Warriors' owners apologise for 'emotional distress' caused after club placed in administration

ITV News Central's Sports Correspondent Dan Salisbury-Jones spoke to the club's captain about the ongoing crisis at Worcester Warriors.

At just 23, Club Captain Ted Hill should have enjoyed at least another decade of success with Worcester, but now faces the reality that he may never walk out of the Sixways tunnel again. 

Worcester Warriors was placed into administration on Monday 26 September after being suspended from all competitions immediately by the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

Owners of the club missed a 5pm deadline to "evidence insurance cover, availability of funds to meet the monthly payroll, and a credible plan to take the club forward," the RFU said.

Following its suspension from competition, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) announced it had placed the club into administration.

Ted told ITV News Central that he believes an apology should be received. 

He said: “I think an apology is needed from not only the owners, but also from other people high up from the company as well. 

“I think people have been put in a really, really difficult situation.

“People whose families, husbands and wives both work at the club. No income. I do believe they need an apology. 

For the team's captain, the thought of never playing another rugby match for Worcester Warriors again is an unimaginable prospect.

ITV News Central’s sports correspondent Dan Salisbury-Jones asked Ted if he thought the owners knew the magnitude of the situation. 

He replied: “I think they did partly.

“I think that the main thing for the staff, the players and the people of Worcester Warriors and the fans and the community around, was just the lack of communication.

“I think the communication was the thing that we were craving and we needed in order to know when people's mortgages were going out.

“People have not been paid. We need communication when that sort of stuff is happening.

“And we just had so little of that throughout the whole process.”

Despite the current situation, the Worcester lad remains hopeful.

He said: “I do have positive feelings that I will play for Worcester again.

“But as a player you have to hope for the best, prep for the worst.”

After ITV News Central told the owners that Ted Hill felt the players and staff were owed an apology, they issued the following statement:

"Dear Staff, Supporters and Community of Worcester Warriors, 

We are sorry to you all that the Club is in this current position and for the emotional distress this must have caused but we remain hopeful, through the process of Administration, that the Club can find a new Owner and emerge in a stronger position in order to preserve Rugby at Sixways.

 We are thankful to all of the staff that supported the Club through Covid in accepting a significant reduction in their Salary but sorry that the Playing Squad could not accept a similar level of reduction and in some Player’s instances would not accept any pay cut at all despite our openness at the financial impact this would have on the club.

 We are thankful to all of the Supporters who continued to support the Club in any way they could, including many that donated their season ticket payment during the lockdown, and to the Government for the Furlough support that enabled us to keep every single staff member fully employed throughout the pandemic when many Club’s and Business’ were making redundancies. In doing so the Club took on enormous debt like so many others but we felt it was the right thing to do.

 We are thankful to those supporters who turned up week in week out to support the Club but sorry that there were not more, nor enough of you on a regular basis to help make the Club financially viable despite the significant personal funds we put into the Club.

 We are sorry that we did not have the foresight during the Pandemic to cut back on the Squad budget but instead remained committed to giving the Club the best chance of being competitive.

 We are thankful for the highlights on many match days but sorry that we were not able to win more games for those Supporters that did turn up.

We are thankful to the DCMS for the Financial Support they gave to all Clubs during the Pandemic but sorry that the post-pandemic recovery did not happen overnight and that many Clubs, like Worcester, are struggling with the debts we incurred during Covid.

Despite this we remain committed to working with the Administrator, and DCMS, to deliver the best possible outcome for this Club, Supporters and the Community of Worcester."