The Ondon Irish have filed for bankruptcy, owner Mick Crossan has confirmed in an email to Exiles staff.
The west London club were banned from the Gallagher Premiership on Tuesday night after failing to meet a number of sustainability conditions by the 4pm RFU deadline.
The long-discussed takeover by a US consortium fell through, and details of the group’s composition or the source of funding were never disclosed.
Crossan had the option as late as Tuesday afternoon of committing to fund Irish for the entire 2023/24 campaign but declined the opportunity.
Now the Powerday magnate has sent the Exiles into receivership, with the club saddled with over £30million in debt.
Crossan confirmed the Irish government in an open letter to supporters, stressing it was “the surest way forward for the club”.
“I have publicly stated on numerous occasions that I would be willing to pass on leadership of the club if we could find the right person or group to take it forward and ensure its long-term future,” Crossan said.
“Having supported the club financially for a decade, it is not possible for me to accept the club’s millions of pounds of losses each year indefinitely.
“Collectively, club owners are working very hard to change their models, but real support is lacking at times. And it speaks volumes that Ralph Rimmer and Chris Pilling have been appointed by the Government as independent advisers to work on the future stability of rugby union in the UK.
“Professional sport in this country needs to be radically changed. And the current leadership urgently needs a thorough overhaul of their practices if they wish to continue professional rugby in England.
“Administration has always been a last resort and something we hoped we could avoid. And we deeply regret the difficulties it will bring for each and every one of you.
“My focus now is working with the appointed administrator and I hope to get the club out of administration as soon as possible.
“This development has no impact on London Irish Amateur Rugby Football Club, to which we have recently been granted a long-term lease of the Hazelwood site and pitches, nor on the operation of the Hazelwood facility, which has facilities on a large scale for all types of Sports activities are used.” and for the benefit of the local community.”
The Exiles’ players, coaches and staff were free agents looking for new employment once Irish were banned from the entire English league structure by the RFU on Tuesday night. But now the 124-year club history has officially come to an end.
Crossan paid just 50 per cent of Ireland’s wage bill in May, leaving more than 100 staff at their own expense and now immediately out of work.
Administrators will now oversee attempts to pay off the club’s debts, with the prospect of any bailout looking bleak.
The terms of the RFU suspension for next season leave little room for even a reformed lineup to take any place in the league, even at the foot of the base structure.
A number of top Irish talent are already negotiating transfers to Premiership clubs, as well as accepting offers from overseas.
England are hoping players like Test winger Henry Arundell and esteemed flanker Tom Pearson can secure new contracts on home soil, with Bath keen on both talents.
Waste disposal magnate Crossan bought Irish as part of a bailout in 2013, investing heavily in the Exiles and overseeing the move from Reading’s Madejski Stadium to Brentford’s Gtech Community Stadium.
But despite finishing fifth this season, the Exiles’ highest Premiership finish since 2009, Crossan have been unable to attract new investors to push the club forward.
Crossan openly announced his willingness to sell the Exiles back in September, but more than six months of negotiations have resulted in no acquisition, despite talk of a US consortium led by former NFL and NBA stars.
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/rugby/london-irish-administration-owner-mick-crossan-b1086214.html London Irish application for administration, owner Mick Crossan has confirmed this in an email to Exiles staff.