Worcester Warrior players will get paid their wages but the cash-strapped club can only afford to pay 65 per cent of what is owed to squad
- Worcester Warriors find additional funds to pay players but only 65% of wage
- Club had to call off pre-season fixture after fears they could go out of business
- Consortium led by former chief executive Jim O’Toole set to try and save club
Worcester informed their players last night that additional funds have been secured to pay their wages — but staff were angered to discover that they will only receive 65 per cent.
The embattled West Midlands club were forced to call off tomorrow’s pre-season fixture against Glasgow in Inverness due to fears that they could go out of business imminently.
But within hours of that grim bulletin, it was confirmed that wages would be paid, which will prevent an exodus of players, at least for another month.
Squad members were preparing to serve 14-day notice of their intention to leave the club, on the grounds that contracts had been breached, but that doomsday scenario has been averted for now.
Worcester Warriors have told their players they can only pay 65% of the wages owed to them
And staff have been told that the shortfall in their wages should be resolved next week. With the club’s bank accounts frozen by HMRC, it is understood that a local businessman has offered the funds for wages, with the process being handled by an official receiver.
Current owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham contacted employees to pass on the news about their pay and claimed that they have renewed optimism about ‘rescue solutions for the club to continue as a going concern without the need for administration’.
But a consortium led by former chief executive Jim O’Toole, who believe they can save the Warriors, insist that administration is the only option — to reduce debts — and that view is shared by others at the club.
The issue looming now is whether Worcester can convince Premiership Rugby that they will be able to fulfil their league fixtures. With the top flight’s official launch taking place at Twickenham today, the latest indications are that the PRL hierarchy remain hopeful that a full, 13-team competition can proceed. However, contingency plans have been coming together in recent weeks to allow for the very real threat of the Warriors going bust and the league being reduced to 12 clubs.
Happier times for the club as they celebrate their Premiership Rugby Cup win in May 2022
There was a bullish message issued by the Worcester owners last night about their prospects of survival and revival, despite widespread pessimism. In a statement, Whittingham said: ‘In the past two weeks we have been looking at every possible option that will keep Premiership rugby at Sixways.
‘We’ve narrowed down discussions to three motivated and credible buyers who have proven funds. The priority is that the club survives.’
Goldring added: ‘We continue to work towards a solution which will see Worcester Warriors playing this season and for seasons to come.’
Meanwhile, fly-half Handre Pollard, Leicester’s World Cup-winning Springbok recruit, is due to arrive at the club next week — after being ruled out of the remainder of the Rugby Championship with a knee injury.
He is expected to be missing from action for six weeks.
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