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Report – Sale of Worcester Warriors to Atlas is finally complete

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by PA)

It has been reported that the sale of Worcester Warriors, the former Gallagher Premiership club that collapsed at the start of the 2022/23 season, has finally been completed. It was 13 weeks ago when it was originally revealed that the administrators, Begbies Traynor Group, had exchanged contracts for the sale with Atlas Worcester Warriors.


At that time on February 1, director James Sandford tweeted: “Feel honoured and privileged to be entrusted with a club that means so much to so many. We’ll be announcing a date soon for you all to come to Sixways to hear and see the plans for yourselves as we rebuild together. The real work starts now!”

However, that work has taken three months to complete due to numerous delays along the way. It led to Begbies last week releasing a 27-page progress report, explaining that Atlas were appointed on February 1 after paying a non-refundable exclusivity fee of £500,000, triggering the start of the 90-day completion period.

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Despite the takeover deal now finally getting completed, there was no indication as to what level Worcester might return to play at while there was also no clarification whether Atlas finally taking charge will clear the way for Wasps, the other collapsed Premiership club, to use Sixways as their home ground in next season’s Championship.

A report on the BBC read: “The sale of former Premiership rugby club Worcester Warriors to the Atlas Group has been completed. Atlas, led by former Warriors chief executive Jim O’Toole, had been given until May 2 by administrators Begbies Traynor to get the deal done after agreeing to buy the club in February.


“Although that deadline passed without any news, the deal has now been officially finalised. When, and in which division, the club will return to playing are unknown. The announcement by administrators to BBC Hereford and Worcester brings to an end months of uncertainty and anguish over the future of Warriors.

“After being named as preferred bidders following the collapse of the club, Atlas withdrew from negotiations with the RFU over playing in next season’s Championship and backtracked on deeply unpopular plans to re-brand the club as Sixways Rugby.


“Although proposals remain to merge with the first team of local tier-five side Stourbridge, nothing official has been announced with Atlas warned any move to ‘buy their way’ back higher up the league, rather than start at the bottom in tier 10, would not be allowed.

“While uncertainty remains, the completion of the sale should now rubber stamp previously agreed deals for non-league side Worcester Raiders and Worcester Warriors women to play at Sixways. A deal for Wasps to play their Championship home games at the ground could also now move forward.”


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