Premiership side Wasps have become the second club in the league to be placed in administration this season.
Wasps Holdings Limited confirmed the news on Monday, and the company has ceased trading immediately, with administrators FRP saying that 167 employees have been made redundant. This includes players and coaching staff from the various squads in the group.
Down to 11
Wasps had a winding-up order from HM Revenue and Customs for £2million in unpaid tax and a £35million bond that funded the club’s relocation in 2014.
Joint administrator Andrew Sheridan admitted the news is “devastating” and said the focus is on supporting all of those who lost their jobs.
“This is a dark day for English rugby, and we know this will be devastating news for every Wasps player and member of staff, past players, sponsors, and their thousands of supporters throughout the world, and anyone who has ever been involved with this great club,” Sheridan said.
“Our immediate focus is on supporting those who have lost their jobs this morning.
“This will be an incredibly challenging time for every individual, and we will be assisting them in making claims to the redundancy payments service.
“The board and many others across the club have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to try and find a solution that would allow the club to move forward, and it is with great regret that there has been insufficient time to allow this to happen.
Hoping for a purchase
“However, we remain in ongoing discussions with interested parties and are confident that a deal will be secured that will allow Wasps to continue.
“We would like to thank the RFU (Rugby Football Union) and PRL (Premiership Rugby) for their support to date, and we continue to engage closely with them as negotiations with interested parties continue.
“Of course, time remains of the essence and we will be doing everything in our power to progress discussions with interested parties as quickly as possible, while fulfilling our statutory duties as administrators.
“This will include discussions with Wasps FC, the amateur club aligned to the Wasps Women team, to explore options that may allow the Wasps Women team to continue playing.
“Despite the challenging and complex environment, we have been heartened by the supportive approach taken by all stakeholders to date and are confident that this will continue now that the business is in administration, with all focused on securing an outcome that is in the best interests of rugby and the wider community.”