Newcastle Falcons deny they are considering voluntary relegation
Newcastle Falcons have denied suggestions that they were considering voluntary relegation from the Premiership while London Irish have also hit out at a report that staff may not be paid this month.
In a season in which both Wasps and Worcester Warriors have gone into administration, the threat of financial oblivion remains a real possibility for several Premiership clubs, including Newcastle and Irish.
The Falcons already had the league’s smallest playing budget in the Premiership but have slashed it further offloading England internationals Trevor Davison and George McGuigan midseason. Head coach Dave Walder has also stepped aside with Matt Thompson, the former hooker and son of the former owner, taking on an increasingly influential role.
City AM reported that this cost-cutting was in preparation for relegation to the Championship in 2024 when the top flight is widely expected to be reduced from 11 to 10 teams in a form of voluntary redundancy.
Newcastle have stated that the report was “categorically untrue”, instead suggesting that the cutbacks were simply necessary for the club to live within its means.
Fourth-placed Irish, who have enjoyed an excellent season on the pitch, are still awaiting a takeover from an American consortium and have strongly denied a report in the Daily Mail that staff may not be paid this month.
Irish have an estimated debt of at least £30 million but are confident that the takeover will be completed and privately insist there is no sense of alarm around their Sunbury training ground.
“It has been public knowledge that the club is exploring its options with regards to investment, however no comment will be made until there is anything to announce,” a club statement read. “In regards to recent media reports, London Irish can categorically confirm that all staff will be paid this month. Anything reported to the contrary is pure speculation.”