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'It's diabolical it's been allowed to walk itself to the graveyard'

By PA
(Photo by PA)

Steve Diamond says that Worcester will have a mindset of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership clash against Newcastle being their last-ever game at Sixways. The Warriors rugby director has described the club’s current succession of dark days as a “period of near-purgatory”. Worcester have until early Monday evening to provide the Rugby Football Union with evidence that they possess the required insurance, are able to meet payroll and have a “credible plan to take the club forward”.

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Warriors are burdened by debts totalling more than £25million, including at least £6m in unpaid tax, amid growing anger felt towards owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham, who have been accused of asset-stripping the club.

If Worcester fail to provide assurances over financing and insurance sought by the RFU, they have been told that suspension could lead to full removal from all leagues. Against that backdrop, Worcester will host the Falcons and Diamond said: “Our mindset tomorrow [Saturday] is that it’s our last game at Sixways, ever.

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“I’m really proud of the lads going out tomorrow. There is no team talk needed and we are going out into Worcester tomorrow night for a pint as a team. We are going to find some nice little bars and nightclubs for older gentlemen like me to stand in the corner.”

Culture minister Stuart Andrew said on Thursday that the Government will imminently send in professional advisers to take a closer look at the club and potential options. Putting the club in administration is a decision “we will not be afraid to take” if it is found to be the most suitable, the minister added.

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Decision day is fast approaching and Diamond said: “We have been in this period of near-purgatory for a while now and it is starting to come to a head, no doubt with us potentially being suspended on Monday. I don’t know how it has got to this position. It is sad and it is diabolical that it has been allowed to walk itself to the graveyard, virtually.

“I never thought it would get to this position, but it has. Just getting 23 lads out to give it their best shot is all I am interested in at the minute, and if people had the same mindset behind the scenes that I have got then it wouldn’t be in the position it is in.”

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Diamond also addressed the likely scenario of Worcester being suspended and their season put on hold. “I don’t want to second-guess but I know one thing, I am going to have a look at some places in the sun in the next fortnight if we are suspended,” he said.

“From what I believe, if we are suspended because there is no public liability insurance we won’t be able to use the stadium to train so we are going to have to train off-site somewhere, maybe a local school or what have you, but I think I might give them a bit of time off.

“To be fair to the league, to be fair to the union [the RFU], you can’t have a team not playing five or six games and put them back in. I am assuming if we are suspended and it does go into administration, it would be a two- or three-week process and we could be playing after the break. We have a bye week in two weeks’ time.

“If the right investor with the right capital investment, working capital money, comes in, then you wouldn’t have to be Warren Buffett (the American business magnate) to turn it around. There has been no financial control, no real graft in the business.”

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Mzilikazi 1 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

An hugely interesting article. Thanks, Nick. Some seem to find this a poor 6 N, but I think it has thrown up a number of fascinating contests. Ofc the falling away of France is always going to be a major point of discussion. The loss of both half backs has hurt them for sure. But they should still be better. Both France and England could easily have been sitting with three defeats right now, especially France. In England’s case, I thought the try Mitchell scored against the Italians was lucky, as he was clearly held in the tackle , but carried on to the line without releasing and regaining the ball. The English blitz defence being talked about so much is still a work in progress, and Ireland, with their powerful men in both backs and forwards can do damage there. I also thought in last weekends game against Scotland, England were pushingtheir luck at the breakdowns, turning them into a chaotic brawl. A different referee may not see it their way so much against Ireland and France. Ireland’s front row does concern me. The starters have not always looked in control, and Andrew Porter is a worry, as he will now be very closely watched in these next two games. Tadgh Furlong is not the player he was at the set piece, and will need to be on his mettle against the very streetwise Genge at Twickenham. I really enjoyed the stats heavy approach in this article. So much that passes one by are brought starkly into the light of day. Finn Russell’s deadly accuracy, the significance of the Welsh backrow duo, Italy’s attacking drop of under a new coach, as they are coming much closer to winning in these games this year.

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