Wasps Rugby Football Club has gone into administration raising concerns about the future of Wasps-owned Coventry Building Society (CBS) Arena.
The venue, which has a concert capacity of 40,500, with 20,500 standing, is due to host two shows by Harry Styles and one by Artic Monkeys next year. In a typical year it is able to host up to 10 shows between sporting commitments, with acts including Muse, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen among the many to have played there.
Andrew Sheridan and Raj Mittal at business advisory firm FRP have been named administrators of Wasps Holdings Limited (WHL). They said they have made 167 staff, including all players, redundant. Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), which oversees the stadium, has not gone into administration and said it is in negotiations with potential investors to take over the running of the complex and is hoping to conclude a deal in the next two weeks.
WHL’s administrators issued a statement in which they said, “A small number of employees have been retained to support with the orderly wind down of the company and the operation of the CBS Arena, which is unaffected by this administration and continues to trade as normal.”
A spokesperson for ACL said: “The arena is a profitable standalone business with huge potential and therefore is attracting strong interest from a number of parties. We have filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators and we will be aiming to use this period to complete a deal with a venue operator.
“It would also allow the arena to continue to generate funds through the exhibition, conference and hotel business and would also mean the Rugby League World Cup game and Coventry City fixtures will go ahead as planned, which, we believe, is in everyone’s interest.
“The arena is very much a key economic driver for the region and we are hopeful that we can conclude a deal to ensure its future. Time is exceedingly tight and talks are continuing around the clock so we can reach a suitable deal.”
The Rugby Football Union has suspended Wasps indefinitely from the Premiership. Wasps owes £2m to HMRC and £35m to bondholders.