It has been confirmed today that come the 2023/2024 season Wasps will be back up and running as a rugby club in the Championship.
This will come as great relief to hundreds of thousands of fans that have seen their great club fall apart of the past few months.
HALO22 Limited recently purchased Wasps RFC including the transfer of the intellectual property, history and memorabilia. Their takeover has fully satisfied the Rugby Football Union’s requirements.
Andy Scott, the new Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are proud and delighted to secure the future of this great Club. Wasps is a famous and highly regarded name in the history of English and European rugby and while this is a new venture and a fresh start, it is fundamentally built on the same values that brought the Club success and respect in its heyday.”
Christopher Holland, the Club’s new owner, said: “As the new custodian of Wasps, I am fully aware of the responsibilities I have to its supporters, history and heritage. I do not underestimate that duty.
“Even though it has been an extremely challenging time for everybody connected with the Club, today’s decision is a reward for the hard work undertaken to date, and means we can now start planning for the future.
“There is, however, a long road ahead of us. In addition to fulfilling the obligations to rugby creditors as set out in regulation five by the RFU, we continue our conversations with investors to improve the funding we have acquired to date.
“We are diligently creating a viable long-term business model for the Club, and we have had to meet rightfully stringent and modern business requirements for regulatory control and corporate governance. The RFU and PRL have been a supportive partner during the process.
“I would like to place on record my thanks to all of our fans and partners, the wider rugby community, and all former players and staff. The support we have received has been incredible.”
A ground share announcement is expected shortly.
Worcester fans will not be so thrilled as the takeover plans have been turned down by the RFU. Atlas Worcester Warriors Limited, a consortium fronted by Jim O’Toole and James Sandford, was deemed to be unsuitable for the rugby club.
The RFU in a statement have declared that they were uncertain on the groups ability to continue to financially fund the club, as well as displaying concerns regarding the groups intentions to acquire the site and develop it without a rugby offering.
“The RFU Board was not satisfied with the information provided (regarding the deal) in particular relating to the financial position of the buyer and their ability to continue to fund the club and to deliver on the business plan provided which included significant development at the Sixways site,” read an RFU statement.
“The RFU has not been provided with sufficient evidence of funding. While some information has been provided, this has been only internal P&L information which appears to cover only part of the business of the main shareholder and the RFU was told that no further information could or would be provided.
“This means that there is no information as to debt levels or shareholder funds and no externally verified financial statements have been provided.
“Evidence of a non-binding heads of terms for external off-shore financing has been provided, but this is not committed.
“For these reasons the RFU does not have comfort that the business plan can be funded, nor that rugby is at the centre of the proposal for the business which is an American medical services company.
“The bidders for Worcester Warriors have not accepted the regulatory position and have not sufficiently engaged with the necessary conditions required and have therefore put themselves in a position where the RFU Board could not approve their bid.
“The RFU will now work with the administrator to enable alternative bids that would secure professional rugby at Sixways and to work together in a timetable to enable that to happen.
“The RFU urges the administrator not to progress any sale that does not guarantee a future for rugby within the local community.”
With the RFU advising administrators to consider other offers, former head coach Steve Diamond has indicated his intention to buy the club.
#Together I Can confirm that Adam Hewitt and I are fully committed to bringing Worcester Warriors back to the Premiership. We have the plan and the funding. Give us the opportunity. We Will give you the rugby. Bring it on!
— Steve Diamond (@Steve_Dimes) December 15, 2022