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Worcester and Wasps, WTF?

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Worcester and Wasps, WTF? Empty Worcester and Wasps, WTF?

Post by Intotouch Thu 29 Sep 2022, 8:53 pm

And no, I don’t mean “welcome to Facebook” .
I logged onto the forum a few days ago to learn more about what has happened to these clubs expecting to a thread on this. But I had to write one instead. (Should I have used the title “who cares”?)

After listening to an OTB interview with an English reporter on the subject I gather that no staff working at Worcester have been paid for months, including those on low wages who will have missed mortgage payments and since their finances/ accounts still haven’t been properly kept they can’t yet be sold so there’s no hope of a white knight rescuing them. Their finances were completely mismanaged. Wasps appear to be in a better position and although they’ll be relegated will continue to exist. They are struggling to pay a tax bill and a debt incurred when they moved to London. (I thought this sounded weird, why move to a crazy expensive city packed with other sports teams?)

Below is an interesting article from the BBC on this topic.
https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/63053674
What shocked me about this article is the following: “ One club owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told BBC Sport: "I don't think there's one owner who'd tell you the model is working. It's completely flawed." Bristol Bears owner Stephen Lansdown recently said there is "just not enough money in the game,” If this is true, why is it true?

In the meantime , other clubs in the prem have voted to increase the salary cap at a time when many clubs are struggling with debts. This all sounds seriously worrying and suggests that clubs in the prem will soon have bigger financial problems in the future trying to pay even more in wages. Which suggests that more will start to go bust. And they voted to increase the salary cap? Am I missing something here or is this as dysfunctional as it sounds? And how can there not be enough money in the game in England? Rugby fans from other countries also regularly say how great the competition is, fans are absolutely showing up to see it, the competition is healthy, tv contracts are in place, cvc threw money at it recently. In theory things should be great. So….Welcome to Facebook?

(By the way this thread isn’t an invitation to slam the premiership or gloat. We are all rugby fans first and foremost and this could just as easily happen to your own club.)

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Post by Poorfour Fri 30 Sep 2022, 10:37 am

The first thing to acknowledge is that the finances for rugby are a mess pretty much globally. Australia lurches from crisis to crisis, New Zealand accept that they will have a constant player drain and that key players will take well-paid sabbaticals, the Welsh regions are in perennial dispute with the WRU about funding, the SRU only manages to keep two clubs going, which limits its player pool. And so on. South Africa and Ireland seem to be in slightly better shape, but the only place where it really seems to be working is France, and a big part of that is that most of the clubs are playing in municipal stadia so don’t bear a lot of the operating and capital cost.

The big problem is simply that below international level, rugby doesn’t draw as many spectators as soccer. And that creates a bit of an arms race: clubs need good results to build their fan base, which means they need good players, which costs more money than they can generate through revenue, which means they need a rich backer who is willing to accumulate debt in the hope that it will one day pay off.

To be fair, if we wind back three years or so, a lot of clubs were slowly edging towards making an operating profit. Leicester had long done so, but had taken a big hit to build their new stand. Exeter were financially fairly comfortable because they’d been able to sell their town centre land to fund the building of Sandy Park. Teams that were filling their grounds on a regular basis were slowly turning an annual loss in the hundreds of thousands into a small profit.

Then COVID came along, and the costs largely stayed the same while the revenue evaporated. That seems to have tipped a number of clubs over the precipice, and I know that even the better run and better backed clubs are hurting.

The other big problem is that revenue is a function of the number of games, but players are already massively overstretched and if anything we need to reduce the number of games rather than increase it. That either means bigger squads (more expensive) and fewer games for the stars, or fewer games overall. But fewer games means lower revenue…

I think that one way out of this might be to lean in to the women’s game. It does mean more cost for more players, but it also means that you can play a lot more games without burnout and with stars on show. The top women’s sides are already drawing crowds of 5,000+ for their biggest games - which is more than most of the men’s Prem sides were drawing in the early 2000s. I can see the clubs and the RFU investing in this as a way to fill stadia more often while lessening the load on players overall. But it needs rugby fans to get behind it and actually support the game.
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 30 Sep 2022, 10:50 am

Poorfour wrote:The first thing to acknowledge is that the finances for rugby are a mess pretty much globally. Australia lurches from crisis to crisis, New Zealand accept that they will have a constant player drain and that key players will take well-paid sabbaticals, the Welsh regions are in perennial dispute with the WRU about funding, the SRU only manages to keep two clubs going, which limits its player pool. And so on. South Africa and Ireland seem to be in slightly better shape, but the only place where it really seems to be working is France, and a big part of that is that most of the clubs are playing in municipal stadia so don’t bear a lot of the operating and capital cost.

