European Champions Cup titles. 

Over the last 15 years, Saracens have been the best team in England due to a few different reasons. One of those is the incredible academic talent that they have been able to produce. This includes the likes of Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Alex Goode, Ben Earl and Jamie George. But they have also been able to bring in some incredible international talent. 

Saracen’s history has been helped by some huge signings. Guys like Will Skelton, Liam Williams, Schalk Burger and Vincent Koch have all been involved in Premiership and Champions Cup triumphs. That spending got Saracens in trouble however, causing them to be relegated to the Championship in 2020. 

They have been the best team in England over the last decade and their recent history has been phenomenal. But the team still has a very long history in English rugby that dates back almost 150 years. 

Who owns Saracens Rugby Club? 

You might automatically think that Nigel Wray is the owner of Saracens Rugby Club, considering the impact he has had on the team over the last thirty years. But he is not the primary owner of the club anymore. 

Saracens is owned by a consortium called Kimono House Limited. This consortium bought the majority stake in the club in 2022 for £32 million, with Nigel Wray agreeing to sell his controlling share in the club. 

The consortium is owned by investors which include Dominic Silverster, Neil Golding, Nick Leslau, Paul O’Shea, Francois Pienaar and Marco Masotti. Pienaar is the most famous man on this list. 

He led South Africa to victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. It is one of the greatest accomplishments by any rugby player and Pienaar receiving the trophy from Nelson Mandela is one of the most famous moments in rugby history. 

Pienaar has a vested interest in the club because he played for Saracens for three years. Pienaar made 44 appearances as a player-coach in the early 2000s. He is part of the group that purchased the team from Nigel Wray, who himself had become the full owner of the club in 2018. 

Are Saracens in debt? 

Premiership Rugby is going through a lot of financial troubles at the moment, with the folding of Worcester and Wasps prompting questions about the other teams. Saracens are one of those teams where questions have been asked.

Saracens are currently in debt. It is estimated that the club owes around £40 million. This is a huge figure which is part of the reason why Saracens need constant investment from their owners. There are a few reasons why Saracens have such a high amount of debt. 

A huge reason why the club has so much debt is the new stadium which Saracens opened in the past decade. The club will have spent a huge amount of money to have their own stadium, having fallen out with Watford FC who they were previously sharing a stadium with. 

The stadium is a long-term investment and the club will hope that in the long run, the stadium will bring the club a lot of revenue every year. This should hopefully help the club pay back some of the debt over the next few decades. The stadium is a long-term investment. 

There are two other reasons why Saracens will have such huge debt. One of those is because the team has always spent big on wages to bring in international superstars as well as keep some of their stars from leaving for bigger contracts. This will have been part of how they collected so much debt. 

The impact of Covid-19 will also have had an impact on the debt figure. Rugby teams lost out on millions of pounds worth of revenue due to playing in front of empty stadiums. This caused a lot of Premiership teams to look for loans and Saracens were likely one of those clubs which had to borrow to sustain during the pandemic. 

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