London Irish players and staff finally paid with Exeter clash to go ahead as planned

·2-min read
Resolution: London Irish players and staff have now been paid their salaries for April  (Getty Images)
Resolution: London Irish players and staff have now been paid their salaries for April (Getty Images)

London Irish’s players and staff have been paid and Saturday’s Premiership clash against Exeter will go ahead on schedule.

Current owner Mick Crossan stepped in to cover the April payroll that was six days overdue. The Exiles’ prospective new US owners had agreed to divert investment into the club to take care of salaries from March onwards.

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The US consortium aiming to buy the Brentford-based club insisted delays in salary payment had stemmed from administrative banking issues.

But as players were on the verge of handing in breach-of-contract notices, Powerday boss Crossan is understood to have completed the payments.

That 11th-hour intervention should now allow Irish to complete their Premiership season by hosting Exeter at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday.

Concerns around the protracted takeover will remain, but players and coaches at Irish have kept a positive outlook on the chances of the buyout eventually going through.

Premiership Rugby and RFU chiefs are understood to have been in extended dialogue with Crossan, to remind the current Irish supremo of his responsibilities given that he still retains control of the club.

Irish remain hopeful the takeover of the club can be pushed through across the summer, with July previously mooted for a completion date.

Former Premiership Rugby chief executive Howard Thomas has represented the prospective Irish owners in meetings with club players and staff. Rugby director Declan Kidney this morning admitted a level of worry has followed Irish around all season.

“The season started with conversations like this, so obviously there’s concerns around it, but they are not in our control,” said Kidney. “But we’ve had a lot of verbal assurances that things are working towards a positive conclusion.

“We are the professional arm of a club that’s 124 years old; we know our responsibilities. The people that work here are salt of the earth, fantastic people. Nobody is looking to have their hand held, they are just getting on with it.”