Crisis club Worcester meet RFU deadline to avoid ban
NEWS: Crisis-hit Worcester’s English Premiership game against Exeter this weekend will go ahead as scheduled after the club met Friday’s deadline to provide safety certification for matches at their Sixways Stadium.
England’s Rugby Football Union had written to Warriors requesting the relevant documentation in order to allow fixtures to continue and the club successfully met the 11.00 GMT deadline.
“We recognise this has been a difficult and uncertain time for all of Worcester Warriors players, staff and fans as well as the opposition teams and are pleased that the matter has been resolved,” the RFU said in statement.
“The RFU, Premiership Rugby and DCMS [the British government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] will continue to work with Worcester Warriors owners regarding funding and potential new ownership proposals in the coming days.”
Worcester’s debts have spiralled to a reported £25 million ($28 million), but the club’s future had appeared brighter this week when co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham said they had agreed terms on a sale.
But the Warriors remain at threat of expulsion from all league competitions as they attempt to produce satisfactory financing during continued and protracted takeover talk.
Worcester staff issued a statement of their own on Friday, warning their goodwill cannot continue “indefinitely” as they called for a change of ownership, highlighting issues with salary payments.
“Despite not receiving our remaining 35 percent salary for August… we have chosen to do whatever we can to make sure the two games at the weekend go ahead,” the statement said.
“Our motivations are entirely for the Warriors family, the continuation of top-flight rugby at Sixways and to show our support for the playing staff who have shown outstanding professionalism and dedication.”
The staff statement added: “We remain angry at the continual broken promises and lack of communication from those above and hope for new ownership to come in with a clean break from those currently in position.”
Worcester boss Steve Diamond urged fans to attend the Exeter match as he thanked staff for continuing to work even though “some haven’t been paid”.
“Can you please come along?” said Diamond in a video posted on Twitter. “Hopefully we can put in a better performance than last week [a 14-45 defeat at London Irish].”
Worcester finished 11th in a 13-team Premiership last season.