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Warriors stay alive, as salaries are paid

NEWS: Worcester Warriors boss Steve Diamond has tweeted confirmation that all his players have been paid and that their Premiership season will begin as planned away to London Irish on September 10.


There were fears that the failure to pay salaries on the August 31 due day would spark a player exodus ahead of the new campaign, but an eleventh-hour intervention has headed off that crisis for now.

A leaked email written by Worcester co-owner Colin Goldring on Tuesday generated grave concerns that the payroll would not happen due to the club’s finances being frozen by HMRC due to an unpaid tax bill.

“As you will all no doubt know, the club’s bank accounts were frozen shortly after the HMRC petition was issued meaning we are not able to access those funds to help meet payroll. Therefore we do not have the money at this moment to fulfil payroll tomorrow [Wednesday],” read the letter.

The situation dramatically worsened on Wednesday afternoon when Diamond tweeted a 148-word message at 16.00 announcing that Friday’s planned friendly versus Glasgow in Inverness was cancelled following the failure to pay wages.

“We have been forced to take the hugely frustrating and disappointing decision not to travel to Inverness tomorrow [Thursday] for our pre-season fixture against Glasgow Warriors on Friday as players and staff wages remain unpaid,” he wrote at the time.

“It simply isn’t feasible to play when futures remain uncertain and a decision had to be taken. It is unethical for professional players to play a full-on game with the risk of injury and the real possibility of no employment to follow. We thank everyone for their continued support and for uniting behind us all.”


However, the outlook theatrically changed again five-and-a-half hours later when Diamond took to Twitter once more, tweeting a 50-word message explaining that a last-gasp resolution had been found to the wages impasse and that Worcester was now suddenly back on track to start the English league season away to London Irish.

“I would like to confirm having spoken to our owners, all players are paid and all rugby and non-rugby staff will be paid fully over the next few days. Thanks go to Colin and Jason (Whittingham, the other co-owner). We must prepare for Irish in ten days. All positive energy from now on, please,” he wrote.

If the player wages hadn’t been paid their next step would have been to serve notice to Worcester to rectify the outstanding payment. If this wasn’t resolved within 14 days, the players could then terminate the contracts, which also takes 14 days, and leave Sixways as free agents.

By Liam Heagney, RugbyPass


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