The big problem is simply that below international level, rugby doesn’t draw as many spectators as soccer. And that creates a bit of an arms race: clubs need good results to build their fan base, which means they need good players, which costs more money than they can generate through revenue, which means they need a rich backer who is willing to accumulate debt in the hope that it will one day pay off.

To be fair, if we wind back three years or so, a lot of clubs were slowly edging towards making an operating profit. Leicester had long done so, but had taken a big hit to build their new stand. Exeter were financially fairly comfortable because they’d been able to sell their town centre land to fund the building of Sandy Park. Teams that were filling their grounds on a regular basis were slowly turning an annual loss in the hundreds of thousands into a small profit.

Then COVID came along, and the costs largely stayed the same while the revenue evaporated. That seems to have tipped a number of clubs over the precipice, and I know that even the better run and better backed clubs are hurting.

The other big problem is that revenue is a function of the number of games, but players are already massively overstretched and if anything we need to reduce the number of games rather than increase it. That either means bigger squads (more expensive) and fewer games for the stars, or fewer games overall. But fewer games means lower revenue…

I think that one way out of this might be to lean in to the women’s game. It does mean more cost for more players, but it also means that you can play a lot more games without burnout and with stars on show. The top women’s sides are already drawing crowds of 5,000+ for their biggest games - which is more than most of the men’s Prem sides were drawing in the early 2000s. I can see the clubs and the RFU investing in this as a way to fill stadia more often while lessening the load on players overall. But it needs rugby fans to get behind it and actually support the game.
Good Post, I think you've pretty much nailed it. But I think your women's idea is fanciful at best. The 5k crowds you're talking about are due unsustainablely low and free tickets being given out. This is something that is still happening with women's football despite its boom in popularity.

At the end of the day club rugby is a niche sport and will continue to become more niche with the decline of the HC. If it wasn't for the international game we'd be not much bigger than rugby league, which is quite staggering when you think of it.

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Post by Poorfour Fri 30 Sep 2022, 3:07 pm

You may be right, LF4L, but it’s the only route I can see to get more revenue without burning out the players.

There’s definitely a long haul to get the women’s game recognised and supported anywhere near as well as the men’s (which still lags soccer). But the big thing that women’s rugby has in its favour is that it’s starting out at a point where broadcasters, the media and the public are starting to pay more attention to women’s sport. Women’s football is more established on the playing side, but has only just started to get any serious promotion, and women’s rugby is only just behind it.

The coming RWC will be a good test, as will the England v France match in the next W6N. If England can get anywhere close to filling Twickenham, that’s a positive sign.

Club rugby is niche, but then on a global scale every sport is niche compared to soccer (and soccer itself was comparatively niche until it started down the Sky route 30 years ago). I think it’s possible for rugby to be financially sustainable while remaining niche enough to retain its friendliness and accessibility; it was getting there pre COVID, but COVID has been a massive setback.
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Post by PhilBB Fri 30 Sep 2022, 3:59 pm

This is very simple.

Worcester have been shafted by their owners

Wasps has been shafted by Covid knocking the life out of the other businesses in their group of companies, namely the stadium, hotel and conference centre.

Listen to Lance Bradley on the BBC Radio 5 show from last night. They are on course for an operational profit this season and their debt is just about the loan from DCMS.

So much is being extrapolated here whilst few mention the £20m the WRU stuck on its member clubs or the €29m the IRFU owes in tax etc.
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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 30 Sep 2022, 4:31 pm

PhilBB wrote:

So much is being extrapolated here whilst few mention the £20m the WRU stuck on its member clubs or the €29m the IRFU owes in tax etc.

