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Statement to RFU 8/5/23

A Statement from the Working Group of the Worcester Warriors Supporters Trust to the RFU: 08/05/2023

The RFU has confirmed that Wasps RFC has applied to play its home matches at Sixways Stadium, the home of Worcester Warriors, for the season 2023-24. We understand you wish to consult with local stakeholders. We believe that the supporters of Worcester Warriors are firmly in this category.

As you are aware, Atlas WWRFC has no plans for any Worcester Warriors Men’s team to play at Sixways for the foreseeable future. We believe that if Wasps become tenants at the stadium it would significantly impact, in a negative manner, the prospect of a phoenix Worcester team. Although most Warriors fans would choose not to support Wasps RFC, it is inevitable, over the proposed tenancy, that they would attract a local following. This would be to the detriment of pre-existing local rugby clubs, including any potential Warriors team. Wasps have no history in our local area; we believe they are intent on effectively poaching a “ready-made” fan-base. There are other facilities closer to their previous ground(s); we do not believe they should be allowed to effectively set up a franchise in Worcestershire.

Additionally, from an administrative perspective, a Wasps’ move to Sixways would be in direct contravention of RFU regulations 3.42(a), 5.71 and Regulation 5, Appendix 2, Section 15. We do not believe that Wasps have any right to be granted immunity from these regulations. They exist precisely for cases like this.

The Worcester Warriors Women’s team and Worcester Raiders FC play their home matches at Sixways. Currently the Warriors Women are the only elite level rugby team in Worcester and supporters would want them to remain as the primary tenant. We understand that both clubs have prospective deals to stay at Sixways. If Wasps also become tenants it would prevent a Worcester Warriors Men’s team playing at their own home ground due to fixture congestion. We see no other reason why Sixways could not host a phoenix Warriors team; Atlas WWRFC is hiding behind the idea that a lower league Warriors team would “not be viable at Sixways”; we believe that they are simply trying to maximise their income from third party clubs and have no interest in reviving elite level men’s rugby under a Warriors banner. The supporters and the wider Worcester community have no desire for a cuckoo club to install itself at the Sixways Stadium or training facilities.

We also believe that the significant financial assistance provided by Loxwood Holdings Ltd., owned by Christopher Holland the owner of Wasps RFC, was the only reason that Atlas managed to complete their deal to buy Worcester Warriors. This is certainly not within the spirit of RFU regulation 4.2.1 and could be considered a breach.

Taking all these facts into consideration, we strongly urge the RFU to decline Wasps RFC’s application to play at Sixways Stadium. It would be unforgiveable if a club without any stadium or facilities, which has left behind vast debts and misery in Coventry, was given preferential treatment over our long-established club. The legacy of Cecil Duckworth, so important to everyone in Worcester, has been emasculated by both previous and current owners and we are determined that this must be reversed.

The working group are supportive of, and thankful for, the sentiment behind the RFU FAQ Document to ex-Warrior players released on 12th April. We agree with the regulations designed to prevent a club from effectively "buying a league position." We are against the Atlas plans to link up with Stourbridge RFC and hope the RFU do not permit them to progress.

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Miembro desconocido
09 may 2023

I have raised a petition on twitter requesting the powers to be to refuse atlas planning until warriors are in the Championship

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