London Irish given new deadline for Premiership survival after RFU grant ‘final’ extension | Rugby Union News

London Irish Gallagher is on the verge of being suspended from the premiership, with Ireland being given a deadline of one week past the RFU to meet the conditions; Under its current ownership the club is £30m in debt and has been in protracted takeover talks with an American association.

Last Updated: 31/05/23 7:32 PM


London Irish need to pay May’s wage bill in full

London Irish have been given an extension until 6 June to meet the RFU’s criteria to survive as a Premiership club.

The RFU announced on Wednesday evening that its Club Financial Viability Group had agreed to give the club an extended deadline of a further week to meet their conditions, but that the deadline would be final.

The club has a debt of £30 million and is in talks with an American consortium for a takeover.

The future of the London Irish premiership hangs in the balance

The future of the London Irish premiership hangs in the balance

The RFU stipulated that either the takeover must be completed and approved by Tuesday 6 June – an extension from Wednesday night, which was already 24 hours ahead of the RFU’s original deadline – or the club must provide evidence Must present that it can be funded. and operated throughout the entirety of the following season.

The club will also have to pay the remainder of this month’s payroll to staff and players.

Failure to meet these conditions would result in London Irish being suspended from top-flight rugby.

The RFU said the extension until June 6 had been granted following consultation with staff and players, who had asked for the deadline to be extended to allow them to be paid the remaining 50 per cent of their May wages.

On Tuesday, ahead of the original deadline, the American consortium in discussions to take control of the club had not yet provided proof of funding to the RFU, as well as other documents needed to approve the purchase.

Paula Carter, RFU board member and chair of the club financial viability working group, said: “It is extremely disappointing for all staff, players and fans that the deadline has been missed by several months.

“We are extremely disappointed that the club has so far only paid 50 per cent of staff and players’ wages, however, we have to respect the wishes of those most affected.

Club could follow Wasps and Worcester out of the top flight

Club could follow Wasps and Worcester out of the top flight

“The deadline of 4pm on 6 June is final and we have added the condition that the club must also fulfill its contractual obligations to its staff by paying wages in full for May.”

London Irish finished fifth in this year’s Gallagher Premiership, just outside the play-offs.

Yet despite that relative success on the pitch they are on the verge of following in the footsteps of Wasps and Worcester, who both went into administration at the end of 2022 and were forced out of the league.

They could become the third club in seven months to be relegated from the English Premiership on financial grounds.

The club’s staff received their April salaries late by a week and the club had to cover their wages, with payment finally being due two days before their final match of the Premiership season against Exeter Chiefs. The players also asked for proof that their insurance premiums were covered before taking the field for that match.

Under RFU rules, players can leave their club for free if they are not paid wages within 14 days of the scheduled payment date.

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