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Government accused of aiding the asset-stripping of rugby’s crisis club Worcester Warriors

EXCLUSIVE: Government accused of complicity in the expropriation of rugby’s crisis club Worcester Warriors… after Sport England approved transfer of ownership of their stadium to a new company keeping its revenues

  • The government is accused of stripping the Worcester Warriors
  • Sportsmail has learned details of a major change to Worcester’s lease
  • It appears that the extraordinary move has jeopardized the proposed sale of the club

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The government is accused by some creditors of contributing to the expropriation of Worcester Warriors, which has cast doubt on the future of the rugby club.

Sportsmail has learned the details of a major change to Worcester’s lease at Sixways Stadium, which was approved by the public body Sport England last month, with owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham transferring ownership of the land to a new company that will take over the entirety of the ground. The club’s match day retains, hospitality and sponsorship income.

It appears that the extraordinary move has jeopardized the proposed sale of the club, threatened businesses’ livelihoods and jeopardized £15 million in taxpayers’ money.

Goldring and Whittingham appear to have legally spun off Worcester’s money-making elements into a separate company, Sixways Stadium Limited, requiring the rugby club to operate separately in a move endorsed by Sport England.

As a result, they are without their main sources of income and unable to pay off debts of nearly £30 million.

The owners have been trying to sell the club for most of the summer, but no deal has been struck despite claims from interested parties.

The government is accused by some creditors of aiding the expropriation of Worcester

The government is accused by some creditors of aiding the expropriation of Worcester

The club's owners have transferred ownership of Sixways Stadium to a new company

The club's owners have transferred ownership of Sixways Stadium to a new company

The club’s owners have transferred ownership of Sixways Stadium to a new company

Well-placed sources indicated yesterday that the process to reach a legal “head of terms” agreement with buyers was hampered by the owners’ desire to retain a 15 percent stake.

The club’s home opener against Exeter last Sunday was in doubt until 11pm and it is unclear if they can live up to Saturday’s visit to Newcastle.

The Warriors could send a team to Gloucester tonight in Kingsholm in the Premiership Cup, but the staff met yesterday to discuss strike action and a lack of final decision has left the league game in doubt.

Sport England’s involvement in Worcester’s financial affairs stems from the £15 million loan from the government in February 2021 as part of their Covid-19 Sports Survival programme.

It is clear that approximately £9 million of the loan was used by the owners to pay off debts incurred in purchasing the club, and to acquire Sixways’ property, which was subsequently acquired. by the owners’ real estate company.

To exacerbate Worcester’s plight, the terms of the lease were drastically changed last month, granting Sixways Stadium Ltd the right to “host on-site catering events at any time” and “retain the proceeds of the sale.” ‘, according to documents seen by Sportpost.

The owners’ real estate company also separated the stadium, training center and car park from other land’s players around the complex, which had been pledged to another company called Triangle Petroleum for £600,000 at 20 percent interest.

As the largest creditor, Sport England had to sign such amendments, confirming in a waiver signed last month that they retain the ‘first legal charge against Sixways Stadium Ltd’ for a fee of less than £14.65 million.

A number of creditors have reportedly written to the government to set out their grievances, with one accusing Sport England of taking assets away.

“The club has not received any compensation from Sixways Stadium Ltd for the surrender of their lease,” the creditor wrote. “It appears Sport England was in charge of asset stripping.

Can Sport England explain why they thought this was in the best interest of the club and the taxpayer?’

Sport England allegedly acknowledged the complainant’s letter, but did not reply in detail. They declined to comment when approached by Sportsmail, but Whittingham responded by stating: ‘If you understood the real details of the transactions, it would be much less interesting and sinister.

“The real detail would show that all actions have always been in the best interest of the club and the community. I will give a true version of events in due course.’

When approached by Sportsmail, Whittingham replied: ‘If you understood the real details of the transactions, it would be much less interesting and sinister.

“The real detail would show that all actions have always been in the best interest of the club and the community. I will give a true version of events in due course.’