Worcester Warriors: Premiership future hangs in balance as Glasgow pre-season clash cancelled amid financial woes

·2-min read
Worcester Warriors are a club in crisis  (PA)
Worcester Warriors are a club in crisis (PA)

Worcester have cancelled their pre-season match against Glasgow on Friday night to cast further doubt on their participation in the forthcoming Gallagher Premiership season.

In a statement released on social media by director of rugby Steve Diamond, it was confirmed that the clash in Inverness will not take place because players and staff remain unpaid.

"It is unethical for professional players to play a full on game with the risk of injury and the real possibility of no employment to follow," the statement read.

Worcester's co-owner Colin Goldring revealed to employees on Tuesday that it was unlikely payroll for August would be met due to the club's finances being frozen by HM Revenue & Customs while they chase unpaid tax.

The statement suggests there is little prospect of players being paid by midnight on Wednesday, adding to fears of an exodus out of Sixways after squad members become free agents through breach of contract.

"Together we have been forced to take the hugely frustrating and disappointing decision not to travel to Inverness for our pre-season fixture against Glasgow Warriors on Friday," the statement said.

"The squad have worked hard throughout pre-season and are bitterly disappointed to be put in this position.

"We express our deep sorrow to our hosts Glasgow Warriors who we hope understand the unique and worrying situation we find ourselves in.

"We would like to thank (main shirt sponsor) Adam Hewitt for his overwhelming generosity in offering to fund the trip.

"It simply isn't feasible to play when futures remain uncertain and a decision had to be taken today (Wednesday).

"We thank everyone for their continued support and for uniting behind us all - together."

A winding up petition has been issued by HMRC, with Goldring and his co-owner Jason Whittingham looking to find new buyers while hoping to avoid administration.

Worcester's opening match is against London Irish on September 10 and Diamond is expected to attend the Premiership season launch at Twickenham on Thursday.

"Although we are disappointed by this outcome, we recognise the challenging situation Worcester currently find themselves in and wish them well," Glasgow said in a statement.