Worcester Warriors have been suspended from all competitions after failing to meet a funding ultimatum set by the Rugby Football Union (RFU).
The financially stricken club had to provide proof of a “credible” plan for the future by 17:00 BST on Monday.
The men’s team will now be banned from the Premiership and its women’s side from the Premier 15s.
“We have had to take this action to protect everyone’s best interests,” RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said.
Sweeney added that the news was “incredibly difficult for fans, staff and players” and thanked them for working “tirelessly over recent weeks to enable matches to continue”.
What happens next to Warriors is not yet confirmed – with the club yet to enter administration – but Sweeney hopes a buyer can be found as soon as possible.
“While it is the responsibility of each business owner to manage their individual finances, we will look at learnings from this situation to see what regulation can be put in place to provide all parties with more financial transparency.
“Rugby is a relatively young professional sport and it has been widely recognised that clubs have been facing financial challenges even before Covid.
“Successful professional leagues are vital for the wellbeing of the whole game. This is why it is so important that we continue to work with Premiership Rugby to improve the structure, governance and business model of rugby union in England.”
More to follow.