London Irish are ‘set to be SUSPENDED by the RFU on Wednesday’, which could leave over 250 players and staff ‘scrambling for employment’… with England star Henry Arundell among those now being chased by rival clubs
- London Irish are ‘set to be suspended from the Rugby Football Union’ this week
- It comes after Wasps and Worcester suffered a similar plight this season
- Over 250 players will now face the uncertainty of no employment next season
London Irish are reportedly ‘set to be suspended from the Rugby Football Union this Wednesday’ after the club has fallen into financial difficulties this season.
According to The Telegraph, the RFU have reportedly ‘seen zero progression’ with Irish’s deal to secure a takeover and neither have they seen that current owner, Mick Crossan, is able to provide funding to support the club for the 2023-24 season.
The outlet says that the club has until 4pm on Tuesday to deliver their plans to the RFU’s Financial Viability group who will ‘make a recommendation to the Union’s board before Wednesday’.
Failure to show these plans ‘will result in suspension’ and The Telegraph claim that a ‘worst-case scenario is feared’ with players now ‘scrambling for employment next season’.
It is a concerning look that is reminiscent of the plight Worcester and Wasps suffered earlier this season with both clubs also being suspended by the RFU, after they too fell into administration.
London Irish are ‘set to be suspended from the Rugby Football Union this Wednesday’
The news could now leave London Irish’s players and staff in jeopardy of unemployment
Henry Arundell (pictured) and Tom Pearson are reportedly being sought after by rival Premiership clubs
It means that the RFU could now have over 250 unemployed players on their hands with Mail Sport reporting that the Rugby Players’ Association already has around 170 professionals leaving their current contracts.
The paper also suggests that England wing Henry Arundell and back row Tom Pearson are both now being sought after by rival Premiership clubs, with both ‘having received at least four expressions of interest’.
Arundell, known for his superb strength and excellent ability with the ball in hand, broke onto the international scene last year, gaining his first cap during England’s Summer tour to Australia, notably scoring on his Test debut back in July.
The 20-year-old had actually made history that day becoming the first Exile to be capped by England since Marland Yarde made an appearance against the All Blacks in 2014.
Meanwhile, emerging flanker Pearson picked up the Premiership’s Breakthrough Player of the Season trophy at the league’s end of season awards.
The 23-year-old England hopeful is one of the League’s top prospects, but it appears he could now move elsewhere, while several Top 14 sides and South African sides have also stepped forward to pick up Arundell.
The news comes as London Irish have been suffering from financial problems throughout the year.
Earlier in May, Mail Sport reported that players and staff had been concerned over whether they would be paid on time, with an insolvency expert sounding the alarms on the club’s predicament.
Club owner Mike Crossan must show he can finance the club next season or secure a sale
London Irish ended the season at the Gtech Community Stadium with a 17-14 win over Exeter
Flanker Tom Pearson was awarded the Breakthrough Player of the Season trophy at the end of season awards
Crossan stepped in at the 11th hour though to ensure that all players and staff were paid on time, before players had threatened to serve their notice, with fears their game against Exeter that weekend could have been called off.
Mail Sport revealed back in March that an American fund was vying to take-over at the club, but since then, no deal has been agreed.
That presents a problem for Irish, who now have until May 30 to show their liquidity in order to be accepted to play in the 2023-24 season.
That comes as part of the RFU’s plans to prevent the situation that happened to Worcester and Wasps from happening to clubs currently in the league, after they were suspended from the league after going into administration.
Will Chudley and Matt Kvesic, formerly of Worcester, will both join up with Coventry next season and it appears several other players from Irish could follow their lead.
Despite that, Irish wrapped up their season with a big 17-14 win against Exeter at the Gtech Community stadium and narrowly missed out on a spot in the Premiership play-offs, just falling short by three points to Northampton to finish in fifth place.
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