The Rugby Football Union in England has warned that if London Irish do not get their house in order by May 30, they will be suspended from participating in next year's Gallagher Premiership.
Irish has become the latest top-flight union club in England to run into money troubles. This comes after Wasps and Worcester entered administration earlier this season, resulting in their expulsion from the Premiership.
There is speculation that the rugby club in Brentford is set to be taken over by an American consortium. However, nothing has been set in stone, and the club's future is far from certain.
It had been reported this week that the club is reportedly £30 million (€34.50 million) in debt, and their employees received their April salaries a week late.
It was also reported that Mick Crossan, the current owner, paid the overdue April wages just minutes before players were preparing to submit breach-of-contract notices.
Today, the RFU has issued a statement and a deadline for the southwest rugby club. They warned that the club would be removed from the league if they do not find a solution in 11 days time.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) May 15, 2023
"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," said a statement from the RFU this week.
“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 be in a position to take its place in the Gallagher Premiership in the 2023/24 season and to complete that season."
The statement went on to say, "The RFU has therefore set a deadline of May 30 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 the 2023/24 season; 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 the 2023/24 season 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."