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PA Wasps Holdings Limited is the holding company for Wasps.
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English rugby giants Wasps enter administration with 167 employees made redundant
Wasps were suspended from the English top flight last week after saying they were ‘likely’ to enter administration.

LAST UPDATE | Oct 17th 2022, 5:14 PM

ENGLISH RUGBY GIANTS Wasps were Monday placed into administration with all the players made redundant — the second English Premiership club to suffer the fate in just three weeks.

Wasps were suspended from the crisis-torn English top flight last week after saying they were “likely” to enter administration.

Confirmation of the widely expected move for Wasps Holdings Limited came in a statement from the administrators.

“Wasps Holdings Limited… was placed into administration on 17 October 2022 and immediately ceased to trade,” said a statement on the club website.

The administrators, FRP, said that 167 employees had been made redundant, including all members of the playing squads and coaching staff.

Wasps follow fellow Premiership club Worcester into administration, with the league now operating as an 11-team competition.

The four-time Premiership champions were hit by a winding-up order from tax authorities for £2 million ($2.25 million) in unpaid tax and they also faced having to repay a £35 million bond that had helped finance Wasps’ relocation to Coventry during 2014.

The administrators added that a small number of employees had been retained to support with the “orderly wind down of the company” and the operation of the CBS Arena, which is unaffected by administration and continues to trade as normal.

Joint administrator Andrew Sheridan said: “This is a dark day for English rugby, and we know this will be devastating news for every Wasps player and member of staff, past players, sponsors, and their thousands of supporters throughout the world, and anyone who has ever been involved with this great club.

“Our immediate focus is on supporting those who have lost their jobs this morning.”

However, administrators retain hope a buyer can be found to allow the club to survive.

Wasps have been ever-present in the Premiership since the competition began 25 years ago and have fielded some of England’s best-known players during rugby union’s professional era.

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The 2003 World Cup-winning England squad included five Wasps players — Lawrence Dallaglio, Josh Lewsey, Stuart Abbott, Simon Shaw and Joe Worsley.

Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney on Sunday threw the organisation’s support behind a 10-team Premiership to help solve the financial crisis in the English top flight.

“I don’t know if 10 is the absolute number but that’s the one being used now, but in that and the central distribution around broadcast and commercial revenues, clearly there’s a financial benefit for fewer teams in that league,” he said.

– © AFP 2022

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