Worcester cleared to host Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Exeter

·4-min read

Worcester’s Gallagher Premiership clash with Exeter will go ahead as planned after the club met the deadline to provide safety certification to stage matches at Sixways Stadium.

English rugby chiefs had written to Warriors requesting the relevant documentation in order to allow fixtures to continue.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced on Friday afternoon that proof had been received in time, giving the green light for Sunday’s match against the Devon club.

Saturday’s Allianz Cup game between the University of Worcester Warriors Women and Harlequins will also take place at Sixways as intended.

The RFU said it will continue to work with Worcester’s owners regarding funding and potential takeover proposals.

“Worcester Warriors has met a midday deadline set by the RFU to provide assurances in relation to the receipt of a General Safety Certificate from the local authority and written confirmation of medical provision,” read a statement from the national governing body.

“Therefore, this weekend’s Gallagher Premiership and Allianz Cup matches will go ahead.

“We recognise this has been a difficult and uncertain time for all of Worcester Warriors players, staff and fans as well as the opposition teams and are pleased that the matter has been resolved.

“The RFU, Premiership Rugby and DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport ) will continue to work with Worcester Warriors owners regarding funding and potential new ownership proposals in the coming days.”

While the RFU announcement was positive news, it could yet serve only as a reprieve for embattled Worcester.

They remain at threat of expulsion from all league competitions as they attempt to produce satisfactory financing amid continued and protracted takeover talk.

Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have claimed to have agreed terms on the club’s sale, but rugby’s authorities remain to be convinced.

Debts are spiralling out of control, as high as £25million, with players and staff still in limbo.

Worcester were on Thursday forced to deny being placed into administration after bungling DCMS staff emailed a statement to supporters in error.

Club staff said they “remain angry at the continual broken promises” and warned “we cannot promise this goodwill will continue indefinitely” as they called for a change of ownership.

“Despite not receiving our remaining 35 per cent salary for August – and some players and staff from both teams nothing at all – we have chosen to do whatever we can to make sure the two games at the weekend go ahead,” read a lengthy statement, signed by the club’s staff.

“Our motivations are entirely for the Warriors family, the continuation of top flight rugby at Sixways and to show our support for the playing staff who have shown outstanding professionalism and dedication.

“Recent events have added more stress to an already frustrating and uncertain situation for us all and we cannot promise this goodwill will continue indefinitely.

“We remain angry at the continual broken promises and lack of communication from those above and hope for new ownership to come in with a clean break from those currently in position.

“Our focus is now on getting the stadium ready for the supporters, who along with players and staff are the true beating heart of this great club.”

Worcester boss Steve Diamond urged fans to attend the Exeter match.

“The game is on against Exeter, thank goodness,” he said in a video posted on Twitter

“All the staff have agreed to work under these circumstances where some have not been paid fully and some haven’t been paid. Worcester is all they care about and everybody is in that mindset.

“Can you please come along? I know there’s a limited attendance of around 5,000 but get here early, get a ticket bought and support the boys; the boys are in good fettle.

“Hopefully we can put in a better performance than last week (a 45-14 defeat at London Irish).”