It's probably because the amount of money owed in the Premiership is massive compared to the ones you listed. I believe the PRL sides combined have loans for 150 million from the Sporting Fund to pay back. Throw in the HMRC revenues owed by some clubs and the 35 million Wasps have in unpaid bonds and you can see the sizeable difference why this is being talked about and the others not so much.

At this point in time I kind of glad the Welsh sides only needed a 20 million bailout compared to what we have seen in the Premiership.

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Post by PhilBB Fri 30 Sep 2022, 4:35 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:

So much is being extrapolated here whilst few mention the £20m the WRU stuck on its member clubs or the €29m the IRFU owes in tax etc.

It's probably because the amount of money owed in the Premiership is massive compared to the ones you listed.  I believe the PRL sides combined have loans for 150 million from the Sporting Fund to pay back.  Throw in the HMRC revenues owed by some clubs and the 35 million Wasps have in unpaid bonds and you can see the sizeable difference why this is being talked about and the others not so much.  

At this point in time I kind of glad the Welsh sides only needed a 20 million bailout compared to what we have seen in the Premiership.

"The Premiership" is 13 different businesses.

Bradley mocked the lunatic article put out regarding the alleged collective debt of PRL clubs, written by two journalists who had received no financial training so had listed assets as debts. The narrative doesn't even extend close to the source of the debt, completely missing the point that debt owed to shareholders will never be called in.

Nor does the narrative point to a very interesting fact:

As soon as the self inflicted financial difficulties were announced at Worcester, a new buyer was immediately in place. O'Toole is still in place. The Dragons have been up for sale for 6 years, a similar period of time to how long Edinburgh and Glasgow have been up for sale. Yet those three have no buyer, no buyer after 6 years.

Worcester found one within 6 days.

What does that tell you?
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 30 Sep 2022, 5:11 pm

Poorfour wrote:You may be right, LF4L, but it’s the only route I can see to get more revenue without burning out the players.

There’s definitely a long haul to get the women’s game recognised and supported anywhere near as well as the men’s (which still lags soccer). But the big thing that women’s rugby has in its favour is that it’s starting out at a point where broadcasters, the media and the public are starting to pay more attention to women’s sport. Women’s football is more established on the playing side, but has only just started to get any serious promotion, and women’s rugby is only just behind it.

The coming RWC will be a good test, as will the England v France match in the next W6N. If England can get anywhere close to filling Twickenham, that’s a positive sign.

Club rugby is niche, but then on a global scale every sport is niche compared to soccer (and soccer itself was comparatively niche until it started down the Sky route 30 years ago). I think it’s possible for rugby to be financially sustainable while remaining niche enough to retain its friendliness and accessibility; it was getting there pre COVID, but COVID has been a massive setback.
I just don't see it, it's been hard enough getting the mens game to where it is now and it's still struggling massively in both established and new countries where the club game is starting (see MLR and SLAR). Just because something is being heavily promoted and shown on the main sports channels doesn't mean its going to be popular or start generating sustainable revenue. Just look at the struggles of the WNBA despite the massive push that its received in recent years.

Maybe I'm just being a cynic. The decline of the HC has really dampened my love for club rugby.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 01 Oct 2022, 7:21 am

The statement from the owners yesterday is quite something.

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Post by stub Sat 01 Oct 2022, 9:51 am

The statement from the Worcester owners beggars belief. Just when you think they can’t get any lower, they plumb new depths. At the time of writing this my hope is dwindling that the web they have left can be untangled quickly enough to save the club. Hope I’m wrong.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 01 Oct 2022, 11:33 am

I just don't get the thinking behind typing that out and actually thinking yup that's the message we want. Placing the blame on the fans and the players. Wow.

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Post by carpet baboon Sat 01 Oct 2022, 12:16 pm

It really does read as one final "f**k you" to everyone.
I assume they must realise all the dodgy stuff they have done is about to come out so thought they might aswell go down swinging.
What a pair of absolute A-holes

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Post by Heaf Sat 01 Oct 2022, 12:26 pm

You beat me to it with the a*holes comment ...

