Saracens chairman Nigel Wray insists they won't have to sell key players
"I'm proud of their achievements and I hope there will be many, many more achievements on the field and off"
Last Updated: 07/11/19 6:38am
Saracens chairman Nigel Wray insists the club's all-conquering team will not have to be ripped apart.
The reigning Gallagher Premiership champions and Heineken Cup winners are appealing against a 35-point penalty and £5.36m fine, which has been suspended in the meantime, after a nine-month investigation concluded they had broken the rules.
However, a club that provided Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Billy Vunipola and Mako Vunipola for the England team beaten in last weekend's World Cup final are confident they will not have to shed any of their big names if the judgement is upheld.
"Just to clarify, there's no obligation whatsoever to get rid of any players," said Wray.
"The academy is, in a way, a jewel in our crown and has been greatly responsible for half the England side that got to the World Cup final, and seven of those have been with us for between seven and 10 years, almost since they were kids.
"This is what a caring environment and looking after its people does. You have a band of brothers and I have said it already, but if you think it's about money, you're wrong.
"It's about caring, it's about love, it's about working together, and I'm very proud of all of our players and indeed everybody at Saracens.
"I'm proud of their achievements and I hope there will be many, many more achievements on the field and off."
Wray, while acknowledging the club had made administrative errors which have since been addressed, also reiterated his belief that they had not broken the salary cap by entering into co-investment deals with players.
He said: "Investment in a property - we all think we're good at it. It can go up and you make money, but it can also go down and you lose money.
"That's a risk. It's not like a salary, which somebody gives you at the end of the week and it doesn't go up or down."
Wray's comments came amid a backlash, with former England captain Chris Robshaw accusing Saracens of "cheating", while Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter said the north London club's recent trophies were tainted.
"We absolutely did fail to report some things in a timely manner," admitted Wray, who has been involved with Saracens for 25 years. "That's my fault, I've apologised for that.
"That doesn't actually come into the main picture. There is a small fine procedure for that, which we've accepted.
"The communication between my family office and the club wasn't good enough, that's my fault. Measures have been put in to make sure it never happens again."