Premiership: Steve Diamond says Worcester’s players held vote to decide whether to play against Newcastle

David Skippers
Worcester Warriors boss Steve Diamond on the phone

Worcester Warriors boss Steve Diamond has revealed that a vote amongst his players was held to decide whether their Premiership clash against Newcastle Falcons would go ahead.

Unless they can convince the Rugby Football Union on Monday that they have a credible financial plan to continue, the Sixways-based club faces suspension from all competitions.

This follows several weeks of disorder due to an unpaid £6million debt to HM Revenue and Customs which could force the club into administration, with the Warriors‘ facing debts exceeding £25million.

Excellent performance

Worcester’s players put their off-field issues to one side and delivered an excellent performance en route to a 39-5 victory over Newcastle Falcons in their Premiership clash at Sixways on Saturday. Alex Hale, Duhan van der Merwe, Gareth Simpson, Matt Kvesic and Joe Batley scored the Warriors’ tries while Billy Searle succeeded with four conversions and two penalties.

Newcastle started the match brightly courtesy of a George McGuigan try but that would be the only points they scored in the match which Diamond revealed was put up for debate late last week.

“We had a vote yesterday whether to play or not. It was virtually unanimous that we played,” he said.

“I gave them the option not to play because it is a big risk if we are going into suspension on Monday, but they said to a man that their loyalty to the club made them determined to play.

“The staff here are all volunteering because they are not getting paid and that shows we have a really passionate workforce who care about their jobs and who care about Worcester.

“That is what I would be looking at if I was investor.”

When asked for his gut feeling on how events will develop until Monday, Diamond said: “I’ve no gut feeling.

“When it goes into administration, or if it goes into administration because that’s the rumour on the street, no doubt the relevant parties will contact the directors of the club and they can make the decision.”

After their win over the Falcons, Diamond and his Worcester players formed a huddle before embarking on a lap of honour to thank their supporters.

“I told the players they have a week off and let’s get to the pub,” added Diamond.

“There’s no plan now. The building isn’t insured from Monday so we are not allowed to train, use the gym or the rest of the facilities.

“The caretaker and his wife are being chucked out as residents on the site.

“The week after next we may start training at the amateur club over the road.

“I don’t think you could write this. I think BT have missed a trick not having cameras here but we’re not glamorous are we?”

Worcester owners criticised

Meanwhile, Worcester fly-half Searle slammed the club’s owners, Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring, accusing them of a lack of communication with the players.

“That’s been the worst thing, they haven’t been in one since we’ve been here,” he said.

“We’ve had a few emails and false promises and that’s even worse.”

Newcastle head coach Dave Walder said of his side’s display: “We talked all week about dealing with the emotion Worcester may bring, but it was disappointing how we fell away.”

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