Premiership: Brad Shields opens up on the hefty sum owed to him by Wasps

Dylan Coetzee
Brad Shields during a game for Wasps

Former England international Brad Shields has opened up on the implications of Wasps’ downfall on himself and his teammates whilst also revealing there is a big sum of money that he is unlikely to receive.

Shields moved from the Hurricanes to Wasps in 2018 and had a good stint with the side until financial disaster struck last year when the club was placed under administration.

Since then, the club had two deadline extensions to secure funding to pay their creditors but failed to do so, meaning Wasps could not be deemed financially able to compete in the Championship. The result is a fall to the bottom of the rugby pyramid.

“Not shy of six figures”

Shields, who now plays for Perpignan in France and will return to the Hurricanes next season, revealed that he is grateful that he put his money into business, or the situation would have been more stressful. The loose forward also claims Wasps still owes him a significant sum from unpaid image rights.

“I don’t want to go into specifics, but it’s not shy of six figures,” said Shields.

“That is a damning position to be in after you feel you’ve put so much into a club. I know for a fact that Chris, Robert Dawbarn and the two Wasps Legends did everything they possibly could to keep Wasps alive and spoke about the moral obligation to rugby creditors as part of that. It’s just sad that it’s come to a screeching halt.

“What distracts you as a rugby player is playing rugby. I’ve been lucky enough to have something. If I hadn’t, the stress would have been ten-fold.

“Hindsight is obviously a b…. but I put money into my own business,” Shields added.

“Would I have done that if this money wasn’t coming through? Moving out to France has been stressful in itself and obviously isn’t cheap. As a family, we’ve now got to take a breath and decide whether we want to move on or keep tormenting ourselves over it.”

Wasps are not the only club that has struggled, with Worcester seeing a similar demise and huge concerns within the London Irish set-up currently.

Lack of direction

Shields feels part of that is owed to the lack of direction within Premiership rugby, a factor he believes contributed to Wasps failing to secure investment.

“It was always going to be difficult for that investment without a direction moving forward for the Premiership,” he said.

“If the Premiership is ring-fenced, what is the ambition for Championship teams? Even if there is a promotion play-off, that game could be between two teams with massively different budgets.

“Another issue it raises for me is that if Wasps are struggling to make that criteria, are they asking it of other Premiership teams? Are the RFU asking every club whether they are sustainable and able to pay their players? By the looks of London Irish, there are question marks there as well.”

READ MORE: Wasps: Club has Championship licence revoked and plummet to bottom of playing pyramid