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'We're not in a position to support them financially' - Worcester bailout ruled out

By Ian Cameron
Press Association

If Worcester Warriors are to survive their current financial woes, they will have to do it off their own bat.

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That’s according to Premiership Rugby Chief Executive Simon Massie-Taylor, who has ruled out ‘throwing money’ at Worcester as a solution to the winding up petition that is currently hanging over their heads.

Speaking on BT Sport, Massie-Taylor said that neither they nor the other Premiership clubs would be propping the side up with cash and that ultimately Worcester will need to battle their own way out of their current situation.

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“They’ve got time, a definitive amount of time to work out a solution for the club.

“The first real milestone was the beginning of the season. They had to demonstrate to us and the RFU that they would be able to get a team into the league safely. Not only by paying the players but by making sure all the insurances were in place and all the other standards. They have managed to comply with that and that brought them to the game yesterday.

“But I think it’s fair to say that the next few weeks are absolutely crucial in determining if they can find a long-term buyer or financial backer of the club.

“We got just less than a month for the club to find a solution, prior to the winding up petition.

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“The positive news is that there has been lots of interest. Sometimes it takes a bit of a crisis for something to come out of the woodwork.

“There’s a lot of loyal supporters around the club and a lot of people who want to keep things going, people from the community itself, there’s where the energy is being focused.

“For Worcester [there is a genuine fear] yes. Let’s be honest about that. But as I say, they are doing everything they can to find that long-term solution and equally, we [Premiership Rugby] and the RFU are also trying to support them through that process, because no one wants to see a club, especially one with a long history like Worcester, go to the wire.

“We’re not in a position to support them financially, neither are the other clubs. It is an independent business that needs to go and find its own solution. The thing is each rugby club’s model is very different, so the solution to Worcester is clearly quite unique, but they are working through that.

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Last Friday Worcester DoR Steve Diamond revealed that a deal could be reached for an investor to buy the financially-stricken club in the next three days.

Speaking after the Warriors were swept aside 45-14 by London Irish at the Gtech Community Stadium, Diamond said that co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham are in advanced negotiations with a prospective buyer.

“In the next 72 hours there may some news of a potential investor,” Diamond said.

“This news is a boost but we don’t want a false dawn. I have been around rugby for a long time and there aren’t too many people who want to put their hand in their pockets and buy rugby businesses.

“If the owners have found somebody then great and no doubt they will speak to me.”

additional reporting PA

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