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Best Interests

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

As I write this post, it has been 10 days since WWST started taking members and less than 6 months since the Open Meeting when we revealed our plans to set up a Supporters’ Trust. The uptake has been good and we now have around 130 paid up members with many more expected to sign up at our Launch Event on December 1st. 

As many of you will be aware, one of our flagship proposals has been to nominate Sixways Stadium as an Asset of Community Value. The interim board drafted and submitted the nomination in late August. At that time, a sale of the club had been agreed to Atlas; that organisation then had no viable plan to reintroduce a men’s Worcester Warriors team, playing at Sixways or elsewhere. As a board, we felt strongly that we should do what we could to make it more difficult for any unscrupulous purchaser to potentially develop the ground without resurrecting our club. Indeed, we still feel the same.

However, although our sentiments are unchanged, there has been a significant shift in the attitude of Atlas Worcester Warriors towards both the resurrection of a men’s Worcester Warriors team and, indeed to the Worcester Warriors Supporters Trust. This has come about largely due to the different ownership structure at Atlas.

When we put in the ACV nomination, it is true to say that we didn’t appreciate the full impact this could have on purchasers. We have recently discovered that buildings listed on the ACV register can be looked on as “high risk” by investors and hence are unlikely to attract Tier One Funding. As such, borrowing money against that asset can be considerably more expensive, hence making it an even more significant challenge to find a suitable buyer. This was not the intention of the interim board’s original nomination.

The ACV nomination is due to be judged upon on November 27th. Once a decision is made, the nominator (ie WWST in this case) has no further say in the listing - being unable to appeal the decision or withdraw its nomination after the event. 

Given that the interim board do not wish to obstruct the sale to a legitimate and good-intentioned purchaser, we feel that the right thing to do at this juncture is to withdraw our nomination. This does not prevent us from resubmitting an application in the future. Our plan is to reassess the situation formally every 3 months. If, at any stage, it is felt to be in the interests of Worcester Warriors Rugby Club we will put the case to our membership to vote on a resubmission.

This decision is a reflection of the increased positivity at both Sixways and the RFU regarding the prospect of a Worcester Warriors men’s team becoming part of a new Premiership 2 division in the 2025/26 season. 

In other news, we would just like to further push the WWST launch event on Friday December 1st. It promises to be a fun evening with Bradders at the helm. We are very grateful to all those who have donated memorabilia for the auction. With ex-Warriors flying high in the Premiership it will be a great opportunity to get back in touch with fellow supporters.

That’s me signing off for a couple of weeks. I am fleeing the country on holiday, leaving my hard working fellow board members to take up the slack. Perfect timing for avoiding any organisational tasks! I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible on December 1st.

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