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Administration threat to Wasps

Wasps are in grave danger of going into administration unless they can attract new investment by the end of the Aviva Premiership season, following the collapse of takeover talks.

The club have been looking for a new owner since last July, when Wycombe District Council withdraw its support for the construction of a new stadium, and despite being close to completing a takeover deal last week, those arrangements have now fallen through.

It is understood Wasps have enough funding to see them through the next month, which would allow them to complete the Premiership season, but a club statement said: "There are ongoing active discussions with other potential investors but the club is seeking, using all best endeavours, further expressions of interest."

Wasps have returned with their begging bowl to three parties who had previously expressed an interest in the club while issuing an urgent appeal for potential new investors to step forward.

A club statement said: "The board is disappointed to confirm that negotiations, which had been leading towards an imminent takeover of the club, have stalled.

"The board, having taken independent advice, is able to confirm that London Wasps Holdings Limited remains nevertheless a going concern. However, the board acknowledges the urgency of the current situation surrounding the club."

It emerged last week that Wasps' current owner Steve Hayes had been arrested and bailed as part of Scotland Yard's computer-hacking investigation.

Wasps have been battling against relegation all season and, with three matches remaining, they have still not mathematically secured their Premiership status.

England internationals James Haskell and Tom Palmer are due to return to Wasps next season, and chairman Mark Rigby is desperate to convince new investors there is a bright future for the club. "With a great squad in place and the excellent (director of rugby) Dai Young at the helm, we believe we are set to make a strong impact next season," he said.

"Time is however short and we urgently need a new investor or consortium to back this belief."

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