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By Narbia
#59851
Last night, Premiership Rugby and the RFU claimed that ‘a cash flow solution’ has been found, to alleviate the danger of the payroll deadline not being met. However, any solution is based on confirmation of new investment — believed to be from the United States — which has been held up for some time.
If there's any truth in that, then the PRL and RFU will be making a public statement imminently, won't they?
It is thought that there were similar fears around Christmas, which proved to be unfounded.
Thought by whom?

There's some interesting comments on the Quins board re LI finances. This one I like ; and it would be plausible if LI have done their due diligence before the move.
FWIW I've been told by a director of London Irish that it's 7 years notice or two years with £30-35m exit fee from Brentford due to our role in getting it built.
Just noticed it's a brand new poster - so can be treated with a tonne of salt.
User avatar
By TeflonTed
#59857
Morning all from Wuss. (We used to have a rugby team around here).

Just here to say good luck with this issue, Chris Foy in The Mail has put quite a few pieces out during our troubles, and without being too specific on the details he’s generally been pretty close all round.

But surely there’s a world of difference between the hopeless scallywags that got hold of Worcester and Mick Crossan, who I’ve always thought was a pretty decent guy and a good communicator?

Hope it all settles and works out for you. We’ll be watching with interest, we’ve not much else to do around here for the time being.
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User avatar
By Stevie J
#59863
Obviously after all that happened to Wasps and Worcester we should not bury our heads in the sand and start with doubting the reporting. Chris Foy is pretty well connected and the article is well sourced, and yes there are some crumbs of comfort here. Lets go through it:
  • Buy out of club has been delayed. This is something that City AM mentioned briefly yesterday. Rumours of new buyers or investors have been swirling for a while and this article seems to confirm we are down the path here with someone. But its been dragging on for some time. I've heard some whispers for seemingly months.
  • Seems its well enough known that employees are now seeking assurances "after being made aware of potential trouble". Whether thats the club being upfront or from other external sources its not clear. If Mick / the Board don't have the cash to fund payroll then thats just not good. I assume Friday therefore is payday.
  • That PR and the RFU are involved which would indicate we've let them know of a potential problem, and a solution has been found as long as this new funding can be proven. This old chestnut. I'd imagine this is either a short term loan or forwarding of monies that are owed that might come due towards the end of the season (TV or participation fees). But only if monies can be found as they don't want to flush the cash away if the investment isn't coming.
  • If you want some positivity - right after it says they were other fears that were unfounded around Christmas, it says that "The PRL hierarchy are convinced it [the buyout] will happen 'soon', with the spectre of Wasps and Worcester's financial collapses still looming large over the sport.". Thats probably the most positive part, that PRL seem to think this will happen and more money is coming.
  • "The Exiles are deemed at high risk". Well we have only Hazelwood, no ground, and the debt level is a mix of things which I'm not financially savvy to know whether to worry, but certainly anything owed to Mick I would think would be wiped out upon the buyout. Thats just a gut feel from speaking to him in the past. But there are other debts, loans of course, including DCMS. They need paying off and if we can't make payroll then theres risk they are not paid, and we know what will happen next.
So we can only keep our ear to the ground and hope this all sorts itself. If it doesn't we'll know soon enough. Hopefully soon because any fears lingering will affect contracts, renewals, new signings not to mention people buying tickets / season tickets.
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User avatar
By Stevie J
#59879
The Times has a bit more (£) https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/55e5 ... a33024df92

Some highlights:
Crossan has been looking to sell the club and The Times understands that he has a US consortium lined up for the purchase. However, with the deal dragging, Premiership Rugby are keen to push through the takeover.

Players and staff at London Irish were worried that they would not be paid on time for this month. However, the club sent their employees an email on Wednesday morning confirming that payments are now being processed.
So the purported takeover is US-based, which as our friends at Worcester can tell us is never that quick. The players are being paid this month.
The Irish situation is “very different” to those at Wasps and Worcester, who both went into administration last autumn. Irish have not yet missed any monthly payments to players and Crossan has found genuine investors to take the club on. However, as the process drags, there are no guarantees over Irish’s immediate future. The priority is that Irish find enough funds to finish the league season.
So its currently a time crunch, whereby it seems everything is in place to facilitate a sale but doing so in time before the cash runs out. You'd hope some strong ticket sales and season ticket renewals would help in that regard.
User avatar
By Stevie J
#59881
Talk about ups and downs. Its been around 9 hours and I can't take anymore articles and sources and leaks...

