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Worcester Warriors issue updated statement on club crisis

By PA
Worcester Warriors DoR Steve Diamond /Getty

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Worcester’s owners say they are “working through a number of options” as they try to find the “best solution” to the Gallagher Premiership club’s financial predicament.

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Warriors are reportedly on the verge of administration following a winding-up petition over unpaid tax.

Owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham remain in ongoing discussions with HM Revenue & Customs, Premiership Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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“There has been much speculation and rumour circulating in the media and among our supporters about the future of Worcester Warriors,” read a statement from the pair.

“Over the past week a lot of work has been done away from the media spotlight to try to navigate the club through the challenges that we currently face.

“That work continues, discussions are ongoing and we are reviewing the options available to the club.

“We continue to work closely with HMRC, Premiership Rugby, the RFU and DCMS to find the best solution to the situation.

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“We are very grateful for the support these organisations have shown to the club.

“We are now working through a number of options with our advisers. These include solutions for keeping rugby at Sixways and we will communicate further as soon as a decision has been finalised.”

Earlier on Monday, England centre Ollie Lawrence said the legacy of former Worcester owner Cecil Duckworth was “close to being tarnished” due to the current situation.

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The 22-year-old player called for answers and an end to the uncertainty during a series of social media posts.

Benefactor Duckworth, who died aged 83 in 2020, transformed Worcester into a Premiership side during a long association with the club.

Lawrence wrote on Twitter: “Before anyone decides to state/complain that I’m slating the reputation of the people that pay our wages… I’m really not! They invested in the club & tried to “create change” so can’t fault that.

“But Cecil Duckworth created a legacy for this club, and that is close to being tarnished currently. There just comes a point where people’s careers/livelihoods/families are being affected, which I believe that should be answered for.

“I have nothing but respect for the whole players and staff for continuing to pitch up everyday with all this uncertainty.

“The rumour mill will continue, but it’s above us now as to what happens, but for now we’ll crack on as a team and wait to see what unfolds.”

Worcester’s search for financial assistance has been hampered by “unavoidable delays” following positive Covid-19 tests to key people.

They could become the first Premiership club to enter administration since Richmond in 1999.

“We are grateful to our staff, supporters, partners, sponsors and suppliers for their commitment, loyalty and support during what has been a difficult period for all involved in the club,” continued the statement from Goldring and Whittingham.

“We also greatly appreciate the messages of concern and support that we have received from across the rugby world and the wider sporting community.”

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