Wasps lose all hope after RFU ruling
NEWS: Wasps have finally lost all hope of a quick return to England’s top flight, following a ruling by the Rugby Football Union.
Wasps must begin their post-administration era at the bottom of the English league pyramid.
The RFU revoked their licence to play in next season’s Championship.
Hopes that new owners, HALO22 Limited, could rebuild Wasps in the second tier have been dashed due to their failure to meet an RFU deadline for providing proof that the club could still operate.
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“The RFU has withdrawn the licence for Wasps to continue to play in the league structure,” an RFU statement said.
“This means that Wasps will not be able to play in the Championship next season.
“In order to be sure that Wasps were in a position to play in the Championship, the RFU set a deadline for the club to meet the commitments it had made when the licence was first approved and recommit to participating in the Championship in 2023/24.
“These included evidencing payment to rugby creditors and putting in place suitable governance structures including a majority independent board and a process for managing risk. The RFU was also concerned about the lack of progress in engaging coaching staff and players.
“The club stated that it could not meet these commitments, recommit to participating in the Championship in 2023/24 or engage staff of players until further finance was secured.
“The RFU had worked with the club’s new owners to give the club the best chance of continuing in the league structure and recognises the effort the new owners have put in to try to make this happen. However, the RFU board decided that in order to give certainty to other clubs, the licence to continue to play is withdrawn.
“Wasps will now move to the bottom of the playing pyramid and certainty can now be provided to the Championship clubs over the season structure for 23/24.”
RFU CEO Bill Sweeney said: “This is not the outcome anyone in rugby wanted and all those involved with the club will be deeply disappointed. 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.”