In news that will devastate fans well outside of the Sixways catchment area, Worcester Warriors are no more.
Jim O’Toole has confirmed today that the club he and James Sandford bought, is no longer. In an effort to avoid paying creditors, the now-disgraced owners are rebranding the club as ‘Sixways Rugby’ and will merge with fourth-tier side Stourbridge.
This will mean that hundreds of creditors, including players and staff, will never be paid the money they were owed by the Warriors, which totalled up to a figure of £8m.
Speaking to BBC Hereford & Worcester, O’Toole said:
“This decision will clearly upset and annoy a number of people,
“The sad fact of life is that the Worcester Warriors brand and the Worcester Warriors business is gone.
“We didn’t want to go down to the tenth tier as Worcester Warriors, so the name sadly will disappear. We are rebranding as Sixways Rugby. We’re starting afresh. We believe it is time for a new start. The church has closed down.”
These owners referring to the former club as a ‘business’ will infuriate many Worcester Warriors fans who remember fondly the days before consortiums and big-money investors. Fans, pundits, players, journalists, and quite frankly anyone who has any interest in rugby have been vocal about these recent developments.
“They’ve probably felt isolated at times with what’s been going on.
“You don’t need to understand rugby to understand human nature & to find that relatable as well.”
James Sandford, 16th November 2022.
Probably feeling more isolated now they wont get outstanding pay.
— Robert Rees (@Rreesrugby) February 9, 2023
Absolutely ludicrous news coming from new owners of Worcester Warriors. Everything that is still strong in the brand, the backing of the RFU and the love of fans and players and the community, is being ditched. It would be funny if it wasn’t such a disaster.
— Stephen Jones (@stephenjones9) February 9, 2023
#Together Goodbye Warriors. My thoughts RIP Worcester Warriors. RIP Duckworth legacy.
RIP Warriors supporters. RIP Rugby Creditors, RIP Stourbridge RFC. RIP.Elite Rugby
The Staff,Players & suppliers have been shafted.
“Frying pan into 🔥”
Rings a bell.
— Steve Diamond (@Steve_Dimes) February 9, 2023
What we feared has come true
Worcester Warriors is no more and never will be
This process means no rugby creditor will be paid what they are owed.ADVERTISEMENT
People have a lot to answer for https://t.co/AQshaoVw4V
— Luke Broadley (@luke_broadley) February 9, 2023
Disgraceful what Jim O’Toole (Jim the Tool) has done to @WorcsWarriors today. How can this even happen? The history of a club loved by many has gone with a blink of an eye. The new owners should be ashamed of themselves and it puts them nearly on a par with the last cowboy owners
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) February 9, 2023