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London Welsh wait on High Court decision over the club's future

London Welsh are set to discover on Monday whether they will be able to fulfil their fixtures for the season.

Chairman Gareth Hawkins admitted on Wednesday that the 131-year-old club's current business model is ''totally unsustainable'' and said they had no alternative but to seek voluntary liquidation.

However, the High Court will rule on a winding-up petition from HMRC on Monday. If the court rules in HMRC's favour, London Welsh would cease operations immediately rather than the voluntary liquidation favoured by the club, which would allow them to complete their fixture programme and dispose of assets in an orderly way.

Insolvency specialist John Cullen, a partner at Menzies LLP, said: "Although in the long term London Welsh RFC will be wound up, it is hoped by both the club and Menzies that the company will enter a voluntary liquidation rather than a compulsory liquidation - which allows assets and funds to be salvaged and disseminated to creditors in a timely and considered manner.

"Our hope is that the voluntary liquidation process can be undertaken in a way that secures a future for the club. This begins with ensuring that upcoming fixtures can be honoured, including the Christmas game later this month. If London Welsh are unable to play, knock-on effects could be felt throughout the entire league, as any points won through matches with the club may have to be declared void.

"If we are able to instigate a voluntary winding-up process, the liquidators and the club will be in a much better position and would hope that the brand and club can continue in some form in the future. However, the decision ultimately lies with the High Court and we wait to hear whether or not a voluntary liquidation will be possible."

The intention is for London Welsh to reform in 2017 as a semi-professional outfit and raise £300,000 to regain their place in the Greene King IPA Championship.

Established by and for London's Welsh community in 1885, the club has contributed 177 players to the Wales national team and 43 players to the British and Irish Lions over the years.

In 2009, the club went into administration shortly after turning professional but were allowed to continue in the Championship after being bought out.

London Welsh moved to Oxford United's Kassam Stadium in 2012 and played matches there for three seasons until returning to Old Deer Park in Richmond in 2015.

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