By SimonG
The irony of the RFU carrying out checks to see if anyone else is fit and proper to be involved in English rugby is quite incredible.
By A38
Greetings from Worcester.

It all sounds rather too familiar but you are in good hands with your owner and I do hope matters work out.

A few of us enjoyed seeing your team at Bath a little while ago - we were there to see some of our "old boys" play - and we were very gratified by the support we received from your "away" supporters. Thank you.

I would like to be able to say that we look forward to seeing you at Sixways - but we all know that is for at least the immediate future an impossible dream. However I shall follow your team with interest on BT.
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By Narbia
From the previously mentioned Times article (not paywalled) on last Friday.
If a deal is not completed within the next 12 working days and payroll for May is not met, then the club would be at risk of being wound up.
So who's going to wind it up then? It'd have to be a creditor and HMRC aren't one of those.
....their landlords at the Gtech Community Stadium, are reportedly no longer interested in a groundshare.
Anything more concrete than 'reportedly'?
after RFU set deadline of May 30
Deadline for what precisely?

It's one of the better attempts at a factual article though.
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By Stevie J
The frustrating part of these articles is as you've pointed out Narbia; the language used is loose and scary enough that my friends and family and asking me 'should we renew our season tickets? I don't want to lose my money' but not definitive enough to show any actual reporting. Once you start breaking down the language used its quite fluffy.

Articles like this can be easily summed up as - poor rugby club MAY be in trouble IF owner walks away WHICH he may do BUT no one knows. Certainly theres no 'insiders within the club are convinced the club will run out of cash next week'. That would be an issue. Maybe its coming. But the reporting is at this stage relying on hearsay and other clubs / RFU / PR officials to fill in the blanks (not to mention agents). I've always been taught to try to think through the motivations of anyone leaking anything to the press, what have they to gain?

The leaks / insight is largely coming from the RFU who want to pressure the sale and do not want another rugby club going to the wall or being seen not to pay players. I think we can all agree we do not want that again - we cannot let any staff member get to the end of a month and worry about money. The RFU deadline, if it helps move things along, I'm fine with it but its frankly arbitrary. Might as well by July 39th for all the good it will do.

But I'm also a believer, as Andrew Brandt says, in "deadlines spur action". If the RFU is going to stop any takeover if its not in on time then it will force hearts and minds and hopefully a positive outcome is reached before June.

The Brentford thing came from the initial reports from the Mail and some complaints from neighbours and about the pitch and the fact our money for renting the stadium doesn't touch the sides compared to Premier League TV money. But as I understand it theres a minimum term and they would need to buy us out. I doubt thats the best use of their money but we shall see. Given most EPL teams outside the top 6/7 tend to get relegated within 5 years, Brentford might want to slow their roll on that one, as our prior landlords have shown it can be a slippery slope.
By M_W
Yeah, was led on by the Times again earlier this evening.

On the one hand it's all very sensible, not wanting a club to fail late in pre season or after a couple of games like last season. Getting ahead of it in May makes sense.

Situation is a little different to the other two clubs though with them not being under any pressure that I'm aware of with external debt or the HMRC. The big question is whether Crossan would walk away if the takeover didn't go through (I'm not as confident as other that he's not at breaking point on that front). And indeed what proof of funds they are expecting to see from Crossan if he is to continue. Are they wanting to see 12 months worth of running costs in a bank account, or just a commitment from him to continue covering costs?

It may be that Crossan is about to call it a day and the club is finished, but I can't escape the feeling that it would be a very convenient outcome for the other clubs and the RFU. Assuming the takeover is in any way serious, I also think this probably gives the buyers a nice opportunity to lowball the offer at the last moment, making the RFU/PRL a deeply unhelpful third party here to Mick.

Either way it's clearly a serious situation.
By GC89
Agree with all of that MW. I am also less confident than others on Mick's situation. I think if the deal goes through he might be willing to put the money in to fund us as to the level of a Championship side, but I also feel like he's done with the costs of funding a Premiership team. Either way though, I wholeheartedly agree that it would be very convenient for the powers that be if we did go. There have been too many sounds from those at the top of the game about getting to a 10 team Premiership by natural wastage for me not to be incredibly suspicious of some of the motivations at play here. Whether in the long term a 10 team league is better or not who knows, but the impact it will have on the short term on players and other individuals' livelihoods shouldn't be overlooked.
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By Narbia
We had discussions on here a couple of years or so ago regarding the stress of running LI as was then. On that point alone I think Mick should walk away. He's a wealthy guy but time on the planet is definitely finite.

