Worcester Warriors banned from all competitions after missing RFU deadline

The Worcester Warriors have been suspended from all competitions with immediate effect after failing to meet a deadline set by Rugby Football Union for proof of insurance coverage and funding of the club’s monthly payroll.

The RFU also wanted evidence by 5pm Monday of a “credible plan to move the club forward”.

But the crisis-hit Warriors have not responded to those requests and their season has now been plunged into cold storage, with both Worcester’s men’s and women’s teams suspended.

Worcester is over $25 million in debt.

The RFU said: “The Worcester Warriors owners failed to meet the 5pm RFU deadline to demonstrate insurance coverage, the availability of funds to pay monthly payroll and a credible plan for the club’s continued development.

“The RFU has therefore suspended the Worcester Warriors from all competitions including the Gallagher Premiership, Allianz Premier 15s, U18s Academy Cup and Allianz Cup with immediate effect.”

Worcester Sixways Stadium is now closed. Staff had until Monday afternoon to pick up stuff, with no indication of when or if it will reopen.

Culture Secretary Stuart Andrew said last week that the government would send professional advisers “immediately” to take a closer look at the club and possible options.

Worcester fans wave flags in front of Sixways

(PA wire)

Placing the club under administration is a decision “that we will take without fear” if it proves to be the most appropriate, the minister added.

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

“We would like to thank the staff and players who have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to ensure the games can continue.

“We met with players and staff last week to explain why this action would be necessary and unfortunately we have had to take this action without any assurances to protect everyone’s best interests.

“We hope a buyer can be found to allow the Worcester Warriors and University of Worcester Warriors to return to professional league rugby.

“While it is the responsibility of every business owner to manage their individual finances, we will be reviewing the lessons learned from this situation to see what regulations can be put in place to provide greater financial transparency to all parties.

“Rugby is a relatively young professional sport and it was widely recognized that clubs were facing financial challenges even before Covid.

“Successful professional leagues are vital to the well-being of football as a whole.

“They inspire current and future players, delight fans by showcasing high skill and the exciting nature of our 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.

“The RFU will continue to support community rugby in Worcester and is fully committed to providing local academy opportunities for Pathway players.”

The RFU added it will be working with Premiership Rugby and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to determine the next steps for the club and what this means for the Gallagher Premiership, Men’s Academy and Allianz Premier 15 would mean competitions.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/worcester-warriors-suspended-rfu-crisis-b2175612.html Worcester Warriors banned from all competitions after missing RFU deadline

Fry Electronics Team

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