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Worcester MP 'grateful' government placed Warriors into administration

By PA
Worcester Warriors (Photo by PA)

Worcester MP Robin Walker says the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport acted on “concerns of fans, staff and players” by placing Worcester Warriors into administration.

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He had previously called for that course of action alongside fellow Worcestershire MPs Harriett Baldwin, Rachel Maclean, Mark Garnier and Sajid Javid.

Walker also pushed the case in a parliamentary adjournment debate last week, and has had contact with both consortiums that have expressed interest in buying the Gallagher Premiership club out of administration.

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“I am grateful that DCMS have listened to and acted on the concerns of fans, staff and players at the Warriors and the many teams that they support,” he said.

“Securing the future of Sixways is a priority for us all, and I am profoundly grateful for the support of all my Worcestershire colleagues in Parliament, local councils and so many constituents.

“I know that this must still be a deeply worrying time for all the staff at Sixways and every fan that loves this club.

“It is clear that the administrators will have the whole rugby world urging them to succeed.”

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Worcester have been suspended from all competitions with immediate effect after failing to meet a Rugby Football Union deadline requesting proof of insurance cover and funding for the club’s monthly payroll.

The Warriors’ debts total more than £25million, including at least £6m in unpaid tax.

The club’s former chief executive Jim O’Toole, who is heading one of the interested consortiums, believes that ownership of land at Sixways is a crucial factor for any prospective buyer.

The Sixways site comprises more than 50 acres, and O’Toole told BBC Hereford & Worcester: “The land has to be part of it – simple as that.

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“It’s all about who owns the land, and whether the administrator – in doing their due diligence and forensic accounting – finds out what exactly happens to the assets and the liabilities.

“That is going to be the absolute key to this. We can’t run a rugby club without a pitch, a back car park and the fan-zone.

“Not only for the operation of the business, but for the longer-term and bigger-picture commercial development that will fund the club on a more sustainable footing.”

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