Wasps to enter administration and face relegationWasps are likely to be relegated from the Premiership after announcing they would go into administration “in the coming days”. When they called off Saturday’s match against Exeter Chiefs on Wednesday, the Rugby Football Union suspended the debt-ridden club from the top flight. It is understood, however, that relegation will not be confirmed until Wasps go into administration. Wasps confirmed the news days before a deadline for them to enter administration, after twice filing notice of their intention to do so. The club said they had run out of money to continue normal operations. After players turned up on Wednesday to prepare for the Exeter game, there were told not to return to the training ground until further notice. Writing for Telegraph Sport in an article to be published on Thursday morning, former director of rugby Sir Ian McGeechan said that his overriding emotion was one of sadness: “It is the club where I enjoyed the most successful period of my career as a coach, and it was a club I enjoyed being a part of.
” An RFU spokesperson said: “The RFU’s club financial viability group met this evening and confirmed that Wasps are suspended from the Gallagher Premiership. “We appreciate this is a very difficult time for Wasps players, staff and supporters who will be concerned at the news that the club is likely to enter administration. The RFU will continue to work with the club, PRL and any potential administrator or future investors to find the best possible outcome for the club. ”The club’s former director of rugby, Dai Young, told Telegraph Sport that he was “keeping his fingers crossed” for a positive outcome. “It would be devastating if they went into administration and got relegated – or even worse, went out of existence, ” he said. “I’m obviously emotionally attached to the club having been there so long, but it would be a huge loss to English rugby because of the history and tradition they have brought to the game.
“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.
“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, 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.
I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that someone will ride in on a big white horse and save the day. ”Among the front runners to rescue Wasps is a consortium fronted by David Armstrong, their former chief executive, which includes investment firm, Terminum Capital and advisors, Oakwell Sport. Mike Ashley, the former Newcastle United owner, is understood no longer to be in the running. Telegraph Sport revealed on Monday how Armstrong’s consortium would accept Wasps’ relegation in the event of administration, as long as the stricken club canretain the lucrative ‘P share’.
During my time there, in High Wycombe, Adams Park was a fantastic place to play rugby – not the biggest, but a fantastic atmosphere. ”For months, Wasps have struggled with debts to HMRC as well as bondholders, who are owed £35 million after investing in a scheme set up shortly after the club bought the Coventry Building Society Arena in 2014.