By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
Rugby Union Football club, Worcester Warriors, have been suspended by the Governing Body, Rugby Football Union (RFU), from all competitions having failed to provide the RFU with evidence of insurance, ability to meet their payroll obligations and a “credible plan to take the club forward.”
This has been followed by an announcement by the UK Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) that an application will be made to the Court by the DCMS on 5 October 2022 to appoint administrators.
A spokesperson for the DCMS has stated as follows:
“In order to give the club the best possible chance of survival, and to protect a significant taxpayer investment, we have today agreed to the directors’ request to place the club into administration.”
As a result, the club faces automatic relegation from the Gallagher Rugby Premiership, as well as other competitions.
The owners of the club have responded as follows:
“Both the club and DCMS will continue to coordinate efforts to find a rescue for the club if there is any possibility of it being saved.”
The club have been saddled with debts of more than £25 million, including at least £6 million owing in tax, as well as dissatisfaction with the owners, Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham.
Is this the first sign of the looming economic recession having an effect on professional sport in the UK?