COUNCILLOR Richard Udall insists local authorities must intervene to protect Worcester’s economy as Worcester Warriors try to avoid entering administration.
Coun Udall released a statement earlier this week calling on Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council to help the city protect the professional rugby club.
Worcester were served with a winding up petition by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) last week over an unpaid tax bill which could total more than £6m.
Coun Udall’s statement read: “Like all fans, I’m seriously worried about the future of Worcester Warriors, its not just the team and fans who will suffer if the club folds, the development of the sport in the area would be devastated and the impact upon our local economy would be hard.
“Thousands come every week to our city to watch them play. This brings revenue not just to Warriors, but also to the city as well.
“Plus, it’s the community and outreach work and the women’s and youth teams which will also suffer; not to mention the important development work, which is an investment in the future of rugby which we cannot afford to lose.
“Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council need to be ready to help, support and intervene to protect the club and to save rugby from a premature death in Worcestershire.
“We need to protect rugby like we would with any other industry or employer, it needs to be protected as an economic, and as an important community asset. We need intervention.
“Warriors and Sixways are not just important to rugby fans, they are also of vital importance to our economy.
“Ideally, I would like to see the fans take control, for it to be a club owned and run by the supporters, but before we can even consider that as an option, we need to make sure the club, the ground and the assets are protected.”
Warriors remain in dialogue with HMRC and it has since been reported that former Worcester CEO Jim O’Toole has launched a bid to save the club.
Co-owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring released a statement on Monday (August 22) in which the pair insisted they were ‘working to find the best solution for keeping rugby at Sixways’.