The financially troubled Wasps announced that they were “likely” to enter administration “within days”.
The Coventry-based Premiership club have twice filed notice to bring in insolvency experts to help them settle their debts, which amount to tens of millions of pounds.
In a statement, Wasps Holdings Limited said it had worked “tirelessly” to secure the club’s future.
“We strongly believe this is the right course of action,” the statement added.
Wasps will not feature in this Saturday’s Premiership game at Exeter after the news, saying they ‘recognize that this will not only impact our players, staff and supporters, but also the chief executives. Exeter and the wider rugby community.”
Wasps had hoped to secure new funding to help repay a £35million debt owed to bondholders after moving from London in 2014, and HM Revenue and Customs were suing them for unpaid taxes.
Although he said discussions with interested parties were “ongoing”, the club were forced to take action.
“Since filing a notice of intent to appoint directors on September 21, we have worked tirelessly to secure the long term future of Wasps Holdings Limited, and all the organizations and clubs that sit within the group. “, continues the press release.
“Negotiations to enter into agreements which will allow the men’s and women’s rugby teams, the netball team and the arena and associated businesses to move forward are ongoing.
“However, it has become clear that it is unlikely there will be sufficient time to find a solvent solution for the group companies, and it is therefore likely that they will enter receivership in the coming days. with a view to concluding agreements shortly thereafter.”
Wasps’ decision came after it was revealed that they had “insufficient liquidity” to continue operations without new investment. Interested parties have been asked to provide “bridge funding” to give the club enough time for a “solvent solution” to be found.
“Unfortunately, this has not been possible to date, although we will continue to pursue this until the very last opportunity,” the statement read.
Any entry into administration would cast doubt on Wasps’ future at their home stadium, the Coventry Building Society Arena.
Full ownership of the CBS Arena is held by Coventry City Council, which granted Wasps a 250-year lease when the club bought the stadium’s operating company as part of its move to the West Midlands there Eight years.
The board have warned the club that any insolvency proceedings could see wasps lose ownership of the land.
The future ownership of the stadium is also in the spotlight following the announcement of the arrival of American billionaire John McEvoy consider an offer to buy the land and its other tenant, Championship Coventry City football club.
In a statement, the Sky Blues said: “We are aware of Wasps Group’s statement today, and we remain in contact with Wasps Group regarding the current situation.”
If Wasps go into administration, they will become the second top-flight rugby union club to do so within weeks, after Suspension and relegation of the Worcester Warriors in the championship for next season.
Exeter’s Maunder ‘really sorry’ for Wasps players
Exeter scrum-half Jack Maunder was in the middle of his pre-match media call ahead of Wasps’ trip to Sandy Park when the news broke.
Maunder was part of the Exeter team that beat Wasps 19-13 in 2020 Premiership Final as the Chiefs won a domestic and European double.
“We know quite a few boys from Worcester and Wasps, they are boys who have been on the tour for a long time,” Maunder, whose side will now face Bristol in a friendly on Saturday, told BBC Sport.
“It’s a really weird feeling and I’m really sorry for these boys and staff.
“They have a great setup there at Wasps, they have very good coaches and it looks really sad.
“It’s really tough for these boys and we don’t know what’s going to happen with Wasps. It’s really sad what happened at Worcester and I just wish all these boys well for the future.”
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