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Worcester facing exodus of players and staff after failing to pay salaries as drop out of Premiership looms

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A general view as fans watch the action at Sixways Stadium, Worcester, during the Gallagher Premiership match between Worcester Warriors and Newcastle Falcons. Worcester have until early Monday evening to provide the Rugby Football Union with evidence that they possess the required insurance, are able to meet payroll and have a “credible plan to take the club forward”. Picture date: Saturday September 24, 2022.

A general view as fans watch the action at Sixways Stadium, Worcester, during the Gallagher Premiership match between Worcester Warriors and Newcastle Falcons. Worcester have until early Monday evening to provide the Rugby Football Union with evidence that they possess the required insurance, are able to meet payroll and have a “credible plan to take the club forward”. Picture date: Saturday September 24, 2022.

Worcester Warriors' Joe Batley celebrates scoring a try during the Gallagher Premiership match at Sixways Stadium, Worcester. Picture date: Saturday September 24, 2022.

Worcester Warriors' Joe Batley celebrates scoring a try during the Gallagher Premiership match at Sixways Stadium, Worcester. Picture date: Saturday September 24, 2022.

A general view of a road sign in front of Sixways Stadium, home of Worcester Warriors Rugby Club. Picture date: Monday September 26, 2022. Worcester are set to be suspended from all competitions if they do not meet a Rugby Football Union deadline of 5pm on Monday showing they possess required insurance, are able to meet payroll and have a "credible plan to take the club forward". See PA Story RUGBYU Worcester. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.

A general view of a road sign in front of Sixways Stadium, home of Worcester Warriors Rugby Club. Picture date: Monday September 26, 2022. Worcester are set to be suspended from all competitions if they do not meet a Rugby Football Union deadline of 5pm on Monday showing they possess required insurance, are able to meet payroll and have a "credible plan to take the club forward". See PA Story RUGBYU Worcester. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.

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A general view as fans watch the action at Sixways Stadium, Worcester, during the Gallagher Premiership match between Worcester Warriors and Newcastle Falcons. Worcester have until early Monday evening to provide the Rugby Football Union with evidence that they possess the required insurance, are able to meet payroll and have a “credible plan to take the club forward”. Picture date: Saturday September 24, 2022.

Crisis club Worcester are facing an exodus of players and staff after failing to meet this month’s salary commitments.

Contracted personnel were due to be paid on Friday but it is understood this has not happened, meaning staff are entitled to move elsewhere after a statutory two-week notice period.

In a further blow to Worcester’s hopes of overturning their current suspension from competitions, the subsidiary body to which staff are contracted faces a winding-up order in the high court next Wednesday.

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Worcester Warriors' Joe Batley celebrates scoring a try during the Gallagher Premiership match at Sixways Stadium, Worcester. Picture date: Saturday September 24, 2022.

Worcester Warriors' Joe Batley celebrates scoring a try during the Gallagher Premiership match at Sixways Stadium, Worcester. Picture date: Saturday September 24, 2022.

Worcester Warriors' Joe Batley celebrates scoring a try during the Gallagher Premiership match at Sixways Stadium, Worcester. Picture date: Saturday September 24, 2022.

If WRFC Players Ltd is liquidated, the Gallagher Premiership club would automatically have no contracted players or staff and seemingly no option but to drop out of the top division.

WRFC Players Ltd is separate to WRFC Trading Ltd, which is subject to insolvency proceedings and for which the administrators are still seeking to find a buyer.

Worcester’s debts total more than than £25m, including at least £6m in unpaid tax, while owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have been accused of asset-stripping the club.

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A general view of a road sign in front of Sixways Stadium, home of Worcester Warriors Rugby Club. Picture date: Monday September 26, 2022. Worcester are set to be suspended from all competitions if they do not meet a Rugby Football Union deadline of 5pm on Monday showing they possess required insurance, are able to meet payroll and have a "credible plan to take the club forward"

A general view of a road sign in front of Sixways Stadium, home of Worcester Warriors Rugby Club. Picture date: Monday September 26, 2022. Worcester are set to be suspended from all competitions if they do not meet a Rugby Football Union deadline of 5pm on Monday showing they possess required insurance, are able to meet payroll and have a "credible plan to take the club forward"

A general view of a road sign in front of Sixways Stadium, home of Worcester Warriors Rugby Club. Picture date: Monday September 26, 2022. Worcester are set to be suspended from all competitions if they do not meet a Rugby Football Union deadline of 5pm on Monday showing they possess required insurance, are able to meet payroll and have a "credible plan to take the club forward"

The club failed to meet an English Rugby Football Union deadline on Monday requesting proof of insurance cover and funding for the club’s monthly payroll, which resulted in them being suspended from all competitions.

Two consortiums, one involving former Worcester chief executive Jim O’Toole, are understood to have expressed interest in buying the club out of administration.

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But the impending exodus of players and staff may make a purchase less appealing, with no means to resume playing even if the club’s current suspension is lifted.


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