Why have Wasps applied to appoint an administrator – and what happens next?

On one of English rugby’s darkest days, Wasps on Wednesday confirmed that they had filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators, a move that sent shockwaves around the domestic game.

Alongside Worcester’s travails, Wasps’ plight had disappeared somewhat under the radar in comparison; but it had been simmering for the last six months.

As with most bombshell announcements, however, the Wasps news has thrown up more questions than answers.

Here, Telegraph Sport answers some of the most burning.

Why do Wasps intend to appoint an administrator?

This all centres around £35 million worth of bonds that the West Midlands club took out after purchasing the Coventry Building Society (then Ricoh) Arena in 2014.

Bondholders should have been repaid in May, after they stumped up the cash to allow Wasps to raise money for their business and pay off debts.

The problem, however, is that those investors have not yet been repaid and, theoretically, could call the bond in at any time. 

A Wasps statement released late on Wednesday said that filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators “does not mean the business is in administration but provides a crucial period of grace to continue negotiations with a number of interested parties to secure the long-term future of the group”.

It would seem, therefore, that Wasps require time. Regardless, the threat of administration must be looming.

What happens next?

The answer is uncertain but, also in that statement, Wasps added that the “day-to-day operations of the business are unaffected, and we will continue to support our players, staff, supporters, bond holders and suppliers, and keep them fully updated”.

A Rugby Football Union spokesperson added: “The RFU is in dialogue with Wasps, we will work with them to understand the current action, their sustainability plans and what the next steps will be.”

Premiership Rugby are yet to comment on the matter, but the situation regarding Wasps’ league status will surely have to be clarified in the coming days.

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