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'What an absolute binfire': Ex-employee's brutal Wasps verdict

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

A former long-serving Wasps employee has labelled the Gallagher Premiership club “an absolute binfire” in a bruising tweet posted on Twitter. Pete Nuttall had been the matchday voice of the English club for more than 20 years, working as their stadium announcer in Wycombe before making the move to Coventry where Lee Blackett’s team now plays at the local Building Society Arena.

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Nuttall wasn’t kept on at Wasps for the 2021/22 Premiership season and with the club now grappling with financial, recruitment and pitch issues, he has given his verdict on the current situation in a wounding verdict on social media.

“What an absolute binfire Wasps Rugby is at the moment,” wrote Nuttall on Twitter. “The coaches, players and fans have been utterly let down by completely shambolic stewardship. They deserve so much better.”

One supporter, Richard Wilson, replied: “I’m very unenthused. Haven’t even got around to putting the fixtures in my calendar yet and we have had them for weeks. I’d normally have them done within an hour of the announcement.”

This response prompted a reply from Nuttall that read: “That speaks volumes. And I bet you’re not the only one. And once the old guard of supporters are disengaged, and the new supporters that they’ve lumped all their hopes on don’t materialise, what then?”

Another reply from the former Wasps stadium announcer read: “I wouldn’t be trusting them with a full season’s worth of ticket money right now… It’s such a shame. It’s not the club it used to be. You can still support the players, though. Pick your games. Go to away matches.”

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Wasps’ delicate financial outlook has recently resulted in them being unable to honour the £35million bond that was due to be paid out in May. It was shortly after acquiring a 250-year lease on the Coventry Building Society Arena, then known as the Ricoh Arena, that Wasps launched the bond scheme in April 2015.

Bondholders invested at least £2,000 each and most of the £35m raised was used to pay off previous debts, including a £13.4m loan from Coventry City Council and £10m of loans from Wasps owner Derek Richardson. They are now currently looking at ways to refinance that bond debt but the financial struggle has seemingly affected Blackett’s first team as so far just five signings have been made following the departure of eleven players at the end of the 2021/22 season.

Wasps have also become embroiled in a messy squabble with Coventry City, the football club that also uses the stadium. Damage done to the pitch by the recent hosting of the Commonwealth Games Rugby 7s events resulted in the postponement of Coventry’s first home match of the new Championship season and they switched a midweek cup tie to Burton, 40 miles away, due to their ongoing pitch concerns.

This criticism resulted in a hard-hitting statement from Stephen Vaughan, the CEO. “It is extremely disappointing to yet again be defending ourselves against rumour and accusation, particularly as it’s the supporters of CCFC and Wasps who are having to deal with the fallout,” he wrote. “We won’t be getting involved in a protracted, public discussion about this, which serves no one’s interest, but felt we needed to ensure people had the correct information.”

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