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Worcester and Wasps, WTF?

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Post by Intotouch Thu Sep 29, 2022 8:53 pm

First topic message reminder :

And no, I don’t mean “welcome to Facebook” .
I logged onto the forum a few days ago to learn more about what has happened to these clubs expecting to a thread on this. But I had to write one instead. (Should I have used the title “who cares”?)

After listening to an OTB interview with an English reporter on the subject I gather that no staff working at Worcester have been paid for months, including those on low wages who will have missed mortgage payments and since their finances/ accounts still haven’t been properly kept they can’t yet be sold so there’s no hope of a white knight rescuing them. Their finances were completely mismanaged. Wasps appear to be in a better position and although they’ll be relegated will continue to exist. They are struggling to pay a tax bill and a debt incurred when they moved to London. (I thought this sounded weird, why move to a crazy expensive city packed with other sports teams?)

Below is an interesting article from the BBC on this topic.
https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/63053674
What shocked me about this article is the following: “ One club owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told BBC Sport: "I don't think there's one owner who'd tell you the model is working. It's completely flawed." Bristol Bears owner Stephen Lansdown recently said there is "just not enough money in the game,” If this is true, why is it true?

In the meantime , other clubs in the prem have voted to increase the salary cap at a time when many clubs are struggling with debts. This all sounds seriously worrying and suggests that clubs in the prem will soon have bigger financial problems in the future trying to pay even more in wages. Which suggests that more will start to go bust. And they voted to increase the salary cap? Am I missing something here or is this as dysfunctional as it sounds? And how can there not be enough money in the game in England? Rugby fans from other countries also regularly say how great the competition is, fans are absolutely showing up to see it, the competition is healthy, tv contracts are in place, cvc threw money at it recently. In theory things should be great. So….Welcome to Facebook?

(By the way this thread isn’t an invitation to slam the premiership or gloat. We are all rugby fans first and foremost and this could just as easily happen to your own club.)

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Dec 16, 2022 12:25 pm

Beeb:

'Worcester's application to return to professional rugby next season has been rejected by the Rugby Football Union.

But the RFU has approved Wasps' return in 2023-24, with the club set to play in the Championship, provided they adhere to a number of conditions.

Both sides were removed from the Premiership after going into administration in October.

The RFU board had been assessing the applications from bidders aiming to take over the two stricken clubs.

Worcester, whose debts totalled more than £30m when they went under, have been the subject of a bid from former Warriors chief executive Jim O'Toole and his Atlas consortium.

Atlas accused the governing body of trying to impose "onerous operational conditions" on the group as they negotiate a takeover with administrators Begbies Traynor.

The RFU said they had "put forward a number of conditions" for the prospective buyers to meet, including commitments not to dispose of land around Sixways stadium and the "swift" payment of rugby creditors.

"The bidders, selected by the administrators of the insolvent WRFC Trading Limited, have informed us that they are not prepared to meet these conditions, and therefore the RFU board was unable to approve their application," a statement continued.

"The RFU will now work with the administrator to enable alternative bids that would secure professional rugby at Sixways and to work together in a timetable to enable that to happen."

Their decision could see the renewal of a bid by a consortium led by former Warriors director of rugby Steve Diamond and a previously unnamed ally, the old club's main sponsor, local Hartlebury-based businessman Adam Hewitt.

"I can confirm that Adam Hewitt and I are fully committed to bringing Worcester Warriors back to the Premiership. We have the plan and the funding. Give us the opportunity. We will give you the rugby. Bring it on," Diamond posted on Twitter on Thursday.

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said that although the news was not what Worcester fans and former staff wanted to hear, the best interests of the club was their "key priority".

He added: "We are prepared to extend the deadlines to explore if an alternative bidder can be found who has the continuation of rugby in Worcester central to its business plan."

However, Atlas said in a statement on Thursday that if the RFU did not change its stance, they would look to conclude a deal "without the approval of the RFU and without returning elite level rugby to Worcester".

Wasps move to next stage
Wasps had debts totalling £95m when they went into administration, but an offer from a consortium including members of the club's legends group was accepted at the end of October.

Their bid does not include the women's team, which is a separate club and will continue to play as part of the amateur side Wasps FC.

The RFU say they will continue to work with the bidders over the coming weeks to meet a number of "specific conditions" they had laid down.

The statement continued: "These include a range of financial commitments to ensure that the club remains funded, the lodging of a significant bond, the regular provision of financial and other information, swift payment of rugby creditors, and corporate governance requirements including relating to the club's board of directors and risk management process."

The decisions were taken following a due diligence process conducted by the RFU's financial viability group.

It includes members of the RFU board, council and executive staff, representatives from Premier Rugby, the Championship and National League Rugby, plus specialist insolvency experts.'

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Post by lostinwales Fri Dec 16, 2022 2:36 pm

Wasps claiming they will be back for 23-24.

Wasps are delighted to announce their return for the 2023/24 season, with confirmation they have now fully satisfied Rugby Football Union (RFU) requirements.

The link on the tweet wasn't working (or being very slow)

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Dec 16, 2022 11:30 pm

lostinwales wrote:Wasps claiming they will be back for 23-24.

Wasps are delighted to announce their return for the 2023/24 season, with confirmation they have now fully satisfied Rugby Football Union (RFU) requirements.

The link on the tweet wasn't working (or being very slow)
Where are they going to play? And will they travel even further away from Wasps original west London roots? Do they still have supporters? Or will they have to build a whole new brand somewhere else and buld a supporter base from scratch? If so, I hope that is built into their business plan - otherwise this will be another debacle.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Dec 17, 2022 7:35 am

Solihull Moors stadium apparently. Well at least in the short term. It's not far from Coventry and used to be a ground share with a lower league union outfit. It's only 5.5k capacity though so can't be the long term plan unless redevelopment is on the cards soon.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Dec 17, 2022 1:32 pm

That is already agreed? The new ownership group is moving quickly, which is really good. And, as you say, close to Coventry, I guess one has to start somewhere. Maybe this is the path Ealing should take if they are promoted.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri Dec 23, 2022 2:33 pm

https://www.rugbypass.com/rugby-league/news/nrl-salary-cap-outstrips-gallagher-premiership-for-first-time/

A sign of the times. Quite worrying if we (union) are struggling to compete against league.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Dec 23, 2022 3:19 pm

An article that states $12.1 million = £6.7 million needs a new Currency converter

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri Dec 23, 2022 3:25 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:An article that states $12.1 million  = £6.7 million needs a new Currency converter
Seems right unless I'm using the Google converter wrong?

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Post by neilthom7 Fri Dec 23, 2022 5:30 pm

It's right if they meant australian dollar which is what I assume they did given they are speaking about NRL.

However they didn't clarify that, they said dollars so I suspect like a lot of people Geoff assumed that was US Dollars which as he said would be very wrong.

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Post by Intotouch Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:21 pm

That’s great news about wasps, thanks for sharing that! It’s brilliant that they got backers so soon. They have a great history and I hope they have success in the future now.

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