Widnes threatened with liquidation by the end of week, administrators warn

Widnes could be liquidated as soon as next week if investment is not found in the coming days.

The cash-stricken Championship club has “no money left” according to the administrators who have been instructed to try and secure the club’s future.

The Vikings had already been forced to postpone Sunday’s Championship clash with Sheffield on Sunday, with experienced administrator Peter O’Hara confirming it was due to insurance costs.

The club will officially be in administration by the end of Friday, which means the club will be deducted 12 league points.

However, the club could cease to exist completely should new investment not be secured in the coming days.

The administrators admitted they had received expressions of interest to take the club forward, but no deal had yet been reached.

“To a large extent, if investors aren’t found the club will go quickly from administration into liquidation and that will be the end of Widnes which I’m sure nobody wants,” O’Hara said.

“We’re in a unique situation in a way, it’s a bit like a rudderless ship, there are no directors here.

“In crude terms, it has simply run out of money. We secured the wages for the players until the end of this month, but other than that, there are no funds whatsoever.

“Our job is to preserve what’s left. Whether we can do that I’m not certain, and it all depends upon potential investors into this club.

“The reality is that unless some investors are found this week, the club will be in the same position next week again, unable to play because there’s no insurance.

“I would emphasise that unless a deal is done by the end of next week, it’s difficult to see how the club will actually play again, which is pretty drastic.”

Administrators met the RFL on Thursday, who confirmed that it was unlikely Super League would release funds from the parachute payment.

The Vikings had already been given an advancement on their central funding to pay the club’s first-team players this month. Now, the administrators say they have seven days beyond the end of this month to secure transfer fees for players.

In the meantime, talks are set to continue with potential investors, with fellow administrator Chris Brooksbank confirming he had already held discussions with one consortium and was aware of interest from two other parties that they planned to meet in the coming days.

Meanwhile, O’Hara revealed the former Widnes chief executive James Rule had received death threats in light of the club’s current plight.

O’Hara said: “James Rule, who was the chief executive and director is at the end of his tether.

“He has had to get police protection after threats to his life and his family, and his health has suffered.

“He came to my office and he really doesn’t want anything more to do with it.”

O’Hara, who has previous experience within the sport, added: “I’ve never been into a club that’s been rudderless before.

“There’s always generally been one dominant factor, a man at the club who knew what was going on and wanted to take it forward.

“In this case here there is only this gentleman here (performance director Phil Finney) who’s the only guy left.

“The club is lacking leadership and it needs somebody to get hold of this club sooner rather than later.

“It’s the old adage that they’ve spent more than they earned.”