From The Mail's latest:
  • First club to have US owners in Prem Rugby. Terms have been agreed and just needs signing off. Expected to be done next week.
  • Whoever they are, they are prior sport investors.
  • Want to grow the brand. Have to wonder what that means but Toulouse have recently announced a deal with Utah in MLR. Can think of worse things than a hook-up with the NE Freejacks or NYC.
User avatar
By Narbia
#59882
Stevie J wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 4:05 pm
Talk about ups and downs. Its been around 9 hours and I can't take anymore articles and sources and leaks...
Know that feeling too.
I thought at first it might be CVC, but then there'd be so many conflicts of interest.

Edit: from Chris Foy on twatter.
Major news from @dpcoverdale
for @MailSport
on latest at London Irish ☘️ - new US buyers have transferred funds today to pay monthly wages and hope to complete take-over next week. Just awaiting final sign-off after most hurdles cleared. Players/staff updated earlier today.
By GHA
#59896
I have no idea about anything but if Mick Crossan funds us it would've been weird for him to pull out and not pay anyone with two weeks of the season to go and the team 4th in the table, wouldn't it?
User avatar
By Narbia
#59901
GHA wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 9:03 pm
I have no idea about anything but if Mick Crossan funds us it would've been weird for him to pull out and not pay anyone with two weeks of the season to go and the team 4th in the table, wouldn't it?
London Irish RFC is his 'baby'. It'd be beyond inane to suggest he would in any way recklessly harm it.

One or two months money to Mick is chickenfeed considering the humongous sum he's pumped in over a decade. Add to that, a man of his connections would have little problem getting finance from the market or otherwise.

IMVHO, preposterous nonsense of a suggestion.
User avatar
By Stevie J
#59929
So did some reading around last night. Nothing too interesting, lots of follow up pieces really, but there was a couple of interesting things:
  • Couple of places including the Guardian state that Brentford are annoyed about the pitch state. They've been using the UV lights on it at night to make it grow better and residents are complaining. Would think thats been caused by in part the schedule being crammed with no matches in October but three in three weeks recently.
  • Times say it was so secret the negotiations that two minor investors don't even know about it. Albeit I'm unsure who those people could be, presumably not board members.
The Times (£) piece today is basically an interview with Dan Lyle, who heads up Rugby for AEG. He thinks that American investors will bring business & financial discipline, potentially some brand work on the US East Coast and then some speculation we could bring over US kids into the Academy. But I don't know if any of that is informed or not, seemed speculative.

Also mentions that end of next season is still planned to have a relegation playoff between whomever finishes 11th and top of the Championship.
By M_W
#60156
GC89 wrote:
Wed Apr 05, 2023 1:58 pm
Anyone else getting nervous about how quiet this has gone?
A bit. Primarily because the stakes for the club are very high. I had expected some sort of follow up story/leak/further info in the press by now. Instead there's been silence since it broke a week ago.

That said, I'm assuming the players were paid on Friday, as it would have been hard to keep that under wraps if they hadn't.
By Florida
#60157
Not overly, no.

From the press snooping we've read so far - it's been going on a while (since October) but not over the line yet, the folk wanting to buy stumped up the cash for the months wages (shows commitment and a ready supply of cashflow).
By Lazyboy346
#60186
Also end of financial year is a fun time to finish these things off, especially with Easter shortly after. I suspect its a case of some of those involved being on leave given school holidays and the break in fixtures for the club. If we've not heard anything before season tickets go on sale, I'll be more concerned.
User avatar
By Narbia
#60677
OK, as the season ends and we go into silly season , the rumours fly....
Approach by London Irish to use the Cherry Red Records Stadium

Is this
  • 1.Due diligence by the new owners for full or part season use?
    2. New owners hoping to cash out on an exit from Brentford? *
* I read it sometime ago by a long-time poster on Reddit, that LI have a 7 year notice period from BFC with no compensation, and a 3 year notice period with compensation.

