Following on from the devastating financial situation of Worcester Warriors, their Premiership rivals Wasps are in a similar situation and could also be heading for administration.
The main cause of their financial difficulty is the continuing failure to repay a loan of £35 million, which was used to finance their move from High Wycombe to Coventry in 2014.
Wasps are seeking out an administrator, and should they fall into administration, they face the threat of relegation from the Gallagher Premiership.
The owners of the club, Wasps Holdings Limited, have released the following statement: "Due to the impending threat of action from HMRC, Wasps Holdings Limited has taken the difficult decision to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators in order to protect its interests.
“This measure does not mean the business is in administration but provides a crucial period of grace to continue negotiations with a number of interested parties to secure the long-term future of the group. These negotiations have been going on for some time, are in advanced stages and we are hopeful of securing a deal.
“In the meantime, the day-to-day operations of the business are unaffected and we will continue to support our players, staff, supporters, bond holders and suppliers. We will keep them fully updated during what we appreciate will be an unsettling time.”
As was the case when Worcester's situation was revealed, the rugby world has reacted in dismay at Wasps' news, with many sending condolences to their staff and players.
The Wasps News Twitter Reaction
☹️ Our thoughts are with the players, staff and supporters of @WaspsRugby tonight.
We know what you are all going through and the concerns you have.
— Worcester Warriors (@WorcsWarriors) September 21, 2022
As with Warriors, I hope everything works out with Wasps, somehow. It isn't just a club - all the memories and love that comes with that - it's mortgages, rent, and a livelihood for players, staff and coaches.
— Three Red Kings (@threeredkings) September 21, 2022
Not ashamed to say I shed a tear when I read the Wasps news. Sure, the club has been poorly run for a while but it represents a huge part of my life. Going to matches form a big part of social life. I’ve made great friendships through the club. For that to end would be awful.
— Rob Sutton (@RobSutton97) September 21, 2022
Great scoop from the Times.
Before everybody gets too down about this, this might be part of the shake up that rugby needs.
Fewer teams, Fewer games, more quality, sustainable.
Not that this is any consolation to anybody linked to Wasps. https://t.co/vKPXUyc9L1
— JB (@Jbeardmore) September 21, 2022
Just seven years ago, Wasps claimed to be on course to becoming the richest club in the world, after listing the club on the London Stock Exchange in 2015.
"We expect to be in that position [wealthiest rugby club in the world] either at end of this season or next season," said Wasps' chief executive, David Armstrong, at the time.
"This is creating a new financial model in rugby. The old model of either owning a purpose-built rugby stadium, or even being a tenant in somebody else's stadium, has now been superseded by what we've done.