Wasps aim to return at ‘highest level possible’

Wasps want to reform as a club “at the highest level possible” but may need to wait until the 2025-26 season to do so, says chairman Christopher Holland.

In May, they were told they will play “at the bottom of the playing pyramid” after an offer of a place in the second tier was withdrawn.

“But we have persevered,” Holland told Wasps’ website.external-link

“Our steadfast intention remains to return to rugby at the highest level possible, ideally for the 24-25 season, or if prudent and necessary, the 25-26 season.”

When Wasps were barred from playing in the Championship this season, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said the club failed to meet a number of conditions that had been set out.

They ranged from proof of “further finances” being secured and evidence that payments had been made to rugby creditors to changes to the club’s board.

“As before, our return is reliant on our ability to secure a team, sponsorship and management, and to meet or exceed the legal and regulatory requirements to play, all of which we are more than able to do,” Holland said.

Two-time European champions Wasps were the highest-profile club to financially collapse in the past year, with Worcester and London Irish going bust in the Premiership, while Championship side Jersey Reds were the most recent to fold.

Holland, a former non-executive director at Wasps, became the club’s owner in December 2022 following their demise. He has since gone on to attempt to become a majority shareholder in Worcester Warriors.

“The cornerstone of our recovery relies on sustainable finance and a robust business plan that avoids a single point of failure,” Holland said.

“Rugby as an entity does not meet the threshold of financial sustainability without additional complimentary income, which we have planned in detail in our stadium business and development programme.”

Wasps were based in Coventry at the CBS Arena when they went out of business, and Holland now says the club – which first moved out of Greater London to Wycombe in 2002 before relocating to the Midlands in 2014 – has “made substantial progress in the establishment of a permanent home”.

“Later this month we will make a further announcement which will detail the now advanced progress toward our new ground,” he added.

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