You really would expect that having spent so long negotiating with the Brentford football club and the local council, we have thrashed out favourable terms in the contract. :dizzy:
User avatar
By Stevie J
#60688
For me the interesting thing is we finally have some names linked to this potential buyout which is Redstrike and the ex CEO of Prem Rugby. Albeit I wonder if they are in the consortium or just facilitating the negotiation, which is what I think from reading their website.

Way back in my LISC days and speaking to a board member, he told me how the club had investigated 14 options for a stadium - and that included buying into the Madejski (which was flatly rejected). Most football clubs (and their fans) would not want to give up any equity to another party such as us. But Wimbledon could be an interesting case, they are fan owned, and had to borrow to finish their stadium.

Our three revenue stream are central funding, commercial and rugby income (tickets, match day). You could increase two of those but rugby income will only increase with a large increase in fans and tickets being sold. Equity in a stadium however could give more with little change? Potentially.
By GHA
#60954
Payment from the new investors? Again, it would be strange for Crossan to pay the bills up until one or two months from the end of the season, wouldn't it? So if the investors have pulled out or are playing silly buggers, you'd hope Mick would step in...
User avatar
By Stevie J
#60966
Once you strip away in The Times and Daily Telegraph today all the old news, then what is left is seemingly 1) no-one was paid on time on Friday, 2) the money was to be transferred for Monday (Bank Holiday here, but working day in the US), 3) there was a meeting with players and staff today at 8.30 per the Tele, prior to training.

I know Alex Lowe was also on their podcast, The Ruck, and basically said he had heard three things - the takeover was not happening, it is happening its just held up, and its definitely happening. Truly this is Schroedinger's Takeover.

I've also heard competing stories about last month's payroll. The stories above mentioned the US consortium paid the players last month but others are saying that was Mick as usual.

I suppose we will find out in the fullness of time.
User avatar
By Narbia
#60968
Should the worst come to it, then the PL table becomes invalid, and so do the imminent play-offs.

Ergo I'm expecting a statement from RFU/PL p.d.q.
User avatar
By Stevie J
#60978
Narbia wrote:
Tue May 02, 2023 12:08 pm
Redstrike - these guys? . Don't look very American to me.
I don't have inside info, but, I think these guys are facilitating the potential takeover.

Its quite common in football for instance that takeovers are facilitated by certain groups. Certainly Redstrike has a lot of rugby knowledge and experience, specific to Prem Rugby.

Would be nice for this to be complete and over sooner rather than later just so we don't get the worrying headlines.
User avatar
By TeflonTed
#60988
Still watching from Wuss with interest and sympathy.

Continual promises of US funds arriving any day now, sounds familiar to us.

Our man O’Toole found over £1m back in Feb (Lord knows how) to pay a non-refundable deposit and secure a piece of previously sold-off land. Not a penny since. And his US backers turned out to have not much money at all.

Atlas consortium due to complete purchase of Wuss today. Silence reigns.

Good luck chaps, hope it goes better for you than it has done for us.
By GC89
#60989
Thanks Teflon. The similarities with the Wuss situation are definitely apparent. Appreciate the message and hope that something positive can come of the situation at Wuss too.
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By Florida
#60999
Deal being finalised and details to be announced tail end of this week / early next. That's according to some random poster on Twitter.
User avatar
By Stevie J
#61003
So Alex Lowe has updated his piece this morning. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/lond ... -5fnj67nsg. Some pertinent points:
  • The proposed consortium seems to be 777 Sports, https://www.777part.com/vertical/sports ... ertainment who invest in several football teams such as Sevilla, Genoa, Melbourne as well as British Basketball.
  • According to him, players were told Friday they weren't going to be paid on time. Apparently by end of business Tuesday (yesterday) they still weren't paid.
  • However some positive noises from Simon Massie-Taylor that if it goes through they seem to have some serious backng.
User avatar
By Narbia
#61006
Meeting at 11.45 apparently. Time for a 12.00 noon press statement then?

From the above twitter thread ; just musing...