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Post by carpet baboon Sat 01 Oct 2022, 12:34 pm

Anyone else hear Jim O'Toole on the BBC rugby weekly saying the PRL should be replaced by a commisioner completely independent of the club's and rfu, to oversea it all

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Post by Intotouch Sat 01 Oct 2022, 12:37 pm



I listened to this BBC sport podcast yesterday discussing the situation. Mark Evans, (at 52 minutes) is convinced that it’s the way it’s been run/ organised that’s the issue. This sounds like an informed opinion which could still be right are wrong but two things that he says to support his argument make it sound valid. First in 2004 when the prem had 12 teams they had, collectively not individually, a loss of £2 million, in 2019, pre covid, the revenues had quadrupled but the losses went from £2million to £50million. He discussed the reasons in detail but basically, what I grasped from this is that a business model where revenue quadruple in about 15 years and had no huge debts could have been profitable had certain other decisions not been made or a different business model been used.

The other point he makes which supports his theory that the business model is flawed is that four clubs only voted to increase the salary cap and that system that allows four to overrule fourteen is a reason why this increase happened at a time when so many are struggling with debt.

Here is the podcast:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0d3myt2

I haven’t read the statement yet from the Wus owners.

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Post by Intotouch Sat 01 Oct 2022, 2:41 pm

Wow! Some statement! It’s not their fault, it’s because of the players and supporters and covid. Nothing to do with them at all.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Sun 02 Oct 2022, 5:59 pm

Just to put a little perspective on club rugby's current woes. Since 1993, the start of the football premiership, until the current day, Chelsea have spent on transfers and salaries a sum approaching £6Bn with the two Manchesters, Liverpool, Arsenal & Spurs not far behind.

Professional club rugby which started in 1995 has reportedly racked up £150M in debts approx. It is relatively nothing and whilst rugby will never get close to football, the potential is still there. Private Equity have done the sums and know it. This recent covid era will hopefully mean the balance sheet disciplines will be beefed up as an agreed rule in the Premiership.

The operational club incomes are all still heading in the right direction but the capital expenditure and subsequent repayment amongst the clubs still has a way to go.

At the end of the day, if a club goes under and Worcester looks like there has been some recent debatable management decisions, then there will be another club to take their place.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 02 Oct 2022, 7:07 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:Just to put a little perspective on club rugby's current woes. Since 1993, the start of the football premiership, until the current day, Chelsea have spent on transfers and salaries a sum approaching £6Bn with the two Manchesters, Liverpool, Arsenal & Spurs not far behind.

Professional club rugby which started in 1995 has reportedly racked up £150M in debts approx. It is relatively nothing and whilst rugby will never get close to football, the potential is still there. Private Equity have done the sums and know it. This recent covid era will hopefully mean the balance sheet disciplines will be beefed up as an agreed rule in the Premiership.

The operational club incomes  are all still heading in the right direction but the capital expenditure and subsequent repayment amongst the clubs still has a way to go.

At the end of the day, if a club goes under and Worcester looks like there has been some recent debatable management decisions, then there will be another club to take their place.
I seriously doubt that, how many clubs out there outside of the top division are capable of getting 10k through the gates like Wuss? None I would say. Potentially Losing two big clubs like Wasps and Wuss is not only a disaster for England but for club rugby as a whole.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 03 Oct 2022, 6:30 am

The prl will just change the rules on admission.

Ted Hill, Ollie Lawrence, Fergus Lee-Warner and Valery Morozov all join Bath on loan.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 Oct 2022, 11:26 am

BBC:

'Worcester Warriors players and staff are to have their contracts terminated, following part of the club being wound up in the High Court.

HMRC had been pursuing Worcester, who are suspended from all competitions, since August for unpaid taxes.

Judge Nicholas Briggs instructed that WRFC Players Ltd, through which players and staff are paid - is wound up.

A winding-up petition against WRFC Trading Limited - which remains in administration - has been suspended.

All debts at the club, which had no representation in court, remain outstanding.'

Crap for the players and fans. Don't know how that impacts the newly acquired Bath Loanees. Don't think I've read anything conclusive from the PRL re wage impacts either.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 Oct 2022, 11:45 am

The Bath loanees are free now to join any club.

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Post by stub Wed 05 Oct 2022, 11:54 am

Well, that looks like it for Wuss I fear. Best that can be hoped for now is that P-shares are retained and after a short stay in the Championship Wuss return. The fear is that Wuss are forced to sell the P Shares.. What an absolute shambles.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 05 Oct 2022, 12:40 pm

That's crap for Wuss, they might never recover from it and become a perennail championship team. I wonder how soon their NEQ players are picked up? I also wonder who will replace them; Jersey, Ealing, Cardiff, Scarlets...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 Oct 2022, 1:28 pm

I think Yorkshire have more chance than the latter 2.

