Buy Wasps or we're doomed, pleads Young as they fight to avoid relegation
21:32 GMT, 28 April 2012
Wasps' embattled director of rugby Dai Young fears for the future of the club if the tabled takeover bid from a consortium led by former player Ken Moss falls through.
Almost eight months since current owner Steve Hayes put the cash-strapped club up for sale, there finally appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel.
Moss will inject 2million if relegation is avoided in the final game of the Aviva Premiership season against bottom-of-the-table Newcastle next Saturday.
Plea: Dai Young wants some one to buy Wasps and save the club
Wasps must win or earn a bonus point while losing by fewer than 24 points to secure their short-term survival in the top flight. Failure to do that and the big-name players signed for next season, such as England stars James Haskell and Tom Palmer and Wales’s Stephen Jones, will not be joining.
TO AVOID RELEGATION:
Wasps must: Beat Newcastle or earn a bonus point while losing by fewer than 24pts
Newcastle must: Beat Wasps AND win by 24pts or more. If Wasps earn a bonus point, Newcastle will also need a bonus point
Moss’s bid appears to be genuine, but with the threat of administration and a possible 22-point deduction looming if the necessary cash injection is not secured before the end of the season, Young is refusing to celebrate yet.
‘My understanding is that things are very close, things are very positive,’ said Young. ‘Everything is moving in the right direction. That’s as much as I know. Until it’s signed, sealed and delivered and somebody comes in and I’m shaking his hand as the new owner, I don’t really want to know much more. My focus is just on Newcastle.’
Selling up: Wasps owner Steve Hayes put the club up for sale over a year ago
Two weeks ago, Wasps’ players were gathered together in the expectation of being told that a bid from a rival consortium — inderstood to have been led by Barnet FC chairman Tony Kleanthous — had been successful, only to be handed the news that the deal had fallen through and their livelihoods were back in the balance. ‘It was a horrendous meeting, the worst news ever,’ said winger Tom Varndell.
The latest news of Moss’s interest is a huge boost for the 146-year-old club ahead of their make-or-break encounter. But despite the growing possibility of investment, Young has warned that whoever takes over will have a huge job to return the four-time Premiership champions to their former glory.
‘Historically, we’re one of the biggest clubs, but not now,’ said Young. ‘You’ve got to look at things off the field. We are nowhere near in the same category as most teams in the Premiership, if not all. We’re miles behind.
Fighting to survive: Wasps are in pole position to stay in the Aviva Premiership
‘The infrastructure they had at the onset of professionalism was probably better than anything else. It’s no accident they were up the top. But that’s not there any more. I fear for the club if they don’t get an owner.
‘Unless we get the right amount of investment, we’ll be in the same position next year. It’s as clear as that.’
None of the players signed for next season are understood to have specific break clauses in their contracts should Wasps be relegated, but insiders admit ‘all bets are off’ if the club go down without a new owner.