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'So many lives adversely affected': Online reaction to Wasps' demise

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Thursday evening’s announcement that the RFU revoked their licence for Wasps to play in next season’s Championship ignited a huge social media reaction. It was only in October 2020 that the six-time champions of England and twice champions of Europe were last competing in a Gallagher Premiership final but having gone into administration 24 months later with the loss of 167 player and staff jobs, hopes that they could restart in tier-two in 2023/24 have now been quashed.   


Instead, that rebuild – if it ever happens – must begin at the bottom of the English league pyramid, the same fate that happened to London Welsh some years ago.  

The story about the Welsh restart in the grassroots leagues in London was previously recounted in a RugbyPass interview with the director of rugby Cai Griffiths, and the big question now is whether Wasps will go the same route or call it quits on a brand that 19 years ago won a Premiership and European double at Twickenham.  

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Ex-England lock and current BT Sport presenter Martin Bayfield tweeted: “My heart goes out to all those who have lost their club. Rugby must do better. A rugby club, any sporting club, is more than just a name and when it’s tossed aside the pain is felt on an emotional level.” 

His BT Sport colleague Nick Mullins added: “This whole sorry, desperately depressing story has hung a shadow over the entire season – and it just got darker and longer. Wasps barred from the Championship and demoted to the bottom of the pyramid. The biggest kick in the guts for everyone who has continued to live in hope.” 


One popular figure who had continued to live in hope was Pudsey Bevan, the club’s kit man. “It’s not the end, not even close,” he wrote. “I am proud to have worked with some wonderful players, staff and others here. Keep the faith. Once a Wasp Always a Wasp.” 

English players union boss Christian Day added: “Another sad day in English rugby as Wasps, a great club with a great history, fall to the bottom of the pyramid. Again, players and staff go unpaid and the fans will have to start on a long journey back to the top. So many people’s lives adversely affected.” 


Peter Scrivener, the director of PRS Promotions who is an ex-Wasps player and a trustee of their legends charity, said: “It’s been a sad day for Wasps Rugby as professionals. We tried all investment avenues for a sustainable model, but it wasn’t attractive due to the lack of game structure and imposed regulations. Our amateur club @WaspsFC, @WaspsLegends charity and @waspswomen stay strong.” 

Another former Wasps player, Billy Searle, added: “Wow, now Wasps. First my current club (Worcester) and now my ex-club completely gone. Can’t believe it’s gone this far! Shocking. Thoughts with all the fans especially.” 

Those mourning Wasps fans received support from the official Saracens Supporters Association. “Huge sympathies for all Wasps fans who have suffered such a torrid time over the past few months of doubts, administration, hope of Championship redemption and now this seeing the club they love demoted to the bottom of the pyramid. We hope the pathway back is swift.” 

Last word to Andy Goode, another ex-Wasps player and a RugbyPass columnist. “Very sad times to read the statement from @WaspsRugby. A club I loved playing for on and off the field, making memories that are just that now.” 





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