I think some people might like to see a Championship team born out the ashes, but in my mind, with some of the skullduggery going on around this 10 team GP migration, I'd want nothing to do with it. :shame:
Hypothetically speaking, Mick shows the RFU he has enough money in the bank to fund the club for another season, before the deadline. Does the process, Mick's process, of finding new investment just start again? Will the RFU keep setting deadlines? Another poster somewhere said this is more stressful for the players than the fans - not wanting to sound heartless or anything but the fans are here for longer than the players are, and in all walks of life and forms of employment there is a threat of redundancy or loss of employment etc (appreciating rugby players' careers in their main role are shorter than most other professions).

It still feels odd to me that Mick would help oversee the move to a new stadium then after two Premiership Rugby Cup finals, returning to the Heineken, and securing our best finish in 14 years, he would decide now is the time to chuck it in. Obviously that's a very high-level view...
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By Narbia
I've no idea what happens next. But I think elsewhere that the penny is definitely beginning to drop about the merits and demerits of the forthcoming 10 team league.

You might want to reflect on why the French are still on 14, and the Saffers/Celts/Italians 16.

Don't take my word for it though - read some other rugby fora and you'll get the gist ! :talktothehand:
By Florida
The ten team league is clearly the way forward because less games means more money!

It's not really about the money though is it? The clubs with the rich owners will just keep sticking their hands in their pockets and to heck with the likes of us, Newcastle and the other clubs that aren't backed by rich owners. We're just cluttering up the table anyway.
By M_W
All getting a bit grim. Another meeting at Hazelwood today with the club, captain, RPA and various parties where nothing concrete emerged according to the Times Journo anyway.

Was listening to the conversation he had on Corbs' podcast this week. One thing that emerged was that Crossan paid payroll for both March and April. It was initially reported that the buyers paid March, but it seems that was not the case. That had been a bit of a crumb of comfort that they had produced some cash at some point .

Without that, it's all very Worcester, albeit with a few fancy names splashed about.
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By Narbia
GHA wrote:
Tue May 16, 2023 4:19 pm
It still feels odd to me that Mick would help oversee the move to a new stadium then after two Premiership Rugby Cup finals, returning to the Heineken, and securing our best finish in 14 years, he would decide now is the time to chuck it in.
I think the writing was on the wall when the last set of accounts were published and the financial risk of Powerday not covering the losses was raised.

There was a thread on here on that some good time back.

I'll be very surprised if this 'Network of Untapped Entrepreneurs' comes up with anything other than BS. I've no doubt that there may be some wealthy ex-basketball players lurking around the shadows somewhere, but that's as far as it goes.

The more I read of these 'Entrepreneurs' and all their parallel companies, the less impressed I am. I read somewhere that they are also looking at buying Everton F.C. too!
How many years have Everton been for sale now?

As Leicester Tigers went up for sale and couldn't find a buyer, I doubt London Irish will either.
Sorry guys, time to brace yourselves for the worst. :no:
By M_W
It's actually a little confused.

All the NFL, NBA guys and 'Chip' are on the NUE end of things. Flashy names, but little substance.

However it's the guy from Redstrike that has been fronting some of it. Redstrike are owned by 777. 777 are the people talking about buying a stake in Everton and they as an organisation actually have a track record of producing money to buy sports teams bigger than us.

The problem is (and all this is complete guess work with the radio silence) that I'm not sure if 777 were only ever linked to us as Redstrike were employed as the middle men.

Either way there aren't a lot of positive noises from anywhere at the moment.
By Florida
Honestly I'd ignore the press speculation about who the potential investors were (are?), they've already shown they don't have any sort of idea of facts by stating they paid April's wages.

Deadline might not be until 30 May, but I think tomorrow is pay day and will give a good indication of what's happening.
Hope fading at London Irish as players told to prepare for club's suspension by RFU

There was growing pessimism over proposed takeover at meeting on Friday evening
By Charlie Morgan, Senior Rugby Writer

Hope is fading at London Irish, with players told to prepare for the club to be suspended by the Rugby Football Union if it fails to meet next Tuesday’s deadline on a takeover deal.

Representatives from the RFU, the Rugby Players’ Association and Premiership Rugby, in the shape of chief executive Simon Massie-Taylor, joined a meeting with club staff on Friday evening.

