Wasps have become the second Rugby club in 21 days to go into administration and have made 167 players and staff redundant. The Coventry-based side were suspended by the Premiership last week and have now suffered the same fate as Worcester Warriors and will be relegated.
However, some hope still lives as Arena Coventry Limited, which operates the Wasps-owned Coventry Building Society Arena, may still avoid going into administration. Wasps Holding Limited are the firm to have one into administration but ACL is still part of the club and they’ve now filed a new notice of intention to appoint administrators with the High Court in London. If this is approved, it would allow ACL, who hold the Coventry City Council lease to operate the stadium, an additional fortnight which would give them time to find further funding.
Meetings were set up for 2pm BST on Monday 17 October to inform players and staff at both the CBS Arena and Wasps’ training ground at Henley-in-Arden.
What has happened?
The Rugby club reportedly owe £2m to HMRC and £35m to bondholders as part of the scheme that financed their move to Coventry in 2014 from High Wycombe. Earlier this year, Wasps put in a £13million funding application to the West Midlands Combined Authority but were then forced to give up one of their training grounds in August due to the issues mounting.
Towards the end of August, Wasps then confirmed they were speaking with HMRC over their unpaid tax bill and at the beginning of August, told investors they were close to securing funds to repay bondholders which had been due in May.
On 21 September 2022, Wasps then filed a notice to the High Court in London saying they intended to appoint administrators to “protect the club’s interests” but this has clearly not worked as intended with one of the investors announcing the club had been forced into administration.
What has been said?
Andrew Sheridan, one of two joint administrators for the club announced: “This is a dark day for English rugby and we know this will be devastating news for every Wasps player and member of staff, past players, sponsors and their thousands of supporters throughout the world, and anyone who has ever been involved with this great club.
“Our immediate focus is on supporting those who have lost their jobs this morning. This will be an incredibly challenging time for every individual, and we will be assisting them in making claims to the redundancy payments service.
“The board and many others across the club have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to try and find a solution that would allow the club to move forward, and it is with great regret that there has been insufficient time to allow this to happen. However, we remain in ongoing discussions with interested parties and we are confident that a deal will be secured that will allow Wasps to continue.”
Will Wasps continue to play their fixtures?
As they have been suspended by the Premiership, their three previous matches were cancelled. They are due to play Newcastle at home on Sunday 30 October 2022 and it is currently unknown as to whether this will take place due to the fact they have had to make all their players redundant and are unlikely to own the lease to the stadium at this point.
Who was in the Wasps Rugby squad?
All of the following players have had to be made redundant from Wasps Rugby club:
Ben Harris (prop), Biyi Alo (prop), Elliot Millar-Mills (prop), John Ryan (prop), Robin Hislop (prop), Rodrigo Martinez (prop), Tom West (prop), Vincent Koch (prop) Dan Frost (Hooker), Gabriel Oghre (Hooker), Michael Van Vuuren (hooker), Tom Cruse (hooker), Cam Dodson (lock), Elliot Stooke (lock_ Joe Launchbury (Captain and lock), Kiran McDonald (lock), Theo Vukasinovic (lock), Tim Cardall (lock), Alfie Barbeary (back row) Ben Morris (back row) Brad Shields (back row), Jack Willis (back row), Kieran Curran (back row), Nizaam Carr (back row), Tom Willis (back row), Dan Robson (scrum-half), Franois Hougaard (scrum-half), Sam Wolstenholme (scrum-half), Will Porter (scrum-half), Charlie Atkinson (fly-half), Will Haydon-Wood (fly-half), Burger Odendaal (centre), Jacob Umaga (centre), Olly Hartley (centre), Ryan Mills (centre), Sam Spink (centre), Will Simonds (centre), Ali Crossdale (winger), Josh Bassett (winger), Luke Mehson (winger), Paolo Odogwu (winer), Zach Kibirge (winger), Matteo Minozzi (fullback).