Wasps 'likely' to go into administration as Saturday's fixture against Exeter Chiefs is called off

Wasps owe £35m to bondholders following their move to Coventry in 2014, with a further £2m in unpaid taxes.

By Alex Bowmer Published: 12 October 2022 - 3.57pm
A general view of the CBS Arena, home to both Wasps and Coventry City Football Club

Wasps are set to follow Worcester in becoming the second Gallagher Premiership side to enter administration in little more than a fortnight - with the Coventry-based outfit unable to fulfil their home fixture against Exeter Chiefs this Saturday. 

Last month, as the picture at Sixways began to darken, reports emerged that Wasps were also in dire straits.

The club's holding company, Wasps Holdings Limited, subsequently filed a notice of their intention to appoint an administrator with the High Court, in the hope that they could buy enough time to speak to interested buyers who could help address the £35m debt owed to bondholders following the relocation to Coventry from High Wycombe, along with a £2m outstanding tax bill. 

However, those conversations have not made sufficient progress.

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In a statement, Wasps Holdings Limited said: "Since filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators on 21 September, we have been working tirelessly to secure the long-term future for Wasps Holdings Limited, and all of the organisations and clubs that sit within the group.

"Negotiations to secure deals that will allow the men's and women's rugby teams, netball team and the arena and associated business to move forward are ongoing.

"However, it has become clear that there is likely to be insufficient time to find a solvent solution for the companies within the group, and it is therefore likely that they will enter into administration in the coming days with a view to concluding deals shortly thereafter. We strongly believe this is the right course of action."

The move into administration puts the club's Premiership future at risk, as well as their presence at the CBS Arena, home to both Wasps and Coventry City Football Club. 

The devastating news feels foreboding given what happened to Worcester, who were forced to let go of all their players and staff and have been relegated from the top flight. 

Wasps aren't in that situation yet, but this latest development will bring conversations about rugby union's financial prudence into even sharper focus.