London Irish are on the BRINK after being served a winding-up petition

London Irish are on the BRINK after being served a winding-up petition by HMRC over an unpaid tax bill… with Premiership side still stuck in limbo between owners

  • There was more bad news for London Irish on Friday in a winding-up petition
  • HMRC are chasing up an unpaid tax bill with the club stuck between owners
  • Talks with an American consortium have stalled over delays in funding 

London Irish’s hopes of survival appeared bleak on Friday night after the club was filed a winding-up petition over an unpaid tax bill.

HM Revenue and Customs intervened on Friday to launch insolvency proceedings as the club finds itself in limbo between owners.

Mick Crossan is in talks about selling the club to an American consortium but the deal has stalled over delays in funding. 

The RFU have granted the club a one-week extension to complete their proposed takeover, with a deadline of Tuesday. 

The new owners will be expected to pay the tax bill as well as the remainder of May’s salaries, after Crossan paid 50 per cent of the wage bill in order to be granted an extension.

HMRC filed a winding-up petition to London Irish on Friday evening over an unpaid tax bill

Owner Mike Crossan is in talks about selling the club to a consortium but the deal has stalled

The Government have also intervened by appointing two independent advisers in a bid to drag rugby union out of financial crisis, following the loss of Wasps and Worcester.

Following the appointment of Ralph Rimmer, the former chief executive of the Rugby Football League, and Chris Pilling, a UK Sport board member, a DCMS statement said: ‘Following the recent failures of several clubs and the wider challenges stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, rugby union has a unique opportunity to reshape its future strategic financial and sporting direction.

‘The Government shares the concerns of fans about where the game goes next, and has appointed two independent advisers to work with the RFU and PRL. 

‘The issues at Worcester, Wasps and London Irish have laid bare the challenges facing rugby union.

‘The inability of clubs to raise capital investment and the financial challenges at various levels have contributed to the need for urgent work to help secure rugby union’s immediate future.’

There is an anxious wait for supporters to see if the American consortium seal their takeover

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