Rugby: Worcester Suspended For Funding Failure

By Chimezie Nebolisa

Rugby Football Union (RFU) have suspended Worcester from all competitions for failing to meet a funding ultimatum.

The club is burdened by debts totalling more than £25 million ($26.5 million), including at least £6 million in unpaid tax.

Statement from the RFU said the club owners had failed to meet a deadline of 1600 GMT on Monday to provide proof of insurance cover and funding for the monthly payroll and were also missing a "credible plan to take the club forward".

RFU CEO Bill Sweeney said: "We appreciate this is incredibly difficult news for fans, staff and players. We would like to thank the staff and players who have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to enable matches to continue. We met with players and staff last week to explain why this action would be necessary and regrettably without assurances in place we have had to take this action to protect everyone's best interests."

Sweeney said he hoped a buyer could be secured to allow the club to return to professional rugby, saying that the RFU would seek to learn from the situation to address broader financial problems in English club rugby.

Sweeney said the RFU would work with Premiership Rugby and the government to establish the next steps for the club.