The club are searching for an elite competition in line with their values

Wasps have confirmed to stakeholders and fans that they have a stadium to play in and sustainable funding to return to rugby – all that remains is to find a competition.

The former Gallagher Premiership side entered administration on 18 October 2022 with debts approaching £100m. They were relegated from the English top-flight as a result and have not played since.

Read more: Wasps Championship licence revoked

It looked like the two-time European champions would return to the game in the Championship after the RFU granted them a playing licence but a failure to meet the governing body’s deadline saw that revoked and in theory means any playing return in England would have to be at the very bottom of the English pyramid (level ten).

In October 2023, Wasps set out three pillars that define their intent and direction of travel as they make “substantial efforts to return the men’s and women’s teams to the highest level possible of performance rugby”.  The first is: A competition entity: One that is fit for purpose and reflects the values that Wasps and others adhere to.

The second is Sustainable finance: The cornerstone of our recovery relies on sustainable finance and a robust business plan that avoids a single point of failure. And the third is A stadium in which to play: We have made substantial progress in the establishment of a suitable ground in which to play as we progress the planning for our new stadium.

The February 2024 update issued by the club on Monday suggested that it is only the first pillar they are waiting on with funds and facilities in hand.

A statement read: “We can now inform you that we have secured the core Sustainable finance and a Stadium in which to play. All we are waiting for is a competition to join that will allow us to compete at the highest level – and one that shares our values.”

Back in October, Wasps revealed plans to establish a long-term future in Kent with the aim to build a new stadium in tandem with Sevenoaks District Council. Whether those have advanced or they have an agreement to use a facility such as Sixways – the former home of fellow defunct club Worcester Warriors and where Wasps applied to play in the Championship from – remains to be seen.

The RFU’s vision of a ‘Premiership 2′ replacing the Championship has given fans of legacy clubs like Wasps hope of them being reinstated at a higher level, although there has been significant opposition to a new franchise-style model from second-tier clubs with the Professional Game Agreement yet to be finalised.

Reports in October also suggested that Wasps were exploring the potential of playing in the United Rugby Championship (URC) against teams from Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Italy and South Africa. Championship leaders Ealing Trailfinders were also linked with a similar move as well as a merger with Wales’ Ospreys with their route to the Premiership seemingly blocked by minimum standards criteria.

In the new update on Wasps’ status, the club have also asked fans to sign a pledge as they try to gauge the level of support that still exits. They have also asked whether fans would subscribe to a TV channel if was showing Wasps games.

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