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Wasps to be relegated after entering administration

English rugby giants Wasps are to be relegated from the Premiership after entering administration, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) confirmed on Friday.

Wasps had already been suspended from the English top-flight due to their financial difficulties.

The four-time Premiership winners went into administration on October 17, making the entire playing and coaching staff redundant among 167 job losses.

Wasps have been ever-present in the Premiership since the competition began 25 years ago.

“Following a meeting of the RFU’s Club Financial Viability Group today, the RFU can confirm the suspension of Wasps from Gallagher Premiership Rugby and Premiership Rugby Cup for the remainder of the 2022/23 season,” the RFU said in a statement.

“The decision also gives certainty to PRL and Premiership rugby clubs to protect the integrity of Gallagher Premiership Rugby and allow clubs and their teams to plan for the rest of the season.

“Under RFU Regulations, Wasps will be relegated from Gallagher Premiership Rugby, and therefore if investors can be secured, the club will restart in the Championship in season 2023/24.”

The club can appeal the decision but must prove there was a no fault insolvency on their part.

Wasps 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 the club’s relocation to Coventry during 2014.

Worcester have also been relegated after entering administration as a financial crisis grips the English game.

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

The loss of the two Midlands sides leaves 11 teams in the Premiership.

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney has suggested the governing body may throw its support behind a 10-team top division as both a financial solution and a way to ease the conflict between club and country on the availability of England’s best players.

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