Premiership Rugby Side Worcester Warriors Faces Player Exodus
Premiership Rugby side Worcester Warriors will have many of its best players "cherry-picked by rival clubs if, as seems likely," the club fails to meet a pledge "to have a new owner announced by the end of the week," according to Owen Slot of the LONDON TIMES. The club has been "up for sale all season" and it has 21 players out of contract at the end of this season, "many of whom have refused to commit longer term to the club because of the uncertainty." Warriors "will also need a new director of rugby" because Gary Gold is leaving for a job with the U.S. national team. The players "had been told that they would be informed of the new owner by the end of this week." However, "the frontrunner to take over at Sixways had an initial offer rejected last week." Amid "all the uncertainty, leading players will be reluctant to extend their contracts." There have "already been numerous transfer conversations," but from Jan. 1, rival English clubs will be able to offer contracts formally (LONDON TIMES, 12/11).
SRU EYES CLUB: In Worcester, Geoff Berkeley reported the Scottish Rugby Union is "reportedly close to securing a takeover of Worcester Warriors" after a bid from ex-League Two side Swindon Town Chair Jed McCrory failed. The Evesham-based businessman "had been granted a period of exclusivity to complete the deal." But that "reportedly expired on Friday without agreement and the SRU is now believed to be in pole position" to take control of the club. A deal "is expected to be concluded this week" (WORCESTER NEWS, 12/10).