Cash-strapped Wasps suspended from English Premiership

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Rugby ball (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)
Rugby ball (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Wasps became the latest cash-strapped club to be suspended from the crisis-torn English Premiership on Wednesday after confirming they are "likely" to enter administration.

In another colossal blow for the English domestic game, Wasps are the second Premiership club to be hit with a suspension due to financial difficulties following Worcester last month.

The four-time Premiership champions had already withdrawn from Saturday's scheduled Premiership fixture against Exeter as their financial troubles mount.

Unlike Worcester, Wasps have not yet been relegated from the top-flight as a result of their cash crisis.

Wasps can reapply for the suspension to be lifted if they are able to demonstrate the means to pay their rugby creditors.

In a statement, the Rugby Football Union said: "The RFU's Club Financial Viability Group has met this evening and confirmed that Wasps are suspended from the Gallagher Premiership.

"We appreciate this is a very difficult time for Wasps players, staff and supporters who will be concerned at news that the club is likely to enter administration.

"The RFU will continue to work with the club, PRL (Premiership Rugby) and any potential administrator or future investors to find the best possible outcome for the club."

Wasps signalled their intention to appoint administrators last month as they face a winding-up order from authorities over £2 million ($2.2 million) in unpaid tax.

"It has become clear that there is likely to be insufficient time to find a solvent solution for the companies within the group," Wasps, two-time European champions, said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It is therefore likely that they will enter into administration in the coming days with a view to concluding deals shortly thereafter.

"In light of the current situation, we have therefore taken the decision to withdraw the Wasps men's team from this Saturday's league fixture against Exeter Chiefs."

Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is among those rumoured to be among the interested parties looking to buy Wasps.

Wasps' financial crisis has been sparked by a failure to meet a May deadline to repay £35 million ($40 million) in bonds, which helped finance their relocation to Coventry from London in 2014.

There are fears that other English Premiership clubs could also face a bleak future -- the collective debts of all 13 top-flight clubs, including Worcester and Wasps, are estimated at more than £500 million.

Worcester's players and staff have had their contracts terminated with the club set to be relegated from the Premiership after being suspended for the rest of the campaign.

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