Club hierarchy have been holding drawn-out talks with an American consortium

One week more, that’s it – the Rugby Football Union (RFU) have given London Irish an extension of a week to complete their takeover. In the event the club is not taken over by 4pm on on Tuesday 6 June, or the current owners do not prove they can fund the club for another season, then Irish face suspension from the Gallagher Premiership.

Irish have been holding drawn-out talks with an American consortium. In April, wages were paid in time to stop player handing in breach of contract notices.

But as calls were made for more transparency on the potential ownership group’s make-up and proof of funds, it emerged that current owner Mick Crossan was offering to pay 50% of the club staff’s salaries this month, rather than the full amount, with the rest to come after the takeover is completed. This despite RFU demands that player wages be paid in full if there was to be any extension of the deadline for a takeover.

However, the Exiles’ players and staff asked for this extension, even though they have only received half of their May salaries.

Why London Irish given extra week

The RFU made the call on Wednesday evening. Paula Carter, RFU Board Member and Chair of the Club Financial Viability Working Group said: “It is deeply frustrating for all the staff, players and fans that there have been months of multiple missed deadlines.

“We are extremely disappointed that the club has so far only funded 50% of the staff and player wages, however, we have to respect the wishes of those most affected.

“The 4pm deadline on 6 June is final and we have added the stipulation that the club must also fulfil its contractual obligations to its employees by paying the May salaries in full.”

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