Will be very interesting to see where Smith ends up though given the Scottish international interest.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 05 Oct 2022, 1:53 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Will be very interesting to see where Smith ends up though given the Scottish international interest.

Presumably at Saints 9 months early.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 Oct 2022, 1:55 pm

I completely forgot about king. Just in time for when Biggar disappears too for the AIs.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 05 Oct 2022, 3:53 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I think Yorkshire have more chance than the latter 2.

Will be very interesting to see where Smith ends up though given the Scottish international interest.

Yorkshire are now Leeds Tykes and play in National League 1. A Welsh side could come across but I'd imagine it would be one of their bigger Prem sides as a way for the WRU to expand to five teams in a way it might financially be able to support. Someone like Ebbw Vale who've got an 8k stadium, are near the border and have a passable side maybe.

Smith looks destined for Saints. I'd still expect Biggar to stay for another year and guide him through though that process could start earlier now. Given Smith has been injured this far he's probably unlikely to consider his international future until after the world cup.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 05 Oct 2022, 4:15 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I think Yorkshire have more chance than the latter 2.

Will be very interesting to see where Smith ends up though given the Scottish international interest.

Yorkshire are now Leeds Tykes and play in National League 1. A Welsh side could come across but I'd imagine it would be one of their bigger Prem sides as a way for the WRU to expand to five teams in a way it might financially be able to support. Someone like Ebbw Vale who've got an 8k stadium, are near the border and have a passable side maybe.

Smith looks destined for Saints. I'd still expect Biggar to stay for another year and guide him through though that process could start earlier now. Given Smith has been injured this far he's probably unlikely to consider his international future until after the world cup.

Completely bonkers. It won't be Ebbw Vale, it'll be Pontypridd...

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Post by Geordie Wed 05 Oct 2022, 4:27 pm

Surely it'll be Ealing.

I know Doncaster have been serious about a promotion challenge aswell...but i dont know if they have the Stadium / Ground infrastructure unless they were given a periodical exemption. Would need to do a bit of recruiting also.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 Oct 2022, 4:45 pm

If they did make Donny look at their ground they had recent agreement to use the footy stadium. Could strike a deal again. Or as above simply relax the thresholds.

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Post by Irish Londoner Thu 06 Oct 2022, 9:47 am

Geordie wrote:Surely it'll be Ealing.

I know Doncaster have been serious about a promotion challenge aswell...but i dont know if they have the Stadium / Ground infrastructure unless they were given a periodical exemption. Would need to do a bit of recruiting also.  

Financially it would be Ealing, they have a wealthy backer (so what could possibly go wrong there Very Happy ) and he appears to be quite ambitious. On the negative side does Premiership rugby really need another London club which would be within four miles of London Irish, six miles of Quins and nine miles of Saracens?

From the point of view of "expanding the game" Doncaster would make more sense as it would put a Yorkshire club back in the Premiership, and (unlike Leeds/Yorkshire) a well run, sensible and ambitious but not financially foolhardy one. On the other hand Donny are not "London" wealthy and don't have a huge financial backing so would need a couple of years guaranteed membership of the Premiership to make it worth doing.

The issue around the stadiums is an interesting one as Castle Park has hosted England youth and women's games so if it's good enough for that it should be good enough for the Premiership and to be fair given the same criteria Ealing's ground isn't Premiership standard either. Personally I think the stadium issue could be put on the back burner for a couple of seasons, it's not like all the clubs sell out all the time anyway.

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Post by Geordie Thu 06 Oct 2022, 10:19 am

I notice the Chairman and CEO of L.Irish has resigned...amid re-financing...please tell me everything is fine there...

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 06 Oct 2022, 10:26 am

Rumours floating around of Irish and Falcons perhaps having issues......I really hope these aren't true.

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Post by Geordie Thu 06 Oct 2022, 10:31 am

Ah no i see the Irish situation is due to some behavioral issues...from last year.

