Another Premiership side face suspension after financial ruin
NEWS: The Rugby Football Union has given London Irish a deadline to finalise the takeover deal or face suspension from the Premiership next season.
The RFU imposed the deadline of May 30 for either approval of the takeover deal or evidence of the English club’s financial capability to sustain operations through the 2023/24 campaign.
The Exiles was set to be taken over by an American Consortium.
However, it seems like the deal has been mooted and uncertainty continues to dominate the state of the club.
The RFU released an official statement on Monday.
The English Rugby organising body is ‘seeking to take action to obtain greater clarity” on the future of London Irish.
The club is reportedly 30 million pounds ($37.5 million) in debt, while employees received their April salaries a week late.
“If the club fails to meet these conditions,” RFU stated in the official statement.
“It will be suspended from participating in the Premiership (and other competitions) in season 2023-24 to avoid a scenario where the club enters insolvency midseason, with the corresponding and substantial impact that has on players, staff and fans, as well as on the remainder of the league.”
The Associated Press revealed that the current owner, Mick Crossan, paid the overdue April wages just minutes before players were preparing to submit breach-of-contract notices.
London Irish is the third Premiership club that found themselves in this predicament.
Wasps and Worcester Warriors were expelled from the Premiership this season after entering administration — a form of bankruptcy protection.
Worcester was placed in compulsory liquidation while being pursued for unpaid tax before Wasps, a two-time European champion and one of England’s most storied clubs, was hit by a winding-up order from the revenue department for 2 million pounds in unpaid tax after financial issues stemming from its relocation from London to Coventry in 2014.
Former Stormers hooker Mike Willemse and Cheetahs utility back Benhard Janse van Rensburg are currently on the London Irish’s roster.
*Additional Source: AP News