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Debt-ridden Worcester Warriors on brink of collapse as they're served winding-up petition

Debt-ridden Worcester Warriors on the brink of COLLAPSE as Gallagher Premiership fighters face liquidation request for unpaid tax bill

  • Sportsmail reported in June that Worcester paid their players late
  • Now that a liquidation petition puts them on the brink of bankruptcy
  • HM Revenue & Customs say they must be liquidated if debts cannot be paid

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The Gallagher Premiership’s precarious financial status was again demonstrated on Wednesday after Worcester received a liquidation request over an unpaid tax bill.

In a court hearing, HM Revenue & Customs indicated that they believe the Warriors should be liquidated unless they can pay their debt.

Sportsmail reported in June that Worcester had been late paying their players for the month of May, which was the first sign that there could be problems at Sixways.

Worcester Warriors has been served with liquidation request for unpaid tax bill

Worcester Warriors has been served with liquidation request for unpaid tax bill

Filing a liquidation request puts Steve Diamond’s side on the brink of bankruptcy.

Last week, Wasps missed a key deadline to repay a £35m retail bond on their Coventry Building Society Arena home. And Worcester said “inevitable delays” meant they too hadn’t been able to pay their dues.

A club statement read: ‘Worcester, like most sports clubs, has found the past two years challenging due to the pandemic and the rise in the cost of living. We kept our staff but lost revenue in lockdowns where most games were played behind closed doors.

“Twelve months ago we returned to normal business with a tax debt. We have worked closely with HMRC to resolve these commitments.

“The club owners and management are fully committed to preserving top-level professional rugby in Worcester and have been working on solutions to help pay the tax due.

The debt-ridden Gallagher Premiership is now on the brink of collapse due to their plight

The debt-ridden Gallagher Premiership is now on the brink of collapse due to their plight

The debt-ridden Gallagher Premiership is now on the brink of collapse due to their plight

“A solution has been approved that will secure the future of the club. Unfortunately, there have been unavoidable delays in the final tasks required to complete the financing.

“Having kept HMRC fully informed of the situation, we are disappointed that they have made the decision to issue a liquidation request. The club’s directors are in ongoing dialogue with HMRC in an effort to find a quick and satisfactory solution.”

A Premiership spokesperson said: ‘Premiership Rugby and the RFU have been in regular contact with Worcester’s shareholders and management. We realize this is troubling for the players, staff, fans and community in Worcester, and we will continue to work with stakeholders to identify next steps.”

Elsewhere, Exeter has signed veteran Australian prop Scott Sio who will join on October 1.

And New Zealand head coach Ian Foster will remain in that role until next year’s World Cup, despite poor form. Foster is joined by former Irish boss Joe Schmidt, who has joined as an attack coach.

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