Wasps must avoid relegation to seal last-ditch takeover by old boy Moss
18:27 GMT, 27 April 2012
Wasps are closing in on a takeover deal with a consortium led by former player Ken Moss – but it is dependent on the club remaining in the Aviva Premiership.
Moss, an IT entrepreneur who played for Wasps between 1985 and 1990, stepped in to save his former club after takeover talks with a different party collapsed at the 11th hour.
The proposed deal is conditional on Wasps securing their Premiership status when they meet bottom club Newcastle in the final game of the season on May 5.
Tough season: Wasps face a relegation decider with Newcastle on May 5
A single bonus point against the Falcons would be enough to trigger a deal and end Steve Hayes' unsuccessful four-year ownership of the club.
Hayes put the club up for sale last July when Wycombe district council withdrew its support for the construction of a new stadium.
Wasps were close to completing a takeover deal earlier this month but the collapse of that arrangement left the club in a precarious financial position.
Administration remains a distinct possibility if no takeover deal can be completed by the end of May.
It is understood Wasps are talking to a number of potential investors but negotiations are at an advanced stage with Moss' consortium.
Nervous times: Wasps head coach Dai Young faces an uncertain future
It is likely Moss would take over the club for a nominal fee but he will have to absorb annual losses in excess of 2million and repay a 1.5million secured debt.
Wasps have struggled through a miserable season with a squad ravaged by injuries – but they could end the campaign with new owners and a place in the Heineken Cup.
The unexpected route into Europe's top competition would open for Wasps if either Clermont Auvergne or Edinburgh win this year's competition.
Wasps do boast an exciting core of young players including Joe Launchbury, Christian Wade and Eliot Daly. England internationals James Haskell and Tom Palmer are returning to the club next season while Wasps have signed Wales and Lions fly-half Stephen Jones from the Scarlets.
There are more signings in the pipeline, which are dependent on Wasps staying in the Premiership.
Moss joined Wasps as a blind-side flanker from Liverpool St Helens and he retired after helping the club win the Courage League title in 1990.