London’s Irish players have been told to prepare for the cash-strapped club’s suspension from the Premiership NEXT WEEK… as they look set to become the third team kicked out of the top tier in just eight months
- London’s Irish players have been told the club could be suspended next week
- If the London Irish are suspended, players will have to seek employment elsewhere
- Club owner Mick Crossan did not attend a virtual meeting on Friday night
London’s Irish players have been told to prepare for the club’s suspension from the Premiership next week, which means they will have to seek employment elsewhere.
The Exiles’ demise now looks inevitable after the team’s virtual meeting on Friday night with representatives from the RFU, Premiership Rugby and the players’ union, the RPA.
Sports Mail understands current owner Mick Crossan has been invited but hasn’t taken part – meaning he’s not ready to fund Irish until next season. And the players have been told there is still no clarity in the corridors of power in English rugby about their potential new owners.
Heading into a long weekend, before Tuesday’s deadline set by the RFU for a takeover or for Crossan to pledge funding for the 2023-24 campaign, there is still no proof of financing to be used by a US consortium to purchase the indebted club.
As was made clear to the Exiles team, there is no longer any expectation that there will be a breakthrough or reprieve in the 11th hour.
London’s Irish players have been told to prepare for the club’s Premiership suspension
Irish London owner Mick Crossan did not take part in a virtual meeting with the RFU, Premiership Rugby and the players’ union, the RPA
Declan Kidney’s Exiles team managed to finish fifth in the Premiership table
After several months of negotiations, the harsh reality that has been explained to the Irish players is that the long-awaited takeover of the club by a group including former American NFL and NBA stars has not progressed as expected. hoped.
This was even conceded in an internal email sent to staff by chief executive Adrian Alli, which was seen by Sports Mail.
While he claimed “the deal is still active”, he also admitted “we haven’t received any funds yet, nor any confirmation of funds”.
He then added: ‘I have no details as to the reason for the delay.
Alli went on to say that Crossan wanted to arrange a meeting with the players and staff next week.
But until then, the most likely scenario is that it would be a reunion to confirm that the worst-case scenario has happened.
If the Irish are suspended from competition by the RFU, it would represent another dismal development at the end of a turbulent season in domestic play.
They would become the third club to be kicked out of the Premiership in the space of eight months – after Worcester and Wasps collapsed last autumn – despite a successful campaign on the pitch that saw Declan Kidney’s side finish fifth of the Board.
This would mean the First Division would be reduced to 10 teams; a streamlined model that has been coveted by many in the club game for some time.
It would also mean England winger Henry Arundell, Red Rose center Will Joseph and emerging World Cup contender flanker Tom Pearson would be among those forced to move on.
Many clubs in France and across this country are close to signing the main exiles, but some will struggle to secure new deals in a saturated market at this time of year.
It’s a grim fate for the players who have performed admirably all season amid turmoil behind the scenes and regular worries over salary payments.
This situation culminated in a late intervention by Crossan last month, to prevent players from submitting breach of contract letters.