Worcester owners blame club's financial issues on players and fans

Worcester Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham cause outrage by blaming their financial issues on the players and supporters of the beleaguered rugby club

  • Worcester owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have caused outrage 
  • They blamed the rugby club’s financial problems on the players and supporters
  • They said that the playing squad could ‘not accept’ a significant salary reduction
  • Regarding fans, it was said that not enough showed up on a regular basis 
  • The company set up to pay the players’ wages is set to be liquidated next week 

Worcester owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham provoked fresh outrage on Friday night with a statement that sought to partly blame players and supporters for the club’s dire plight.

In response to calls to apologise for their actions, they issued an astonishing riposte which read: ‘We are thankful to all the staff that supported the club through Covid in accepting a significant reduction in their salary, but sorry that the playing squad could not accept a similar level of reduction — and some players would not accept a cut at all.’

Turning on the fans, they added: ‘We are thankful to those supporters who turned up week in, week out to support the club, but sorry that there were not more, nor enough of you on a regular basis to help make the club financially viable.’

Worcester owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham hit out at the players and supporters

Worcester’s beleaguered players and staff face the doomsday threat of mass unemployment next Wednesday, as the company which is supposed to pay their wages is set to be liquidated.

Employees of the financially-stricken West Midlands club did not receive their September salary by Friday’s deadline, but their plight could worsen considerably within days. An HMRC winding-up petition against WRFC Players Ltd will be heard as scheduled on October 5, after an application for a deferral by the club’s administrators, Begbies Traynor, was rejected.

The suspension of the club’s Wifi network – due to non-payment – meant that administrators had to wait three days to clarify that players and staff wages are the responsibility of WRFC Players Ltd, not WRFC Trading Ltd and Sixways Stadium Ltd – the companies which have gone into administration. That aspect of the complex business arrangements made by Worcester owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham has left those players and staff members in limbo.

Sixways Stadium Ltd was one of the Worcester companies to have entered into administration 

Now that wages have not been paid, they can issue a 14-day notice of intention to quit the club, before being free to leave after an additional fortnight, if the club do not rectify the situation. But that scenario is likely to be over-taken by events next week, if the winding-up order is approved, as all employees would be out of work – a shattering predicament for those who have shown such selfless commitment in a time of upheaval.

Two consortiums remain in talks about a take-over, but time is running out to save the Warriors. Captain Ted Hill told the BBC: ‘We want to get the club up and running, and back to its former glory. If it does that then people will stay. But it’s a professional sport and you have to have a Plan B.’

Worcester staff have relaunched a Go Fund Me page as they continue to struggle without wages, as most only received 65 per cent of their August pay and some received nothing at all. One well-placed source revealed that pension payments have been missing for at least two months, tax and National Insurance payments – and agents fees – have not been made despite being deducted from wages, and staff have had no contact at all from their co-owners or directors.

Worcester Warriors captain Ted Hill told the BBC that his side needed to prepare for ‘plan B’

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