Wasps RFC have become the second top flight English rugby union side to be suspended from the Gallagher Premiership this season and look set to follow league rivals Worcester Warriors in entering administration.
The two time European Champions Cup winners first filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators on September 21 and have now released a statement saying it is “likely” they will enter administration “in the coming days”. The club have confirmed that this saturday’s match against Exeter Rugby will not go ahead but have also stated they are “confident” of finding new owners. However, by entering administration they would also face the prospect of relegation from the Premiership under RFU rules.
Here is what the club have said and what could happen to them if they do enter administration:
Have Wasps RFC entered administration?
The club released a statement on Wednesday, October 12, which said: “Since filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators on September 21, we have been working tirelessly to secure the long-term future for Wasps Holdings Limited, and all of the organisations and clubs that sit within the Group. Negotiations to secure deals that will allow the Men’s and Women’s rugby teams, netball team and the arena and associated business to move forward are ongoing. However, it has become clear that there is likely to be insufficient time to find a solvent solution for the companies within the group, and it is therefore likely that they will enter into administration in the coming days with a view to concluding deals shortly thereafter.
“While the companies within the Group all represent strong and viable businesses, the reality is that they have insufficient cash at this time to continue to fund operations until these complex negotiations have concluded. We have therefore been asking potential funders and investors to provide bridging finance to provide enough time for a solvent solution to be found. Regrettably, this has not been possible to date, although we will continue to pursue this until the very last opportunity.
“In light of the current situation, we have therefore taken the decision to withdraw the Wasps Men’s team from this Saturday’s league fixture against Exeter Chiefs. This was an extremely difficult decision to make and we recognise that this will not only impact on our players, staff and supporters, but also Exeter Chiefs and the wider rugby community. However, we strongly believe it is the right course of action when, at this time, we are unable to meet our regulatory requirements in the absence of fully concluded deal negotiations.
“We understand that this news will be disappointing and concerning for everyone involved. Our immediate focus will be on ensuring that all of our players and the staff of Wasps and the arena are fully updated and given the support they need. While these are challenging times, we remain confident that new owners will be found that will allow the clubs and businesses within the Group to move forward.”
What happens next: will Wasps RFC be relegated?
Under rules set out by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), any club who enters administration will be automatically elegated unless they can provide evidence that it was a “a no-fault insolvency”. Fellow Gallagher Premiership side Worcester Warriors entered administration this season and were expelled from the league and relegated for next season - but are currently appealing the decision.