Worcester Warriors confirm they are close to agreeing a sale of the club… as the final details with an unnamed buyer are looked over by lawyers

  • Worcester’s players and staff have been told a takeover is close to completion
  • The news provides a ray of hope for all associated with the Premiership club
  • Former chief executive Jim O’Toole has appeared to admit defeat in his bid

Worcester Warriors have confirmed they are close to agreeing a sale of the club as the Gallagher Premiership outfit continue to battle for survival.

On Tuesday, all of Worcester’s players and staff were told a takeover – which would see current owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham sell a majority share – was close to completion.

The final details of the deal with an unnamed buyer were being looked over by Worcester’s lawyers on Tuesday night.

Worcester Warriors have confirmed that they are close to agreeing a sale of the club

Worcester Warriors have confirmed that they are close to agreeing a sale of the club

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

Goldring and Whittingham, who have lost the trust of Worcester’s players and staff after a summer of upheaval and uncertainty, are expected to retain a minority share in the Sixways outfit when the deal is concluded.

‘Warriors can confirm that owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have agreed the terms of the sale of the club to an interested party,’ Worcester said.

‘The heads of terms are now with the legal representatives of the respective parties who are going through the detail of the agreement.

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

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

The final details of the deal with an unnamed buyer were looked over by lawyers on Tuesday

 The final details of the deal with an unnamed buyer were looked over by lawyers on Tuesday

‘We have been working closely with the interested party on the immediate deposit of significant funds which will allow Sunday’s Premiership match against Exeter Chiefs at Sixways and Saturday’s Allianz Cup tie between University of Worcester Warriors and Harlequins to go ahead as scheduled.

‘We will provide a further update both on the sale of the club and this weekend’s matches on Wednesday.’

Worcester face a winding-up court hearing on October 6 over a £6million unpaid tax bill, with HMRC understood to be pushing for the club to be liquidated. The Warriors were unable to pay all their staff in full last month after the players received their wages late.

But the news Goldring and Whittingham appear close to completing a sale does provide a ray of hope for Worcester’s embattled players, staff and supporters.

Meanwhile, Saracens are set to recall a number of their England stars for their first Premiership game at London rivals Harlequins on Saturday.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is hopeful of the club's England players returning

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is hopeful of the club’s England players returning

Mark McCall’s men sat out the opening weekend of the new season as it was their bye week, but Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Maro Itoje are all in consideration to start at the Stoop.

England players who featured in the summer tour win over Australia are entitled to a 10-week rest period, but clubs can apply to the RFU for them to return sooner.

Harlequins and England half-backs Danny Care and Marcus Smith are expected to return to action in the next two to three weeks and are unlikely to face Saracens.

‘Hopefully we will see a few (England players) this week,’ said Saracens director of rugby McCall. ‘Obviously there is a 10-week rule in place but if you think a player should be exempted from that because of any injuries from the previous year, then you can apply to reduce that.’

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