Premiership Rugby team London Irish are expected to be suspended by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) this week over its troubling financial situation.
A report from The Telegraph reveals that London Irish are ‘set to be suspended from the RFU this Wednesday’ after the Rugby governing body has ‘seen zero progression’ with the club’s ability to secure a new owner nor has current owner Mick Crossan able to provide sufficient funding for next season.
London Irish has until 4pm today to outline plans to the RFU Financial Viability group on the club’s next move before tomorrow’s impending suspension date, with a failure to detail plans to the board resulting in suspension and a ‘worst-case scenario’, according to the report.
The Brentford-based Premiership club is not the only team in the league to have financial troubles over the past year, as Wasps RFC and Worcester Warriors were both suspended by the RFU for their financial failings.
In October 2022, Worcester were relegated from the Premiership during the season after the club was placed under administration. Shortly after, Wasps suffered the same fate, which left a significant number of players unemployed.
This may become of increasing concern to the RFU as they could have potentially over 250 players without a club for next season, with already up to 170 professionals on course to leave their clubs from expiring contracts.
Any such suspension for London Irish would also mean that other staff may be affected after they and the players have been fearful over whether they would be paid on time due to the pre-existing financial troubles which date back to last April.
Whilst Crossan was able to pay all players and staff on time, the Daily Mail reported that a Premiership fixture against Exeter may have been postponed due to players threatening to serve their notice if they were not paid on time.
London Irish now have until tomorrow to show their liquidity is intact in order to play in next season’s Premiership campaign.