London Irish become third club suspended by RFU after takeover talks failed

London Irish become third club suspended by RFU after takeover talks failed

LONDON IRISH on Tuesday became the third club to be ejected from the Gallagher Premiership after the London rugby club missed a final deadline to pay players and staff.

Earlier this year, Wasps and Worcester were also suspended from the league because of money troubles. Irish have now joined them.

After a number of missed salary payments to players and staff, the club was given a deadline until Tuesday by the RFU to sort its house out. Last week, it was confirmed that the incoming US consortium, or Mick Crossan, the current owner, had to commit to supporting the club financially next season or risk being suspended. They will now not be a Premiership club because of the missed deadline.

The Gallagher Premiership, which started with 14 teams, will now be a 10-team league.

A statement was released on the club's website late on Tuesday about the news. Although the club has been suspended, the statement also goes on to say they are hopeful they can lift the suspension by talking to the RFU.

"The Club can confirm that London Irish has received correspondence from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to confirm suspension for the 2023/24 season," the statement started.

"The suspension will result in the Club being unable to compete in the Gallagher Premiership, Premiership Rugby Cup, and Heineken Champions Cup throughout the 2023/24 campaign.

"The Club continues to remain in active discussions with the RFU as to any circumstances that may result in the suspension being lifted."

RFU CEO Bill Sweeney added, "This is desperately sad news for everyone who is part of the London Irish community, as well as all the players, fans, staff, and volunteers for whom this club means so much," said RFU CEO Bill Sweeney.

"Working alongside Premiership Rugby, the RPA (Rugby Players' Association), and London Irish over recent months, our collective first priority has been to do the utmost to secure the long-term viability of the club and the protection of its players and staff.

"To achieve this, it was imperative that transparent evidence of funding be presented to us...

"Despite requesting this evidence over the last six months and receiving assurances on multiple occasions that we would receive proof of ownership and funds, it has not materialised."