Saracens agree £32m takeover deal from consortium of investors

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Francois Pienaar (right) and Nelson Mandela led South Africa to 1995 World Cup glory

Saracens and a consortium that includes Francois Pienaar, South African World Cup winner, have reached a 32 million takeover agreement.

The group will take a majority control of the club.

Nigel Wray, club owner for 26 years, still holds "a significant minority shareholding" - albeit one that is passive, according to a club statement.

The chairman Neil Golding will continue to be with us, as will Lucy Wray, chief executive.

Pienaar was the Springboks' 1995 World Cup winner and made 44 appearances as a Saracens player-coach.

The six-person group also includes Marco V. Masotti (owner of South Africa's Sharks rugby club).

Saracens claim that the money raised by investors will allow them to "maintain their place at the top of men's soccer".

Saracens were penalized with a 35-point deduction, and a 5.36m fine for violating the salary caps of the league in 2019.

They were then relegated to the Premiership at end of 2019-20 season but were promoted again in the following season.

Nigel Wray stated that he has given his heart and soul to Saracens for over two decades, having chaired the club since its inception.

"Sadly, I am not getting any older and I have always wanted Saracens to be in very safe hands for many generations to come."

Maggie Alphonsi, a former women's soccer player for England and Saracens, has been appointed to the club's Board.

Michael Yormark (president of Roc Nation Sport International), has been appointed as a special advisor.

According to a club statement, the money would be used to improve the club's facilities, such as the West Stand renovation, investing further in women's sports and creating a high-performance training centre.

Wray said, "I am thrilled that I have handed over control to the consortium, which comprises people whom I know well and understand the culture we were able to create over the past more than 20 years on the field."

"I look forward to being just a fan again, and supporting the club that I love,"