Worcester Warriors: owners’ response to recent developments

WORCESTER Warriors’ co-owner Colin Goldring conceded that they will place the rugby club into administration if it is “in the best interest of creditors and the club”.

Rumors circled on Friday morning that administrators had been appointed at the club but that has not been confirmed.

It comes after Worcester MP Robin Walker encouraged the government and DCMS to place Worcester into administration on Thursday evening when addressing the House of Commons in a parliament debate.

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“We are not in administration but we are considering all options and having plans in place if the buyers don’t come through,” said Goldring to the Worcester News.

“We would still rather make a complete exit. We were asked to stay on and finish the work we’d started on the development work and as a hand over on the running of the club and stadium.

“We are prepared to sell the whole group and walk away completely, always have been. Likewise we are prepared to put the club into administration if that’s in the best interest of creditors and club.

“It protects us to out the club into administration but we are concerned about the consequences and would rather an outright sale if that guarantees the clubs survival and doesn’t risk loss of the p-share.”

BBC Hereford and Worcester’s political reporter James Pearson reported on Friday that legal advisors from the firm Begbies Traynor – appointed by the Department for Cuture Media and Sport – have begun scrutinizing the club’s accounts today.

“We have always worked with DCMS and their advisors, there are no new advisors,” added Goldring.

“But we continue to work with the same people to ensure we have properly considered all options and what’s in the best interest of creditors and club.”

In the parliament debate on Thursday, Walker also expressed his “personal revulsion” towards Warriors’ current owners after claims they have not paid back a £500k loan to Cecil Duckworth’s family.

Goldring admits the loan has not been paid back.

“The loan has not been paid back, it was offset as agreed with Cecil against player sponsorships,” he said.

“The balancing payments are something we are happy to discuss with Beatrice on behalf of Cecil’s estate.

“The statement from Robin Walker is not correct – in particular that any money was paid to Alan Solomons (former Worcester Warriors director of rugby). Cecil’s loan went into the club to pay for players wages, it was pre-lockdown.

“Alan’s only involvement was to agree with Cecil which players he would sponsor to enable the club to retain those key players, something Cecil felt strongly about. Cecil sponsored a handful of players both before and during our period of ownership.

“None of the rumors about asset stripping are true, the separation of land from club was done at or before our purchase – we inherited that structure. We have used those assets to pay wages and keep the club going as long as we can.”

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