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Allianz to end sponsorship of disgraced Saracens

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London (AFP)

Allianz heaped more misery on English and European rugby champions Saracens on Thursday announcing they would be terminating their sponsorship of both the club and the stadium at the end of the season.

The German insurance group -- who sponsor other stadia round the world including those of Bayern Munich and Juventus -- were tied to the sponsorship deal till 2021 having begun their association in 2012.

However, Allianz -- who were reported to enrich the club's coffers by £2 million a year in return for sponsoring the kit and the stadium naming rights -- took a dim view of the scandal that swept the club last November.

Saracens were initially docked 35 points and fined £5.36 million for serial breaches of the Premiership's salary cap. When they failed to address the problems they were relegated last month.

"Allianz has taken the difficult decision to end its sponsorship of Saracens Rugby Club and stadium at the end of this season," a company statement read.

"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."

While that is certain to hit Saracens finances the club did have some good news on Thursday as England hooker Jamie George became the first high profile player to commit himself to the club next term.

"I'm pretty sure I'm staying," George told Sky Sports News.

"The details of it, I'm not too sure about, but I'll be staying at the club and using it for different purposes, but I'll certainly be playing some rugby next year."

"I haven't spoken to the other boys. My decision's been made purely from a personal point of view."

pi/pb

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