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Post by Geordie Thu 06 Oct 2022, 11:19 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Rumours floating around of Irish and Falcons perhaps having issues......I really hope these aren't true.

Havent heard the falcons rumours..

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 06 Oct 2022, 11:35 am

Talk is there another two or three clubs looking over their shoulders, no names though.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 06 Oct 2022, 11:44 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Rumours floating around of Irish and Falcons perhaps having issues......I really hope these aren't true.

Jim Hamilton reckons there are two clubs besides Wasps and Warriors in serious financial trouble

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 06 Oct 2022, 12:00 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Rumours floating around of Irish and Falcons perhaps having issues......I really hope these aren't true.

Jim Hamilton reckons there are two clubs besides Wasps and Warriors in serious financial trouble

The same Jim Hamilton who only this week questioned why Tigers had signed "over the hill" Handre Pollard to replace George Ford (Ford is a year older). He's a character but he isn't the brightest bloke going and I wouldn't treat too much of what he says as factual. He'll be parroting what someone else has said, 50/50 chance there's any truth to it.

The harsh facts are that a lot of clubs are up against it after Covid. Most relied upon match day attendance to make ends meat. Tigers estimated they lost £900k in revenue for every home game that was cancelled. We're coming to the end of those helpful packages designed to get companies through the worst of it as well. Cashflow management will be a big talking point behind closed doors.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 06 Oct 2022, 12:09 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Rumours floating around of Irish and Falcons perhaps having issues......I really hope these aren't true.

Jim Hamilton reckons there are two clubs besides Wasps and Warriors in serious financial trouble

The same Jim Hamilton who only this week questioned why Tigers had signed "over the hill" Handre Pollard to replace George Ford (Ford is a year older). He's a character but he isn't the brightest bloke going and I wouldn't treat too much of what he says as factual. He'll be parroting what someone else has said, 50/50 chance there's any truth to it.

.

True enough but as I mentioned before an Irish paper quoted an unnamed ex-Gloucester player as stating two other clubs were in trouble.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 06 Oct 2022, 12:19 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Rumours floating around of Irish and Falcons perhaps having issues......I really hope these aren't true.

Jim Hamilton reckons there are two clubs besides Wasps and Warriors in serious financial trouble

The same Jim Hamilton who only this week questioned why Tigers had signed "over the hill" Handre Pollard to replace George Ford (Ford is a year older). He's a character but he isn't the brightest bloke going and I wouldn't treat too much of what he says as factual. He'll be parroting what someone else has said, 50/50 chance there's any truth to it.

.

True enough but as I mentioned before an Irish paper quoted an unnamed ex-Gloucester player as stating two other clubs were in trouble.

Hmm ex-Gloucester player...

https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-hmd-rev2&sxsrf=ALiCzsYqDChZT341DlyBSjChh3Bh5wP3Ew:1665055141516&q=jimhamilton+Gloucester&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjH8Pbhvcv6AhWFWMAKHUW8BEMQ0pQJegQICBAB&biw=412&bih=652&dpr=3.5#imgrc=FxUj2LURT3LPrM

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Post by Geordie Thu 06 Oct 2022, 2:06 pm

Ah yes i see now...financial concerns at London Irish and ourselves are the rumour...

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 07 Oct 2022, 10:24 am

Good point re Jim Hamilton
I forget how much players move around in GB.

By contrast if the Ulster side is what I expect it to be tomorrow there will be 11 who have never played
for another team at senior level and only 3 who who have played outside Ireland at that level
Treadwell (6 times), Vermuelen, Madigan


In other news read that Wasps may have to sell the Ricoh

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Post by Oakdene Fri 07 Oct 2022, 10:25 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Good point re Jim Hamilton
I forget how much players move around in GB.

By contrast if the Ulster side is what I expect it to be tomorrow there will be 11 who have never played
for another team at senior level and only 3 who who have played outside Ireland at that level
Treadwell (6 times), Vermuelen, Madigan


In other news read that Wasps may have to sell the Ricoh

Don't they lease it?

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Post by Irish Londoner Fri 07 Oct 2022, 10:27 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Rumours floating around of Irish and Falcons perhaps having issues......I really hope these aren't true.

