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Wasps begging for cash input as threat of administration looms large

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

The club have been looking for a new owner since last July, when Wycombe District Council withdrew its support for the construction of a new stadium.

Wasps were close to completing a takeover deal last week but that arrangement has fallen through, leaving the club in a precarious financial position.

It is understood that Wasps have enough funding to see them through the next month, which would allow them to complete the Premiership season, but the club need urgent investment to remain in business beyond May.

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.

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"The board is able to confirm that London Wasps Holdings ltd remains a going concern.

"However, the board acknowledges the urgency of the current situation surrounding the club. There are ongoing active discussions with other potential investors, but the club is seeking further expressions of interest."

It is understood that the collapse of the takeover bid was due to funding issues with the potential investor. It emerged last week that Wasps' current owner Steve Hayes had been arrested and bailed as part of a 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, although they are eight points above Newcastle Falcons.

The club have fallen a long way since 2008, when Lawrence Dallaglio lifted their fifth English league title to go with the European crowns they won in 2004 and '07.

Dallaglio retired and was followed out of the door by England internationals James Haskell, Tom Palmer, Riki Flutey, Paul Sackey and Danny Cipriani.

Palmer and Haskell are due to return next season and Wasps chairman Mark Rigby is desperate to convince new investors there is a bright future for the club.

"London Wasps has a long and successful history, and is one of the best known brands in the game," Rigby said. "With a great squad in place we believe we are set to make a strong impact next season. We urgently need a new investor or consortium to back this belief."

Irish Independent