Shocked, appalled and frustrated are some of the many terms being thrown around online in relation to the current financial fracas that Worcester Warriors currently find themselves in.
The challenges facing the club are now so significant that it appears the current ownership group may not be the ones to lead them forward.
Coming from an unlikely source it would now appear that the Warriors may have found their knight in shining armour.
Former club CEO Jim O’Toole is reported to be in talks with a US backed consortium combined with local Worcester businesses to come in and save the club.
Speaking to the PA news agency O’Toole said “Things happened quickly over the last 24 hours, the group on the ground pulled together some thoughts on what a sustainable long-term business plan would look like, using the assets of the club, the land, the stadium etc.
“Then I had a meeting with my American client this afternoon and they said: ‘We’d really like to see if we can help. We’d like to be part of that consortium; can you please go ahead and push whatever buttons you need to do to start that process.’”
Following his meeting with the administrator, O’Toole said: “We now are very clear on what we need to get to the stage where we can get a rapid decision from the stakeholders involved.”
Whilst O’Toole would not name the US backers, he did say they have “multiple interests in sport, but they are a true conglomerate with fingers in many pies and interests in many industries”.
When asked about the clubs potential for the investors O’Toole said, “It’s a strong commercial proposition, because despite the pickle that the current owners put themselves into, they had some very clever ideas as to how to monetise the venue and the club. Some of those will definitely be ideas that can be salvaged and developed in a slightly different way.”
O’Tool closed by paying homage to the city of Worcester,“It’s very difficult to imagine the city of Worcester without a professional rugby club, knowing what it means to so many people. So if I can help facilitate the change of ownership then that would be a good thing.”
“If everything comes together we’ve got a chance.”