Saracens chairman Nigel Wray insists players will not have to be sold in the wake of the club’s hefty fine for breaching salary cap rules.

The Premiership champions were hit with a £5.36million fine and docked 35 points after being found to have exceeded the ceiling for payments to players in each of the past three seasons.

Sarries have appealed against the decision and insist they have done nothing wrong, with Wray defending the practice of players engaging in investment or property partnerships with him.

And on Wednesday, Wray declared there would be no knock-on effect on the make-up of the European champions’ playing staff at first-team or academy level.

“Just to clarify – no obligation whatsoever to get rid of any players,” Wray said in a video posted on the club’s Twitter account.

“The academy is a jewel in our crown and has been greatly responsible for half the England side that got to the World Cup final. 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 each person does. You have a band of brothers.

“If you think it’s about money, you’re wrong; it’s about caring, it’s about love, it’s about working together.

“I’m very proud of all of our players, indeed everybody at Saracens. I’m proud of their achievements and I hope there’ll be many, many more achievements – on the field and off.”

The London club have come in for significant criticism and on Wednesday there were no Sarries representatives in attendance at the European Champions Cup launch, despite them being the holders.

At that event in Cardiff, Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter suggested Sarries’ back-to-back Premiership title wins would be tarnished if their appeal should fail.

The Chiefs were beaten by Saracens in each of the last two finals.