The club were suspended from the Premiership on Tuesday
London Irish have filed for administration a day after being suspended from the Gallagher Premiership. The club’s owner Mick Crossan says the position they find themselves in is a result of “hollow promises” from potential investors.
The club failed to meet the extended deadline of Tuesday 4pm set by the Rugby Football Union to prove they could fund the club. This led to their suspension from all competitions on Tuesday evening. Irish became the third top-flight side to be suspended this season with Worcester Warriors and Wasps having already been ejected.
While laying blame at investors NUE Equity and Redstrike’s door, in an open letter, Crossan also called the RFU’s demands “unrealistic” and said there were complications with playing at Brentford’s stadium.
London Irish file for administration: Owner’s statement
“As we neared the completion of the deal, I continually received promises from both NUE Equity and Redstrike that the acquisition would be completed imminently,” Crossan said. “Right up to yesterday’s final deadline, we continued to receive verbal assurances from the group.
“I have trusted these were not hollow promises and agreed to financially support the club throughout to ensure it could finish the season and conclude the deal. Sadly, these promises have failed to materialise and despite our best efforts it was not possible to meet the conditions set by the RFU.”
The club have reportedly run up debts of around £30million. However, their on-pitch record is the best it has been since 2009. They recorded their best finish in the Premiership for 14 years, taking fifth place and finishing just three points outside the semi-final play-off spots.
The suspension will see other clubs snap up some of Irish’s stars including England international Henry Arundell and flanker Tom Pearson. The RFU and Premiership Rugby have set up a ‘hardship fund’ for players and staff who need financial support in the wake of losing their jobs.
Crossan told the club’s staff he regretted the decision but insisted they were left with no other option but to have London Irish file for administration after losing their place in league.
He added: “Administration has always been the last resort, and something we hoped we could avoid. And we bitterly regret the difficulties it will present to each and everyone of you.”
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