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Wasps going into administration and facing relegation - reports

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

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Financially troubled Wasps are poised to enter administration, a development that will leave them vulnerable to relegation from the Gallagher Premiership. According to an exclusive story broken by The Times on Wednesday, the English club have filed notice in the High Court of its intention to appoint an administrator.

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This worrying move by Wasps was triggered by HMRC signalling its intention to issue a winding-up order against the club over unpaid tax. Wasps are the subject of the second winding-up order issued by HMRC against a Premiership club in recent weeks following the winding-up petition that emerged last month regarding Worcester Warriors, another business that has endured some fierce financial trouble over the course of the summer. 

The issue at Wasps stems from their inability to pay the £35million bond from 2015 that was down for repayment last May. It was August 12 when club owner Derek Richardson insisted Wasps would not be going into administration despite missing three deadlines on this bond repayment. 

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“Contrary to some ill-informed speculation, we are not in administration and we are not going to be,” said Richardson at the time. “We made a statement on the bond repayment on May 13, we have been very transparent with the market and the bond-holders. We have paid the interest on the bond and will continue to when it is due.”

A recruitment freeze had impacted the ability of Wasps boss Lee Blackett to bring in new signings, but that hold was lifted in the final weeks of pre-season and the club started the season with high ambitions even though they have since lost their opening two matches against Gloucester and Bristol. 

That optimism has now been dramatically pierced by the developments on Wednesday where an online screen grab showed that a case had been filed at 3:29pm on September 21 for the “notice of intention to appoint an administrator” at Wasps. 

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No statement has yet been given by the club about this filing, but the situation surely now looks bleak and administration could ultimately result in the relegation of Wasps to the Championship.

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