Wasps players learn of notice to appoint administrator through social media

James Gaskell of Wasps looks dejected – Wasps facing relegation threat with club poised to appoint administrators - GETTY IMAGES
James Gaskell of Wasps looks dejected – Wasps facing relegation threat with club poised to appoint administrators - GETTY IMAGES

Wasps' players and staff only learned on Wednesday of the news that the club had filed a notice to appoint an administrator through social media, which led to the club holding a meeting with the squad and staff on Thursday morning to answer any questions regarding the club's current financial situation.

Wasps filed the notice after being threatened by HMRC with a winding-up petition on Wednesday, with the club still owing £35 million to bondholders after they invested to help purchase the Coventry Building Society Arena seven years ago.

Experts believe that Wasps have 10 business days from the notice being filed to appoint administrators, giving the club limited time to find new investment and putting Wasps at risk of being sued by creditors beyond that 10-day window.

John Cullen, business recovery partner at accountancy firm, Menzies LLP, told Telegraph Sport: “A notice of intent to appoint administrators is a strong statement for a business to make and is issued when the business is technically insolvent: meaning that administration is on the cards. From the point of issuing, the business now has 10 business days to appoint administrators, whereby it will look to save all or parts of the business or get the best possible return for its creditors.

“This 10-day period gives owners a chance to breathe, however, if not acted upon and administrators aren’t called in in time, this ‘security blanket’ is lifted, and the business becomes at risk of being sued by its creditors. For Wasps, this discussion has been going on for some time – they are going to be hoping for a miracle if they want to remain a viable business and hold their place in the league.”

After reports circulated on Wednesday afternoon regarding the notice, an internal memo was circulated to all Wasps staff noting that while the club were in "an unsettling time", there was no change to daily operations and salaries would be paid next week, with the move having been made to "protect the business in the short-term".

Explaining the move publicly, Wasps said that talks were ongoing with "a number of interested parties to secure the long-term future of the group".

Wasps' squad trained as normal on Thursday in preparation for Friday's game against Bath and also named their side on time at midday on Thursday, with activity at the club described as "business as usual" by a source.

A spokesperson for Coventry City Council said regarding the situation: “We are aware of Wasps Holdings Limited’s decision to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators in order to protect its interests.

“As the freehold owner of the Coventry Building Society Arena site, we are closely monitoring what is a developing situation and will make no further comment at this time.”

The RFU responded with a short statement, which read: "The RFU is in dialogue with Wasps, we will work with them to understand the current action, their sustainability plans and what the next steps will be."