Only problem with the above is that LI is in London and the renowned academy ultimately feeds England Rugby, and I'm sure few in England want to play for Ireland, although we certainly have had a few non-academy play for other countries
By M_W
#61007
Whatever happens need to happen this week really to stave off serious damage. You can't function for long if you don't meet payroll.

The IRFU thing often gets brought up, but is a non starter for a variety of reasons.

Realistically the only option is the current prospective buyers or Crossan coming up with the cash immediately.
User avatar
By Narbia
#61009
Agree. Looks like a do or die moment to me.


10 minutes? ..... Will the Critical Metals sponsor come good?
“The RFU has contacted London Irish to seek reassurance that staff and players will receive wages imminently,” read a statement.
The Guardian.
The RFU would need to conduct strict due diligence on any takeover after the union was skewered by MPs as part of a digital, culture, media and sport select committee hearing into the collapses of Wasps and Worcester.
Maybe the RFU would like some DD with its own £50 Mn of debt?
User avatar
By Stevie J
#61018
Here's your latest bulletin because goodness knows what else I can do with myself:
  • Telegraph chirping in with updates following the meeting before lunch. One quote says that the hope is any issues are cleared by the end of the week but another that these things often take longer than expected once missed and it could be as long as the end of May for both April and May's salaries.
  • The Times have a further update which is less rosier. "One source said the meeting on Wednesday was full of “empty assurances” from the prospective buyers. “Just more delays,” another source said. “Same chat. Not great.” They also mention "The London Irish players have been told that “the RFU and Premiership Rugby are likely stepping in to speed up a resolution with meetings with our current and prospective owners likely to go ahead over the next few days”.
I know the articles are framing this as "club with significant debt at deaths door", and well, maybe we are.

My own thoughts are this is takeover brinksmanship with the deal presumably close enough if the buyers (who seem to have Billions with a capital B) are turning up to Hazelwood. But not paying the players is not going to end well.
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By GC89
#61019
Times now reporting that the game is at risk as players aren't sure if they are still insured.

Also includes a few anonymous quotes pouring doubt on the likelihood of the deal going ahead.
User avatar
By Narbia
#61021
In all this talk about not paying wages, it's got to be the current board's responsibility to pay them.

Could you see Warren Buffet or Charlie Munger proposing to buy company 'X' and paying the wage bill before ownership is gained? No, me neither -leaving aside the dubious legality of so doing.

As time ticks on, we see the Exeter Chiefs game may not go ahead. We'll know within a couple of days if that happens. Should we fail to play Exeter, that would be game over in more ways than one.

Can't keep stringing this one on and on : the players/staff must be beginning to get mentally fatigued by all this.

Friday 12 noon is the next 'deadline' I assume.
By Iron Lung
#61023
If the game doesn't go ahead then presumably we'd be sanctioned and possibly lose Champions Cup rugby next season. That's in no one's interests?
By GC89
#61025
Narbia wrote:In all this talk about not paying wages, it's got to be the current board's responsibility to pay them.

Could you see Warren Buffet or Charlie Munger proposing to buy company 'X' and paying the wage bill before ownership is gained? No, me neither -leaving aside the dubious legality of so doing.
Agreed - unless it's part of a deal that has in principle been agreed for months and has taken longer than even reported to get over the line. But yes, in principle, it remains Mick's responsibility and it is probably the thing I find weirdest about this whole thing if a deal is really meant to be imminent - why would Mick, who has put years of his hard-earned cash into the club, not just cover the wages for another month or two to see out the season? I know we aren't talking about pennies here, but it does feel odd.
User avatar
By Narbia
#61027
A positive spin on things from Rugby Pass, above.

I know there are more than one company involved in the LIRFC group, but the mere fact that we're selling tickets for the game on Saturday means we're still trading. If we're still trading, we can't be insolvent by legal obligation.

Apparently Rob Baxter has had no communication re the game - so it's on until such time as it's cancelled...

Let's play Saturday (and win) and take it from there.
By M_W
#61028
That's presuming the players want to play if they are still unpaid.

Not sure I would knowing picking up an emergency contract somewhere else if the club do fold is hard enough without the possibility of getting injured in a dead rubber game. Times tonight talking about players possibly boycotting the game etc.
User avatar
By Narbia
#61029
Ah,OK, that's a new update I was unaware of. Things are changing quickly.

