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RFU statement: Wasps' Gallagher Premiership suspension confirmed

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Financially stricken Wasps have been officially suspended by the RFU from participation in the Gallagher Premiership until further notice. A lunchtime statement from the Coventry-based club had laid bare their cash flow crisis and a training ground meeting informed players and staff that Wasps would go into administration in the coming days.

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This Saturday’s scheduled top-flight game at Exeter was also postponed and the RFU have since entered the equation, issuing a statement on Wednesday evening that confirmed the suspension of Wasps from the Premiership. It read: “The RFU’s club financial viability group has met this evening and confirmed that Wasps are suspended from the Gallagher Premiership Rugby League.

“We appreciate this is a very difficult time for Wasps players, staff and supporters who will be concerned at 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.”

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Unlike in the case of Worcester, who were automatically relegated when they were suspended from taking part in the remainder of the 2022/23 season, there was no mention of automatic relegation in the RFU statement regarding Wasps being set to enter administration.

The RFU statement instead added: “Wasps will need to reapply for the suspension to be lifted if they are able to demonstrate the means and commitment to pay rugby creditors.

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“From a regulatory perspective, Wasps FC (women) may continue to operate as they are a separate entity and have a separate registration with the RFU. However, as the men’s club have been providing funding towards wages and other support, Wasps FC will need to establish a funding stream to support the continued operation of the team.

Earlier, the 358-word Wasps statement admitted. “While the companies within the (Wasps) 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.

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“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.”

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