Warriors suspended from all competitions as owners fail to meet RFU deadline - The Evesham Observer

Warriors suspended from all competitions as owners fail to meet RFU deadline

Evesham Editorial 26th Sep, 2022 Updated: 26th Sep, 2022   0

WORCESTER Warriors have been suspended from playing by the Rugby Football Union after the club’s owners failed to meet the deadline set by English rugby’s top brass.

The Gallagher Premiership team had until 5pm on Monday (September 26) to present a ‘credible’ plan for the future, having been served with a winding-up petition by His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The order related to an unpaid £6million tax bill, with the club facing reported debts of £25million.

But owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring have not met the deadline with evidence insurance cover, funds to cover wages for September and a blueprint to take the stricken Sixways side forward.

Staff were told to collect their belongings by 4.30pm with the gates set to be locked at 5pm – at this stage it’s unclear when they will open again.

As a result, Warriors have now been suspended from the Gallagher Premiership, the Allianz Premier 15s, the under 18s Academy Cup and the Allianz Cup with immediate effect.

In a statement the RFU said it would work with Premiership Rugby and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to establish the next steps for Warriors and the impact the suspension would have on this season’s competitions.

Bill Sweeney, RFU chief executive said: “We appreciate this is incredibly difficult news for fans, staff and players.

“We would like to thank the staff and players who have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to enable matches to continue.”

Mr Sweeney said the RFU has met with players and staff last week to explain why such action was necessary and ‘regrettably’ without assurances in place they have had to take action.

“We hope a buyer can be secured to allow Worcester Warriors and the University of Worcester Warriors to return to professional league rugby,” he said.

“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.

Mr Sweeney acknowledged the challenges posed by the pandemic on sporting clubs such as Warriors and said the RFU would work with Premiership Rugby to ‘improve the structure, governance and business model of rugby union in England’.

“The RFU will continue to support community rugby in Worcester and is fully committed to ensuring local academy opportunities are provided for pathway players,” he added.

We want to hear from you on this dark day for Warriors: What do you think should happen now? Let us know your thoughts at [email protected]


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