MPs across County call for administration and rapid progress to protect Premiership status
Worcestershire MPs Robin Walker, Harriett Baldwin, Rachel Maclean & Mark Garnier have today called on the Department for Culture Media and Sport to step into the Worcester Warriors situation and place the club into administration. With just a few days before the start of the professional Premiership season they have joined fans and supporters of the club in saying that enough is enough and the current owners have lost confidence to take the club forward.
Following a statement from MPs and local councils at the end of August in which they called for the club to focus on protecting its elite rugby status and made clear that development at and around the Sixways ground will only be supported if it supports sporting and community objectives, the MPs have today called for rapid progress to secure the position of the Warriors in the Premiership.
Over the last week, staff and players at the club have faced significant uncertainty with deadlines for payroll missed and repeated assurances broken. Mobile phones have stopped working and cars have been taken away from players. Events due to take place at Sixways have had to be cancelled as suppliers and caterers have not been paid on time. Whilst there does appear to be interest in new investors coming into the club, the interested parties have been clear that they see the best hope of securing its future being a purchase via an administrator.
As the largest of the club’s debts is owed to the Government via Sport England, the MPs are calling for the DCMS to trigger an administration as swiftly as possible. The hope is that this can then result in a quick turnaround with new owners bringing capital into the club in time for the Premiership season. As well as the huge value of premier rugby in and of itself at Sixways the MPs want to secure the future of the Warriors Community Foundation and the vital work it does to support thousands of vulnerable people across the two counties.
Commenting on the decision to call for administration Robin Walker said:
“Enough is enough. I have been determined to secure the future of the Warriors, who are a huge asset to our city and county. I wanted to give every opportunity for a solution to be found which would avoid the club going into administration, but it is now clear that this is not in sight. We have just a week before the start of the professional rugby season and the first Premiership fixtures. I believe the best solution for players, staff and the club itself is rapid action on the part of the DCMS.”
“We are together calling on them to step in and to do everything they can to secure the club, the stadium and its property assets. Throughout this incredibly difficult situation players and staff at the club have conducted themselves with dignity and shown their determination to keep the Warriors together. We need to do all we can to support this objective.”
“I am hopeful that the proposals we have had for new investment and new owners can move forward rapidly and we are calling on Premiership Rugby and the RFU to facilitate any option which allows the club to stay and play in the top-flight. It is clear to us now, after all the chaos and worry of the last week that the best route to that is now through administration.”
Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire said:
“With great regret, the appalling mismanagement of the club under the current owners means that I do have to support this difficult decision to place the club into administration. This now appears to be the only way forward to find a new fit and proper owners to take the club forward to the future we all want for it in Worcestershire.”
Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch said:
“The future of the Warriors is vital across the whole county including my constituency, I know the huge affection and regard in which it is held. Securing its future is vital for all of us.”
Mark Garnier, MP for Wyre Forest said:
“Cecil Duckworth’s immense legacy the Warriors needs to be protected. I am joining my fellow Worcestershire MPs in calling for action to protect this wonderful asset for our county as swiftly as possible.”
Sajid Javid, MP for Bromsgrove said:
"I know many of my constituents are deeply concerned about the ongoing situation at Worcester Warriors. I will be working with my Worcestershire MP colleagues to help find a solution, so a positive future can be secured for this much-loved club.”