Premiership: Wasps apply for public funding with stadium business struggling

·1-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Wasps has asked a local authority for public funding of up to GBP13m, with their stadium business rumoured to be putting a strain on the club finances.

The news, reported by the BBC, as well as the news that the club has delayed repayments on the bond scheme they launched shortly after acquiring a 250-year lease on the Coventry Building Society Arena seven years ago, has fuelled speculation that the club is under pressure financially.

Pandemic impact

Bondholders have had May repayments delayed by a month by the club, in order to reach agreement with HSBC on refinancing the debt.

Wasps moved to Coventry in 2015, but the pandemic has impacted the stadium business heavily, with the most recent accounts filed showing both a loss of GBP 18.5m and total net liabilities of GBP 54.7m for 2020 and 2021.

The bondholder debt issued was made against the value of the Arena, which was GBP 52.4m last year, with the accounts noting that should Wasps be unable to repay bondholders, the stadium business, or its assets, would be sold to finance the repayment instead.

The bond issue was largely used to refinance the Premiership club’s existing liabilities at the time.

The club has not commented, while the West Midlands Combined Authority would only confirm that an application for the funding had been received.

READ MORE: Premiership: First ever salary cap report published

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