Wasps: Four-time champions relegated from Premiership as Rugby Football Union confirms club’s suspension

Adam Kyriacou
Wasps sign at venue

Former domestic and European champions Wasps have been relegated from the Premiership, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced.

The Coventry-based outfit went into administration on October 17, as they made the entire playing and coaching staff redundant among 167 job losses.

And the worst has now been confirmed by the RFU as Wasps join Worcester in being suspended from both the Premiership and Premiership Rugby Cup.

Suspended for the rest of the season

“Following a meeting of the RFU’s Club Financial Viability Group today, the RFU can confirm the suspension of Wasps from Gallagher Premiership Rugby and Premiership Rugby Cup for the remainder of the 2022-23 season,” said the governing body.

“The RFU’s Club Financial Viability Group is encouraged by the progress made by the administrators and it has taken the decision to suspend the team in order to support the prospect of securing a deal with the right investor and giving the club the best chance for a long term sustainable future.

“Any potential investors and management will require due diligence and approvals from the RFU and PRL. A condition of any potential deal will include a requirement for the payment of all rugby creditors.

“The decision also gives certainty to PRL and Premiership rugby clubs to protect the integrity of Gallagher Premiership Rugby and allow clubs and their teams to plan for the rest of the season.

“Under RFU regulations, Wasps will be relegated from Gallagher Premiership Rugby, and therefore if investors can be secured, the club will restart in the Championship in season 2023-24.

“The club is able to appeal this decision if it can show there was no fault insolvency.”

Four-time Premiership champions

Wasps have won the Premiership four times – in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008 – and have been ever present in the top flight since its inception 25 years ago.

However, the famous club was hit by a winding-up order from HM Revenue and Customs for £2million in unpaid tax, and were also required to repay a £35m bond which had helped finance the club’s relocation to Coventry during 2014.

Wasps Holdings Limited, the holding company for the club’s men’s and women’s rugby sides, plus Wasps Netball, also went into administration and the company ceased trading with immediate effect.

The two-time European champions’ demise came less than three weeks after Worcester went into administration and leaves the Premiership with 11 clubs.

READ MORE: Premiership: Alex Dombrandt back for Harlequins while Alex Goode set to break Saracens appearance record