Wasps: Ex-director Christopher Holland is named owner of the club

Wasps: Ex-director Christopher Holland is named owner of the club

Wasps’ season came to an early end at the Coventry Building Society Arena in October

Wasps have announced that Christopher Holland, formerly a non-executive director, has become the new owner.

The announcement comes on the day that the Rugby Football Union (RFU) granted the relegated ex-Premiership club permission to resume playing next season in the Championship.

Wasps satisfied RFU requirements, although Worcester were refused.

However, Wasps will no longer play in Coventry with a new agreement reached with another Midlands ground.

“HALO22 Limited, a company owned by Christopher Holland, recently completed the purchase of the intellectual property, history and memorabilia of Wasps RFC, a transaction that saw the club exit administration,” the club added in a statement.

But it does not include the CBS Arena – the stadium that has been Wasps’ home for the past eight years.

The ground was bought by former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group for £17m in November.

The club said its new home “will be announced in the near future”.

Media speculation has already hinted that they will move a bit closer to Birmingham to share with Solihull Moors at Damson Park.

A Moors spokesman has declined to comment.

Holland, who first joined the old Wasps board as non-executive director in 2017, was the sole director of the training ground at Henley-in-Arden before that went into administration.

“As the new custodian of Wasps I am fully aware of the responsibilities I have to its supporters, history and heritage. I do not underestimate that duty,” he said.

Holland has more than 30 years’ experience in law enforcement and risk management, having previously worked with the Ministry of Defence, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and B&Q.

He has appointed Andy Scott, former chief executive of 188Bet and interim chief executive of the Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation, as the club’s new CEO – with support from former players including ex-Scotland winger Kenny Logan and Peter Scrivener.

Scott said : “We are proud and delighted to secure the future of this great club.

“Wasps is a famous and highly-regarded name in the history of English and European rugby and while this is a new venture and a fresh start.

“It is fundamentally built on the same values that brought the club success and respect in its heyday.”

Wasps had debts totalling £95m when they went into administration in October, but the offer from the consortium including members of the club’s Legends Group was accepted at the end of that month.

It has since come under the scrutiny of the RFU’s financial viability group.

The Wasps bid does not include the women’s team. They are a separate club and will continue to play as part of the amateur side Wasps FC.

Wasps’ wanderings

If Wasps complete their move up the A45 to Solihull, they will be taking up residence in their fourth home as a professional club.

Wasps, originally a London club based in Sudbury, shared Queens Park Rangers’ home at Loftus Road, Shepherds Bush from 1996 to 2002.

They then moved to Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park for 12 years before moving to Coventry in December 2014, quickly becoming ground owners at the Ricoh Arena – and landlords to Coventry City, the club for whom the stadium was built.

The four-times Premiership and twice European Cup winners were founder members when the first national rugby union league was created in 1987 – and, when the professional era began in 1996, they became the first champions.

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