Wasps condemned to bottom of rugby pyramid as RFU revoke Championship licence

New owners HALO22 Limited hoped to relaunch Wasps in the second-tier Championship

Duncan Bech
Thursday 18 May 2023 19:24 BST
<p>Wasps appear to have lost their fight for survival </p>

Wasps appear to have lost their fight for survival

Wasps must begin rebuilding from the bottom of the league pyramid after the Rugby Football Union revoked their licence to play in next season’s Championship.

Hopes that new owners HALO22 Limited could relaunch Wasps in the second tier have been dashed due to their failure to meet an RFU deadline for proving the club could still operate at the required level.

Among the commitments that have not been kept are the provision of evidence that creditors have been paid and the creation of a suitable governance structure.

The RFU has also been told by Wasps that they are unable to recruit staff or players until additional finance has been secured and cannot recommit to playing in the Championship.

Wasps entered administration in December because of debts totalling £95m and as a result were removed from the Gallagher Premiership.

The RFU granted permission to play in the Championship in December following a takeover by new owners, but has now been forced to remove them from the league structure.

“This is not the outcome anyone in rugby wanted and all those involved with the club will be deeply disappointed,” RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said.

“We have worked with the new owners for the past six months to try to ensure that a robust plan could be put in place for the club to continue to play in the Championship while players and staff could receive monies owed to them.

“The RFU is working closely in partnership with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players Association to ensure players are supported.

“We are also working together at pace to ensure the game emerges from this challenging time on a strong and sound financial footing.”

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