Worcester Warriors will NOT enter next season's Championship after 11th hour talks fail - The Evesham Observer

Worcester Warriors will NOT enter next season's Championship after 11th hour talks fail

Evesham Editorial 15th Feb, 2023   0

WORCESTER Warriors will not take a place in next season’s Championship after an eleventh hour bid to resolve the dispute between the club’s owners and the RFU failed.

However English rugby’s governing body have revealed Wasps have met yesterday’s (Tuesday) 5pm deadline to take their place in the second tier, fuelling rumours the homeless former Premiership and European champions will play their home games at Sixways.

Warriors owners Atlas revealed on Thursday (February 9) they had withdrawn the application for men’s team to play in the Championship.

The RFU and DCMS met with Atlas on Monday (February 13) to see if there could be a different resolution to the situation.

However according to the RFU, the Atlas position did not change and therefore Worcester Warriors will not participate in the Championship in the 2023-24 season.

“The Atlas decision to withdraw their Championship application leaves the RFU with no regulatory means to enforce the payment of rugby creditors and this responsibility for managing the liabilities of the insolvent club now lies with the administrator of WRFC Trading Limited, and the liquidator of WRFC Players Limited,” the statement read. 

“The RFU awaits the detailed proposals from Atlas on how it proposes to maintain rugby at Sixways, and will continue to work with DCMS, local MPs, Atlas and the local rugby community to help find the best rugby outcome.” 

“The RFU maintains its commitment to running the Midlands academy which it took over in November and the continuation of Worcester Warriors Women.”

Chief Executive Bill Sweeney said the RFU had hoped to see Wasps and Worcester in the Championship to ‘preserve the clubs for their fans and the wider communities they serve.’

“While we had hoped to see both clubs in the Championship next season, we are pleased following months of work from all parties involved, Wasps will have a place,” he said.

“We know this will be very welcome news to all those connected with the club. We would like to thank all those involved with Wasps for the open and collaborative dialogue over recent months.

“We appreciate the disappointment felt by Worcester Warriors staff, players and fans following the Atlas decision will be very significant.

“For a club to continue following insolvency, it is imperative it has a sustainable and funded business plan, there is transparency about ownership and funding structures, and rugby creditors are paid.    

“Payment of rugby creditors is an integral part of our insolvency regulations, and we cannot approve the takeover of a club without agreement that rugby creditor payments will be made.  

“Given Atlas’s withdrawal from the process, we remain concerned that there are insufficient funds to pay rugby creditors which is a responsibility of the administrator of WRFC Trading Limited and the liquidator of WRFC Players Limited to determine. 

“We will continue to work with Atlas over the coming weeks to understand their vision for rugby at Sixways.

“While the RFU is the regulator of rugby union, we have worked tirelessly to ensure we are making decisions that are best for the sport,” he added.

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