Worcester Warriors fixtures to go ahead amid financial woes

Featured image credit: CaveyCoUk / licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence

Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium has been given the go-ahead to host this weekend’s Gallagher Premiership game with Exeter Chiefs after meeting a deadline over safety requirements.

The crisis club was told it could not host the game unless it provided evidence by midday on Friday that the local authority has issued a General Safety Certificate, and written confirmation of medical provision.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) confirmed in a statement that its requirements have been met, and has sanctioned Sunday’s game against the Exeter Chiefs and Saturday’s Allianz Premier 15s match between University of Worcester Women and Harlequins.

The RFU said in a statement: “We recognise this has been a difficult and uncertain time for all of Worcester Warriors players, staff and fans as well as the opposition teams and are pleased that the matter has been resolved.

“The RFU, Premiership Rugby and DCMS will continue to work with Worcester Warriors owners regarding funding and potential new ownership proposals in the coming days.”

Worcester’s future has been in doubt for weeks since it revealed it is in dialogue with HMRC about a winding-up petition over a £6m unpaid tax bill in August. Total debts are reported to be £25m. The club is still waiting to finalise a deal with a new investor after Warriors’ owners, Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham, agreed the terms of the sale on Tuesday.

After being threatened with the closure of the stadium, the club said on Thursday that staff have been working hard to comply with the requirements for a General Safety Certificate to ensure it was fully compliant by the deadline.

Warriors said in a statement on Thursday: “We, and the potential new owners of the club, are aware of the serious consequences that may follow if the club is suspended from playing any competitive rugby.

“We accept that the best solution to avoid such a sanction is to ensure that heads of terms on the agreement with the new owners are signed as quickly as possible. Work continues this evening to that end.”