Worcester Warriors owners “agree terms of sale of club” with interested party


Worcester Warriors host their first home game of the season this Sunday against 2020 double winners Exeter.

Worcester Warriors’ owners say they have agreed terms for the sale of the troubled Premiership club.

Players, staff and fans have endured a month of worry that the Warriors could fold after a Settlement application from HMRC over £6m unpaid tax bill.

But co-owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring say they are now happy the sale can go ahead.

They are also working on an “immediate deposit of significant funds” with the potential buyer.

The cash-in will allow him to play his first home game of the season against Exeter Chiefs on Sunday.

“The heads of the agreement are now with the parties’ legal representatives who are discussing the details of the agreement,” the club said in a statement.

“As of 17:00 on Tuesday, September 13, the terms of reference have not yet been signed.

“We will provide a new update on both the sale of the club and this weekend’s fixtures this Wednesday.”

After fears that they might not even start the season, the Warriors started the new campaign 45-14 defeat at London Irish on Saturday

They were wearing last season’s list, although this season’s is ordered and ready, it has not yet been paid.

They used a coach to travel to the game, the bill for which was paid by one of the club’s main sponsors, Adam Hewitt.

The Warriors, whose final court appearance against HMRC has been set for October 6, have reportedly been ordered to pay back £14m of the Sports Survival Package money, which was sanctioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport during the Covid pandemic. .

Co-owner Jason Whittingham (right) celebrated winning the Premiership Cup with former Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons in May.
Warriors co-owner Jason Whittingham (right) took charge of Worcester Warriors in December 2018

In total, their debts are reported to be £25 million. But the deal with an as-yet-unnamed “interested party”, approved by the Rugby Football Union, would secure their status both in the short term – allowing catering staff, managers and suppliers to pay their debts – and in the long term.

Co-owners Whittingham and Goldring have been under pressure to put the club into administration – both of them a group of local members of parliament and a consortium Led by former Warriors general manager Jim O’Toolewho made it the primary condition of any sale.

But, in an exclusive interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester last week, Whittingham said people are “making a lot of noise jumping up and down” if the club goes into administration, with creditors, including many local ones. – would end up unpaid.

Whittingham also said it was one of the reasons he transferred the money to employees in August the salary payment took so long Automated bank security procedures have become commonplace in recent years for both private and corporate accountants.

How warriors have changed hands

Worcester’s journey to becoming a force in English club rugby began in 1997 when local millionaire boilermaker Cecil Duckworth took over.

In 2004 he brought in the funds that led to the promotion of John Brain to the premiership.

But the Warriors have never really taken off from there, being relegated twice and never finishing higher than eighth in their 16 years in the top flight.

In that time, Exeter, a club of similar standing, has won the Premiership twice and conquered Europe.

Long-time benefactor Duckworth reduced its stake in 2013 when it was taken over by Sixways Holdings Limited under Greg Allen.

Duckworth was part of the new board as chairman of the club until his death in 2020.

By then, there was a club sold again, to a consortium of four people It was directed by Jed McCrory in October 2018, though He left in June 2019, Leaving Whittingham and Goldring under the helm.