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Wasps statement: Club's 138-word response to administration reports

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

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Wasps have issued a 138-word statement following reports on Wednesday that the financially stricken Gallagher Premiership club had filed a notice to the High Court of its intention to appoint an administrator. The story was exclusively broken by The Times and an accompanying screen grab of the application showed that a case had been filed by the club at 3:29pm on September 21 for the “notice of intention to appoint an administrator”.

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The Coventry-based outfit had been struggling with its failure to repay the £35million bond from 2015 that was down for repayment in May. Club owner Derek Richardson insisted on August 12 that Wasps would not be going into administration despite missing three repayment deadlines.

However, HMRC have since reportedly signalled its intention to issue a winding-up order over unpaid tax, a move that resulted in Wasps filing to the High Court. In a statement issued via Premiership Rugby but not published on the club’s own website or its social media accounts, Wasps insisted that the intention to appoint an administrator didn’t mean the business was now officially in administration.

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Instead, they claimed that the development was a tactic that would allow for a grace period in which negotiations can continue with interested parties over the long-term future of Wasps.

The statement read: “Due to the impending threat of action from HMRC, Wasps Holdings Limited, the ultimate holding company of the group including Wasps Rugby Football Club and Arena Coventry Limited, have taken the difficult decision to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators in order to protect its interests.

“This measure does not mean the business is in administration but provides a crucial period of grace to continue negotiations with a number of interested parties to secure the long-term future of the group. These negotiations have been going on for some time, are in advanced stages and we are hopeful of securing a deal.

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“The day-to-day operations of the business are unaffected and we will continue to support our players, staff, supporters, bondholders and suppliers, and keep them fully updated during what we appreciate will be an unsettling time.”

Having played a Premiership Rugby Cup match at the Coventry Building Society Arena against Newcastle on Tuesday night, Wasps are scheduled to travel to Bath for a round three Gallagher Premiership fixture on Friday night.

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