Gloucester will seek compensation from their Gallagher Premiership rivals Worcester following the cancellation of a league game between the clubs in March.
In accordance with Premiership Rugby regulations, Sport Resolutions was asked to form an independent panel – which was chaired by Sir Gary Hickinbottom and also comprised Carol Couse and Jonathan Rennie – to decide how points should be allocated.
Play-off contenders Gloucester were awarded a 20-0 win and five points from the match after Worcester were unable to field the required six match-squad front-row forwards.
Click below for the full independent judgment from Sport Resolutions who adjudicated on the Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors match which was cancelled. https://t.co/zwTBSHJHpa pic.twitter.com/tpwkWS19LM
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) May 10, 2022
In its published “reasoned decision” findings, the panel said: “On the evidence, we do not consider that Worcester took either all possible or even reasonable steps to obtain loan cover.”
Worcester, meanwhile, confirmed that they would not be lodging an appeal against the decision to award Gloucester five match points.
The cancellation, which was announced just hours before the scheduled kick-off at Kingsholm, is understood to have cost Gloucester around £250,000.
“The impact of Worcester’s decision to cancel the match was significant across the club and among both sets of fans, not least due to doing so within only a few hours of the scheduled kick-off,” Gloucester chief executive Lance Bradley told the club’s official website.
“It was frustrating for both sets of fans who had been looking forward to a good game of live rugby, whether at Kingsholm or live on BT Sport, and it was frustrating for our players, coaches and other staff who had been working hard to prepare for the game.
“We refunded all match ticket holders, season ticket holders, box holders and hospitality guests – all of which resulted in significant financial loss for the club.
“There were also huge financial damages incurred through lost food and drinks sales, not only for Gloucester Rugby, but also for numerous establishments around the city.
“We are pleased the independent panel rejected Worcester’s claims that the cancellation was due to Covid-19, and that they did everything they could to field a team. As is evident in the report, clearly neither of these things was the case.
“The club will now seek compensation from Worcester Warriors through the relevant channels.”
Worcester, meanwhile, added in a statement: “Warriors have received the full judgment from Sport Resolutions and, while we are disappointed with the outcome, we respect and accept the panel’s ruling.
“Our sole consideration in the decision that led to the cancellation of the Gloucester match was the welfare and health of our players and staff. At no stage did we seek to gain any advantage by cancelling the match.
“The judgment has, however, highlighted areas in our processes that could be improved. We will consider the findings in more detail and make improvements where necessary.
“Once again, we apologise to Premiership Rugby, BT Sport, Gloucester and supporters of both clubs for the inconvenience that was caused by the cancellation.”