Jim Hamilton reckons there are two clubs besides Wasps and Warriors in serious financial trouble

The same Jim Hamilton who only this week questioned why Tigers had signed "over the hill" Handre Pollard to replace George Ford (Ford is a year older). He's a character but he isn't the brightest bloke going and I wouldn't treat too much of what he says as factual. He'll be parroting what someone else has said, 50/50 chance there's any truth to it.

The harsh facts are that a lot of clubs are up against it after Covid. Most relied upon match day attendance to make ends meat. Tigers estimated they lost £900k in revenue for every home game that was cancelled. We're coming to the end of those helpful packages designed to get companies through the worst of it as well. Cashflow management will be a big talking point behind closed doors.

So why have the clubs agreed to an increase in the salary cap at this point in the financial cycle? Surely wait a couple of years until things are a bit more stable?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 07 Oct 2022, 10:36 am

Irish Londoner wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Rumours floating around of Irish and Falcons perhaps having issues......I really hope these aren't true.

Jim Hamilton reckons there are two clubs besides Wasps and Warriors in serious financial trouble

The same Jim Hamilton who only this week questioned why Tigers had signed "over the hill" Handre Pollard to replace George Ford (Ford is a year older). He's a character but he isn't the brightest bloke going and I wouldn't treat too much of what he says as factual. He'll be parroting what someone else has said, 50/50 chance there's any truth to it.

The harsh facts are that a lot of clubs are up against it after Covid. Most relied upon match day attendance to make ends meat. Tigers estimated they lost £900k in revenue for every home game that was cancelled. We're coming to the end of those helpful packages designed to get companies through the worst of it as well. Cashflow management will be a big talking point behind closed doors.

So why have the clubs agreed to an increase in the salary cap at this point in the financial cycle? Surely wait a couple of years until things are a bit more stable?

Unless I've missed something the cap isn't going back up until 2024-25. I presume the clubs think they can get their houses in order during that time and then move on from there. There is of course the concern that the French in-particular will come after EQ talent and this will hurt the national team and quality of the league if it is ongoing for a period of time.

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Post by stub Fri 07 Oct 2022, 11:36 am

Things looking slightly more positive for Wuss now, looks like the administrators have managed to get the land back into their control which means the club is more attractive to buyers. Hopefully in a couple of seasons Wuss will be back...

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Post by Irish Londoner Fri 07 Oct 2022, 1:05 pm

Oakdene wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Good point re Jim Hamilton
I forget how much players move around in GB.

By contrast if the Ulster side is what I expect it to be tomorrow there will be 11 who have never played
for another team at senior level and only 3 who who have played outside Ireland at that level
Treadwell (6 times), Vermuelen, Madigan


In other news read that Wasps may have to sell the Ricoh

Don't they lease it?

I think that Wasps RFC don't own it but the company that own Wasps also own the stadium. It's the usual financial shuffling around for "tax efficiency" purposes.

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Post by Oakdene Fri 07 Oct 2022, 1:06 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Good point re Jim Hamilton
I forget how much players move around in GB.

By contrast if the Ulster side is what I expect it to be tomorrow there will be 11 who have never played
for another team at senior level and only 3 who who have played outside Ireland at that level
Treadwell (6 times), Vermuelen, Madigan


In other news read that Wasps may have to sell the Ricoh

Don't they lease it?

I think that Wasps RFC don't own it but the company that own Wasps also own the stadium. It's the usual financial shuffling around for "tax efficiency" purposes.

The BBC has discovered that Coventry City Council, as freeholder of the stadium, has the right to force Wasps to forfeit the lease "if the tenant enters into some kind of insolvency regime".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/63155795

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Post by king_carlos Fri 07 Oct 2022, 1:14 pm

Top company: Wasps Holdings - I believe they have a 50 year lease from ACL

Wasps Holdings own:

Wasps Finance - The bonds are issued by Wasps Finance
ACL - Arena Coventry LTD - ACL has the 250 year leasehold on the arena, carparks and some surrounding area
IEC - Events company at CBS that rents out the casino & hotel

The bonds are secured on the value of the lease.

Cov City Council own the freehold.

This is my understanding.

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Post by Oakdene Fri 07 Oct 2022, 1:57 pm

Ah thanks for that, clears things up.

Hopefully they will be ok & not go the way of Worcester.

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