There, despite assurances from an Irish figurehead that the takeover was “active” just hours earlier via email, growing pessimism was spelled out. As far as the RFU is concerned, “zero progression” has been made. There remains a lack of information over the funds of the US consortium purportedly interested in acquiring the club from Mick Crossan.

Crossan himself is thought to have been invited to join the meeting, but was not involved, raising further questions over his willingness to finance the club if the consortium’s takeover falls through.

The prospect of a third Premiership club going to the wall within a year, following Worcester Warriors and Wasps to leave more players and staff thrust into unemployment, is becoming more real. Indeed, a source suggested that many front-line players at Irish “have things lined up”.

Henry Arundell, the explosive 20-year-old who made his first England start against Ireland in the Six Nations, would be a prize recruit for any Premiership rivals with room under the salary cap. Back-rowers Tom Pearson and Matt Rogerson, like Arundell in contention to make Steve Borthwick’s World Cup training squad, are two more leading lights at Irish.

Earlier on Friday, shortly after 2pm, staff were told that over a takeover deal remained “active”, but that no funds have materialised with just four days until the RFU’s deadline of May 30.

In an email to club staff from acting chief executive Adrian Alli, which has been seen by Telegraph Sport, it was said that Crossan has been working around the clock in order to “progress” a deal with US buyers. However, it was conceded that clarity over the required funds was still forthcoming.

“The deal is still active, with Mick speaking to the US into the night and early hours of the morning to progress,” reads the email from Alli.

“We have not received the funds as yet, nor confirmation of the funds, but have had email communication this morning to indicate that these are expected imminently and now have more details over the remitting bank.

“I have no detail as to the reason for the delay other than needing to go through certain approvals for fund release.”

The email then suggested that a Zoom call between Crossan and the squad would be set up for next week in order to shed further light on an increasingly bleak situation.

Earlier this month, the RFU imposed a deadline of May 30 for the takeover to be completed or for the current ownership to show evidence that Irish could be funded through next season. Failure to do so would result in the club being suspended from participation in the Premiership and any other competitions.

Telegraph Sport has previously revealed that the head of the US consortium aiming to buy Irish is Alfred ‘Chip’ Sloan, a California-based lawyer and former sports agent. Players and staff at Irish are due to be paid by next Wednesday, having only received their wages for April late after Crossan stumped up to pay them.
User avatar
By Stevie J
Well tomorrow is seemingly D Day unless they try to drag this out any longer. Clearly reading certain articles, the RFU and Prem Rugby don’t think anything is going to happen in time. Others seemingly are getting noises from the club, that it will come through in time. I foresee messiness. Because it couldn’t possibly be simple could it?

Fissler yesterday in TRP reiterated that the club, presumably Deccie, are still trying to sign players. He also said that the hold up was over a large transfer of money and the documentation needed to do that. I’ll plead ignorance here, I have no idea if and what’s needed to transfer large sums from the US to the UK. Apparently in the email sent to players last week they now know, ‘what the remitting bank account’ is, which from a quick Google seems to be the senders bank account.

You’d think if the money was there at any stage it would be leaked. We’ll find out tomorrow, I’m hoping whatever happens it’s at least quick with no false dawns.

One more interesting bit in Fisslers sidebar was that assuming we are surviving, that this seems to be our last season at Brentford. He actually says:
We understand that they have been given notice to quit the Brentford Community Stadium by their landlords, which will leave them needing to find another ground to play, most likely at the end of next season.
How many will continue to follow the club at Wimbledon, assuming it’s Plough Lane?
By SimonG
Stevie J wrote:
Mon May 29, 2023 4:28 pm

I’ll plead ignorance here, I have no idea if and what’s needed to transfer large sums from the US to the UK. ....
I think in this case the simple answer is the money!
By Florida
Stevie J wrote:
Mon May 29, 2023 4:28 pm
How many will continue to follow the club at Wimbledon, assuming it’s Plough Lane?
I would have loved it back when I was living in Putney, would have been able to walk to and from the ground! Even out in the sticks as I am now, Plough Lane would still be quicker / easier than Brentford.
User avatar
By Narbia
Just one salient point for some to consider : the suspension of LIRFC from the GP could be the single act that pushes the club into administration. Not that the club is in administration and it is suspended as a consequence.

Ponder that for a moment.
If (and please correct me if I'm wrong) administration is a calling in of a club's debts, then are the RFU effectively saying to Mick 'sell the club or call in your debts and wind the club up' ?
User avatar
By Narbia
The way I look at it is, administration or a winding up order happens when a business cannot meet its liabilities (debts) as and when they arise. I.e it is insolvent.

