Wasps’ financial ruin is the Gallagher Premiership equivalent of Arsenal, Chelsea or Tottenham going bankrupt, talkSPORT has been told.
England’s domestic rugby is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis after Wasps followed Worcester by being banned from the top flight amid financial turmoil.
Wasps withdrew from Saturday’s game against Exeter Chiefs because they could not guarantee that players would be paid this month.
The former European champions and four-time Premiership winners will be banned for the remainder of the season and then relegated if they fail to live up to their next game against Newcastle Falcons.
Wasps will go into administration in a court hearing on Monday and hope to secure a readmission deal to cover debts of up to £37million.
talkSPORT’s rugby correspondent Russell Hargreaves revealed the relative magnitude of this event compared to Premier League football, explaining the context of Wasps’ money problems.
In addition to a liquidation order from HM Revenue and Customs for £2million in unpaid tax, the club is required to repay £35million bail from their move to Coventry in 2014.
Hargreaves told talkSPORT Breakfast: “A Premier League equivalent? I know it doesn’t quite work, but we’re talking about Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs – that club level.
“In and around the top with great success, multiple domestic champions, multiple European champions.
“Eight years ago they had to make a big decision to leave High Wycombe, where they were struggling and not growing, to leave Adams Park and go to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
“It never really worked. But you throw COVID on top, the debts piled up, they totaled £35 million.
“It would never be paid back on time.”
Meanwhile, former Scotland international Kenny Logan emphasizes that Wasps and Worcester are not the only clubs in trouble and the Rugby Football Union [RFU] must act to secure the long-term future of the game.
Logan spent seven years with Wasps, helping them win a Premiership title and the Anglo-Welsh Cup twice.
He told talkSPORT: “There are other clubs on the outskirts of where Wasps are.
“The important thing now is for the stakeholders to come together and think about the best way forward.
“There are no alarm bells here. Everyone in rugby knew this was coming.
“They just waited for it to fall to do something. Wasps now have to try to survive.”