WORCESTER Warriors have been served a winding up petition by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over an unpaid tax bill in a move which has disappointed Sixways bosses.
The taxman is seeking the Gallagher Premiership club’s liquidation at a court hearing which could take place ‘within weeks’ unless the club settles the debt.
But in a statement, Warriors have hit back at the move and revealed their ‘disappointment’ at HMRC’s action.
“Worcester Warriors, along with many other businesses and most sports clubs have found the past two years extremely challenging owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise in the cost of living,”
“We retained our staff but lost income during the various lockdowns during which the overwhelming majority of matches were played behind closed doors. We returned to normal operations 12 months ago carrying a tax liability to HMRC.
“From the outset, we have worked closely and openly with HMRC on a plan to clear these liabilities and a Time to Pay (TTP) arrangement has been in place.
“The club owners and board are fully committed to preserving top-flight professional rugby in Worcester and have been working on solutions to secure the financial future of Worcester Warriors and to pay outstanding tax owed to HMRC.
“A solution, which would secure the long-term future of the club, has been approved. Unfortunately, there have been unavoidable delays beyond the club’s control to the final tasks required to complete the funding.
“Having kept HMRC fully apprised of the situation we are disappointed that they have taken the decision to issue a winding-up petition. The club’s directors are in continuing dialogue with HMRC in an attempt to find a speedy and satisfactory resolution.
“We have also been in communication with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Premiership Rugby and the RFU [Rugby Football Union] regarding this matter.”
HMRC declined to comment.