If there's no guarantee of insurance cover they'd be unwise to play. (Guessing here) but if they feel that they are unlikely to be paid, then again it makes no sense to play.

Personally, I wouldn't turn up under those circumstances.
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By Florida
#61030
Is insurance linked to monthly play or is it just journalist being journalists and stirring rubbish up?

I'd assume Mick hasn't paid because 1. The cash doesn't exist in the LI accounts 2. He doesn't just have it sitting in his personal bank account 3. It would likely take longer for him to sort out the paperwork of a loan than America shipping the cash over and 4. It would alter the current deal and thus cause further delay.

Just my thoughts, no law, business or accounting knowledge
By M_W
#61306
Latest int he Times. End of the month deadline set by RFU.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/1d81 ... 3fe3c5aec7

The key bit below. It's put up or shut up and we'll all do something else with our Saturdays time really.
The RFU is understood to have imposed a deadline of May 30 for the London Irish takeover to be completed.

The Gallagher Premiership club have been in protracted talks with a consortium of American investors, fronted by Howard Thomas, a former chief executive of Premiership Rugby. Irish have told staff — who were paid a week late last week, minutes before the players’ planned submission of breach-of-contract letters — that they expect a deal to be completed by the end of this month.

The mood around the Premiership, however, is not nearly so optimistic. Senior figures in the game have serious doubts over whether this deal will go ahead and even whether London Irish will be a Premiership club next season. There are widespread concerns that the consortium, who refuse to reveal their identities, do not have the money to complete the deal. Worcester Warriors and Wasps both went bust before Christmas and dropped out of the Premiership, making Irish the third Premiership club to have serious financial troubles this season.

The proposed buyers are yet to supply key pieces of information to the RFU, including proof of funds and confirmation of which investor will be the named owner of the club.

The RFU needs this information to complete its background checks and approve the deal. The paperwork has been promised but not delivered; a worryingly familiar scenario in this takeover.
By GHA
#61310
M_W wrote:
Fri May 12, 2023 11:06 am
The mood around the Premiership, however, is not nearly so optimistic. Senior figures in the game have serious doubts over whether this deal will go ahead and even whether London Irish will be a Premiership club next season. There are widespread concerns that the consortium, who refuse to reveal their identities, do not have the money to complete the deal.
Presumably we'll cease to be a Premiership club if the consortium don't take over and if Mick decides he's had enough. If the consortium falls through but Mick says 'I'll carry on until a new buyer is found' then it will be business as usual, won't it?
By M_W
#61311
GHA wrote:
Fri May 12, 2023 11:21 am
M_W wrote:
Fri May 12, 2023 11:06 am
The mood around the Premiership, however, is not nearly so optimistic. Senior figures in the game have serious doubts over whether this deal will go ahead and even whether London Irish will be a Premiership club next season. There are widespread concerns that the consortium, who refuse to reveal their identities, do not have the money to complete the deal.
Presumably we'll cease to be a Premiership club if the consortium don't take over and if Mick decides he's had enough. If the consortium falls through but Mick says 'I'll carry on until a new buyer is found' then it will be business as usual, won't it?
Yeah, no reason why we wouldn't carry on if Mick continues to fund. I get the feeling he's reached the end though. Think there was a suggestion we took out a loan of some sort in December to cover running costs whilst the takeover was going through, but that money's clearly gone hence the crunch at the last two pay days.
By GHA
#61313
It's his money, obviously...

Fair enough if he's reached the end on the financial side, shame if he's reached the end given the performances this season, the 5th-placed finish, Heineken Cup rugby next season and hopefully building on what happened during this season. But if the sums no longer add up (not that they ever did) then maybe the playing side of things doesn't matter.

Or maybe the press have been guided to negativity to try and push the consortium to get things over the line.
By M_W
#61314
I guess the key thing is the lack of disclosure of proof of funds etc to the RFU if true. And on balance I'd suspect that was true given the bank holiday banking excuses (cheque's in the post) talk last week.

It just feels like they don't have the funds in place. I can't see any other reason for this to take so long and get to a critical point like this.
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