I don't have the full picture like everyone outside RFU/LIRFC, but for the RFU to suspend LIRFC for a period of one year, then that means LIRFC cannot go about its business for that period and it certainly will go bankrupt as a consequence. LIRFC is effectively being forced to stop trading as of Wednesday (allegedly).

I don't think the RFU are suspending LIRFC because it has debts, but because they think it may become insolvent in the next calendar period.

Every other club in the GP has debts. Some like us have a benefactor that covers the losses. Looking at you Bath and Bristol. When their benefactor walks their clubs will fold if they don't find another benefactor (and that's highly unlikely).

Having said all that, Mick Crossan can choose to put the club into administration himself tomorrow should he so wish.

And final point : a business owner can shut a business down quite simply by meeting all its current liabilities and submit a winding up form to Companies House. Been there, done that.
Narbia wrote:
Mon May 29, 2023 8:57 pm
I don't think the RFU are suspending LIRFC because it has debts, but because they think it may become insolvent in the next calendar period.


Having said all that, Mick Crossan can choose to put the club into administration himself tomorrow should he so wish.
We certainly don't have the full picture. I wonder if the RFU think Irish may become insolvent in the next calendar period because Mick is or was publicly looking for new investment?
User avatar
By Narbia
GHA wrote:
Mon May 29, 2023 9:04 pm
I wonder if the RFU think Irish may become insolvent in the next calendar period because Mick is or was publicly looking for new investment?
Back some months ago, IIRC I quoted the accounts of the LIRFC companies where a submission of a materially relevant fact was made that the benefactor (POWERDAY) may not always be able to cover the losses by supplying collateral in whatever form. That's an obligation upon the directors of any company.

Basically the directors have said that going forward (at that time) they cannot guarantee the LIRFC company/companies will remain a going concern throughout its next reporting period.

That is already manifest in the late payment of wages, where I'm assuming Mick just pumped in another short term loan to get the payments (wages) met.

tl; dr : LIRFC does not meet the RFU's current financial stability criteria.
Interesting, I must've missed that previously. Well hopefully the consortium is sorted in time, or Mick changes his mind regarding the next reporting period and / or has alternative investment lined up.
London Irish latest: RFU expected to extend their Tuesday deadline

The latest speculation surrounding London Irish just hours before Tuesday’s RFU deadline regarding their inclusion in the 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership season is that English Rugby CEO Bill Sweeney was allegedly set to grant the Exiles an extension to fully get their house in order.

It was feared that the incompletion of the club’s takeover by a group of American-led investors would result in their suspension by the RFU for next season due to its failure to provide the necessary assurances that a deal would definitely happen and that players and staff would be paid their salaries at the end of May.

Those salaries were delayed in March and April and amid fears that this situation would materialise again, the RFU issued a statement on May 15 setting a May 30 deadline for the club’s takeover to be approved by the RFU or the club alternatively provides assurances that it had sufficient existing funding to cover its costs for 2023/24.

Failure to meet that deadline would result in the suspension of London Irish from next season’s Premiership but there is now said to be optimism they will be afforded more time to provide every guarantee to satisfy the RFU. The governing body sought these assurances now rather than potentially have the situation in a few months’ time of Irish mirroring the 2022/23 collapse of Wasps and Worcester with the new season having already started.

A source claimed that the required documentation regarding takeover funds will be with the RFU later on Tuesday, with the money landing soon after. It was also said that current London Irish owner Mick Crossan had spoken with Sweeney and that the RFU would be “extending the deadline”. In the meantime, Crossan would also be paying the player/staff wages for May.

In their May 15 statement, the RFU had outlined: “The proposed takeover of London Irish by an American consortium has led to a significant amount of uncertainty and speculation about the future of the club, which is having an impact on players, staff, and fans of the club. As a result, the RFU, Premiership Rugby and the RPA are seeking to take action to obtain greater clarity on the future of London Irish.

“It is imperative that the club will be in a position to take its place in the Gallagher Premiership in season 2023/24, and to complete that season. The RFU has therefore set a deadline of 30 May by which either: a takeover of the club has been completed and approved by the RFU, with the buyers undertaking to provide all required working capital to meet the club’s obligations as they fall due for at least season 2023/24; or “the club evidences that it will continue to be funded to operate throughout the 2023/24 season. If the club fails to meet these conditions it will be suspended from participating in the Premiership (and other competitions) in season 2023/24 to avoid a scenario where the club enters insolvency mid-season, with the corresponding and substantial impact that has on players, staff, and fans, as well as on the remainder of the league.

