(Reuters) - England's Rugby Football Union (RFU) has rejected applications by the administrators of Wasps and Worcester seeking to prevent the automatic relegation of both clubs, saying the COVID-19 pandemic was not the primary reason for their financial woes.
Wasps and Worcester, who have both been suspended for going into administration, will now drop from the top-flight Premiership to the second-tier Championship in the 2023-24 season.
"We are all deeply concerned by the insolvency of Worcester Warriors and Wasps rugby clubs," RFU Chief Executive Officer Bill Sweeney said in a statement on Tuesday.
"We appreciate this decision will be disappointing for the clubs and their fans but it's clear from the Club Financial Viability Group's investigation that there were factors beyond COVID that resulted in the clubs entering insolvency."
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)