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RFU warn Worcester they will be suspended if they fail to provide proof they can safely stage games

Worcester Warriors will be suspended from all competitions unless they provide the RFU with a safety certificate to host matches at Sixways Stadium by 12pm on Friday.

English rugby chiefs from the RFU have written to the controversial Gallagher Premiership club asking for proof of safety certificates to allow their matches to continue.

Worcester’s Premiership clash with Exeter at Sixways on Sunday has now been cast into serious doubt unless the beleaguered Warriors owners produce the relevant documents without delay.

The RFU is demanding proof of council safety certificates and medical coverage, while Worcester is running out of time.

Worcester owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have claimed to have reached an agreement to sell the club, but rugby authorities have yet to be convinced, with players and staff still in the dark.

‘The RFU has written to Worcester Warriors to confirm that they will be immediately suspended from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Allianz Premier 15s and Allianz Cup if there are no guarantees about the ability to safely hold matches at Sixways Stadium at 12 noon’ in the afternoon. September 16,” said an RFU statement issued Thursday evening.

Worcester Warriors will be suspended from all competitions unless they provide the RFU with a safety certificate to host matches at Sixways Stadium

Worcester Warriors will be suspended from all competitions unless they provide the RFU with a safety certificate to host matches at Sixways Stadium

RFU requires proof of safety certificates to allow their matches to continue at Sixways

RFU requires proof of safety certificates to allow their matches to continue at Sixways

“This includes proof that the local government has issued a general safety certificate and written confirmation of medical provision.

“Any suspension can be lifted once the club has more certainty about funding and can demonstrate its ability to keep matches safe.

“The RFU, PRL and DCMS have been asking for assurances from the owners of Worcester Warriors regarding financing and potential new ownership proposals for several weeks now.”

Worcester continues to be threatened with exclusion from all competitions should they be unable to produce satisfactory financing amid the ongoing and protracted talk of a sale.

The Warriors had to deny having been forced into administration earlier on Thursday after DCMS employees falsely sent a statement.

However, now the RFU has moved to force the issue ahead of Worcester’s scheduled meeting with Exeter, with players from both clubs still unsure whether the match will go ahead.

“All parties are concerned that the lack of available funds will not allow the club to keep matches safe for players and spectators, and ongoing medical facilities for players,” read the RFU statement.

Worcester confirmed that the club was not placed under administration on Thursday

Worcester confirmed that the club was not placed under administration on Thursday

Worcester released a statement showing that the letter was incorrectly sent by DCMS

Worcester released a statement showing that the letter was incorrectly sent by DCMS

‘The municipality in particular has not yet provided the club with a General Safety Certificate to be able to play matches in the Sixways Stadium.

“All sides need to strike a balance between the needs of the club to have time to raise funds to keep matches safe, and the need for security for supporters, players and support staff from all teams for the matches this weekend. Sixways Stadium to be held.”

While an agreement has been reached between co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham and the undisclosed investor, the details are still being worked out by lawyers.

Rugby director Steve Diamond said he is confident the Sixways clash will continue but it is the new buyer who will provide the financing needed to host the game.

He said: ‘As far as I’m concerned, the match goes on. I was not told anything inappropriate. We prepare as if the match is underway. We are on BT. All buttons are pressed.

“All money is welcome and I think the current owners are doing everything they can behind the scenes to make sure the game goes on which means staff are paid, suppliers are paid and temporary workers are coming in.”

Rugby director Steve Diamond (pictured) is confident the showdown with Exeter continues

Rugby director Steve Diamond (pictured) is confident the showdown with Exeter continues

The latest twist comes after news broke earlier this week that the club is open the brink of forfeiting Sunday’s game against Exeter as the money-stressed club was unable to pay its stadium suppliers.

With bank accounts frozen, the Warriors missed a 5 p.m. deadline to settle unpaid bills with medical and security providers.

The Premiership match cannot go ahead without the essential services, bringing the club one step closer to bankruptcy.

Co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham on Tuesday claimed to have reached an agreement on investment terms to relieve the club’s debts.

But the deal remains in doubt after they failed to deliver a promised update on Wednesday, with the investor remaining anonymous.

Diamond previously said, “I’m not here to sort it out. If people aren’t paid and suppliers aren’t, I don’t think the game can go on logistically.

“These people have to perform and I think they’re in the final grasp of that. If not, I probably won’t sit in front of you anymore. That’s the reality of it.

Co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have lost confidence from staff and players

Co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have lost confidence from staff and players

‘I’m too old and ugly to be naive to think they’re spinning a yarn. I do not think so.’

Goldring and Whittingham have lost confidence from staff and players after weeks of financial chaos.

Sports post understands that there have been 15 layoffs in the non-rugby division due to unpaid and partially paid wages.

Staff shortages make organizing the fixture a logistical challenge, with parking parking spaces and ticketing difficult.

“It needs to be restarted,” Diamond said. “It’s in a sorry state and any money is welcome. The owners are in a position where a lot of artillery is aimed at them, rightly or wrongly, and they are sincerely trying to do their best.

“We are in uncharted waters. That has not happened at many clubs. Richmond, 25 years ago, was the last and I was still playing, so I didn’t have to put up with this political mess.”

All this, even after all of Worcester’s players and staff were told a takeover – with current owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham to sell a majority stake – was nearing completion on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, all of Worcester's players and staff were told a takeover was nearing completion

On Tuesday, all of Worcester’s players and staff were told a takeover was nearing completion

The buyer is not the consortium led by former Worcester chief executive Jim O’Toole, who appeared to admit defeat on Tuesday in his bid to buy the club with a cryptic social media post.

However, Goldring and Whittingham are expected to retain a minority stake in the Sixways outfit when the deal closes.

“Warriors can confirm that owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have reached an agreement on the terms of the sale of the club to an interested party,” said Worcester.

‘The main points are now with the legal representatives of the respective parties who go through the agreement in detail.’

Worcester faces a closing court hearing on 6 October over an unpaid £6million tax bill, with HMRC pushing for the club’s liquidation.

The Warriors were unable to pay all their staff in full last month after the players were late in receiving their pay.

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