London Irish suspended from Premiership after failing to provide financial assurances

London Irish suspended from Premiership after failing to provide financial assurances

By Alipate Narawa
Wednesday 07/06/2023
[Photo: The Telegraph]

London Irish have been suspended from the Premiership after missing a deadline to pay players and staff.

The club, who were given until Tuesday to complete a takeover or risk being suspended, will not be allowed to play in any league next season.

A statement from governing body the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said the takeover had not materialised.

Despite plans announced in 2021 to expand its top division to 14 teams, English rugby faces the prospect of a 10-team Premiership next season after the earlier demise of Worcester Warriors and Wasps.

RFU Chief Executive, Bill Sweeney says this is desperately sad news for everyone who is part of the London Irish community as well as all the players, fans, staff and volunteers for whom this club means so much.

Sweeney further says the RFU had worked with the club, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players' Association to do the utmost to secure the long-term viability of the club.

The Chief Executive adds this would have been either by the proposed buyers undertaking to provide all required working capital to meet the club's obligations for at least the 2023-24 season; or the club providing evidence that it would continue to fund its operations throughout the 2023-24 season.

While Irish enjoyed a solid season on the pitch - finishing fifth and reaching the final of the Premiership Rugby Cup for the second successive season - there has been talk for some time of issues off the field.

The club are understood to have debts of about £30m, and owner Mick Crossan has been in protracted talks to sell to a US-based consortium.

Source: BBC

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