Worcester’s administrators urged to act swiftly to save club’s future

American-backed consortium fronted by Jim O’Toole, the former Worcester chief executive, offering £17.5m of investment

Worcester’s newly-appointed administrators have been urged to act swiftly if the club is to have a realistic chance of rising from the Premiership ashes.

The cash-strapped Warriors have been suspended from all competitions and face a potential exodus of players and staff if money cannot be found to pay their September wages.

If this month’s salaries are not paid this Friday, the club’s employees can formally serve notice and will be entitled to leave if no money materialises within the next 14 days.

Other clubs are already keen to sign high-profile players like the Scotland duo of Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland who need to be playing club games to be in contention for international call-ups.

READ MORE

Worcester’s match against Gloucester this weekend is already off and if the club cannot play their next home game against Harlequins on October 8th they do not have another scheduled league fixture until October 22nd.

The longer the Warriors, currently locked out of their ground, spend in Premiership limbo the harder it becomes for their squad to be remotely competitive or to guarantee player safety.

The administrators, Begbies Traynor, have consequently indicated they will be looking at unlocking currently frozen club funds and talking to interested parties who might be able to inject funds immediately, potentially in return for preferred bidder status.

One potential new saviour is an American-backed consortium fronted by Jim O’Toole, the former Worcester chief executive, which is offering £17.5m of investment to cover outstanding losses and the costs of the administration process.

Any deal, however, will hinge on the unravelling of recent transactions relating to the land and car park adjacent to Sixways Stadium.

“We would hope the land transactions . . . that have left the club with liabilities and no assets will be investigated and that a positive result will come out of that,” O’Toole told BBC Hereford and Worcester. “We’ve got funds to provide four years’ liquidity and we’re ready to go.”

Julie Palmer, the administrator from Begbies Traynor, has acknowledged the concerns of O’Toole and others that time is short.

“I can quite understand their position which seems to be the more weeks that lapse the more difficult it is to get Worcester playing,” she told the BBC. “My focus is on whether something can be done for the next home match.”

Being placed into administration this early in the season makes it probable that, as things stand, Worcester will be relegated to the Championship next May.

- Guardian