“This deadline was set to give enough time for the buyers to provide the information needed and for the transaction to complete.” ... emiership/
User avatar
By Stevie J
Update via Rugbypass and Daily Mail:
  • Club has been given an additional week to comply, deadline is no longer today.
  • Dependant on payroll to be covered by Mick for May.
  • If no deal is complete by next week then we will be suspended.
User avatar
By Narbia
Well, a bit of breathing space! Wonder what was said between Mick and the RFU.
Crossan would also be paying the player/staff wages for May.
That's making the right sound...
By M_W
Times are saying that the extension is dependent on two things.

- Documents being received by the RFU today from the buyers (nothing received as of yet)
- Wages being paid tomorrow, which Crossan has committed to

Second condition is realistic. The first is more of a hurdle.
User avatar
By Narbia
M_W wrote:
Tue May 30, 2023 2:23 pm
- Documents being received by the RFU today from the buyers (nothing received as of yet)
That's really tantamount to saying today's close of play deadline still stands. If a draft contract from the buyers hasn't arrived at HQ, then we'll be no further forward.

Two or three hours to wait and see then?
M_W liked this
London Irish: RFU to decide on Wednesday whether to grant club extra week to complete takeover

The Rugby Football Union will decide on Wednesday whether to grant London Irish an extra week to complete a takeover.

Irish's owners have been in protracted talks with an American consortium over the sale of the Premiership side.

A deadline of 30 May had been set by the RFU, otherwise the club risked suspension from the Premiership.

The RFU agreed in principle to an extension on Tuesday, with one condition that the current ownership paid salaries due on Wednesday.

But the situation was complicated on Tuesday evening at a hastily arranged players' meeting.

There it emerged current owner Mick Crossan was offering to pay 50% of the salaries, rather than the full amount, with the rest due on completion of the takeover.

The RFU's club finance viability working group will make their recommendation to the RFU board on Wednesday.

While sources close to the takeover insist a deal is close, there remains concern about proof of funds and the exact identity of the prospective new owners.

Crossan, who took over the club in 2013, met last month's payroll just as players were preparing to hand in breach of contract notices, which would have allowed them to leave the club in the event their wages went unpaid.

On 15 May, the RFU said the timescale had been set to "avoid a scenario where the club enters insolvency mid-season, with the corresponding and substantial impact that has on players, staff and fans, as well as on the remainder of the league".

The governing body for rugby in England added: "This deadline was set to give enough time for the buyers to provide the information needed and for the transaction to complete."
By M_W
Could easily see the RFU losing patience with us today. Especially if nothing has still emerged in terms of proof of funds/ownership details from the buyers.
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By Narbia
I think I've got to be honest with myself now. If there's no draft contract after three months, then there is no serious interest from 'the buyer'.

This is looking very much like a charade in which to avoid blame for the inevitable. Yep, it may come to a head today. Everything I've read last night seems to be rowing back from that week of extended grace.
Feels like Mick is clinging on to a consortium going nowhere fast, doesn't it? If he was keen to carry on he would've binned them off by now. If he thought he could look elsewhere he would've binned them off by now.

At least that's what it looks like on the outside, no-one knows what's actually going on in the inside - not that I think that's an issue, by the way. Hopefully everyone is busy working on takeovers to worry about mini press releases...
As you were - end of May deadline, but Mick's now offered 50%. Maybe hoping the consortium will pay the other 50%.

And if not, maybe Mick will pay the remainder by the end of the day. But committing to the rest of the season is a different story...
User avatar
By Narbia
GHA wrote:
Wed May 31, 2023 7:15 pm
Dunno about the good Captain Ahab, but the suspense is killing me here. I'm off down the gym to work out before I go Ahabish.
User avatar
By Stevie J
Extension granted until 4pm on Tuesday 6th June.

Apparently despite only being paid 50% of their monthly salary staff and players asked for the deadline extension to be granted. Statement makes it pretty clear RFU are pretty peed off with Mick/ the board but have granted rather than leave everyone with nothing.
Hopefully the players agreed to the 50% as it gives them / us a chance of the takeover being completed in the next seven days and them getting the rest of their month's wages, then we can move on under new ownership.

Good to hear the squad are together :drunk:


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