RFU statement: Payday ultimatum for London Irish

London Irish must pay all staff for May in full on Wednesday or be withdrawn from the Gallagher Premiership. The RFU said it was giving owner Mick Crossan the chance to meet payroll as scheduled today or the offer of a deadline extension to complete a takeover will be withdrawn.

An American consortium is in discussions to take control of the club but has yet to provide proof of funds to the RFU, as well as other documentation needed for the purchase to be approved.

“The RFU club financial viability group met Tuesday evening. It noted the conditions set by the RFU had not been met and considered the application for an extension to the deadline,” an RFU statement on Wednesday morning read.

“It was agreed to defer the decision for 24 hours to establish if the club is able to honour the commitment it has made to staff that they will be paid for the month of May. The group will meet again this evening.”

If all staff, including star players such as Henry Arundell and Tom Pearson, are paid today, an extension of around a week is likely to be granted for the US buyers to finalise the takeover.