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Wasps set to enter administration

Financially troubled Wasps have been suspended from the Premiership after announcing they are "likely" to go into administration "within days".

The club have twice filed notice to get insolvency experts in to help with their debts, which run to tens of millions of pounds.

They face becoming the second side to go into administration within weeks, following Worcester last month.

Their suspension was confirmed by the RFU's Club Financial Viability Group.

"We appreciate this is a very difficult time for Wasps players, staff and supporters who will be concerned at news that the club is likely to enter administration," the Rugby Football Union said in a statement.

"The RFU will continue to work with the club, PRL and any potential administrator or future investors to find the best possible outcome for the club."

Wasps can reapply for the suspension to be lifted if they are able to demonstrate the means and commitment to pay their rugby creditors.

In a statement following the announcement of their pending administration, Wasps Holdings Limited said they had been working "tirelessly" to secure the club's future.

"We strongly believe it is the right course of action," the statement added.

Coventry-based Wasps will not fulfil this Saturday's Premiership game at Exeter following the news, saying they "recognise that this will not only impact on our players, staff and supporters, but also Exeter Chiefs and the wider rugby community".

Worcester were suspended and relegated to the Championship for next season last week, a day after players and staff had their contracts terminated when the club was wound up.

The Warriors' results were expunged and the Premiership - English rugby union's top division - reduced to 12 clubs for the rest of the season, though the club are appealing against the punishments.

However, if Wasps were to go into administration, they would also face relegation.

Under Rugby Football Union rules, any club that enters administration is automatically relegated next season, unless they can prove it was a no-fault insolvency.

With Championship clubs having recently struggled to meet the Minimum Standards Criteria to enable promotion to the Premiership, relegation of both clubs could mean a shrinking of the league, which is understood could have a knock-on effect regarding media rights.

ITV agreed a new deal with Premiership Rugby to broadcast a number of matches, including the Twickenham final, on free-to-air television earlier this year.

After Worcester went into administration, Premiership Rugby's chief executive Simon Massie-Taylor told BBC Sport that "financial viability and visibility is a big theme" moving forward and said he had asked all clubs to provide a "really clear picture" of their financial position.

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