Premiership: Worcester Warriors issued winding-up petition by HMRC over unpaid tax

Colin Newboult

Worcester Warriors have been issued with a winding-up order by HM Revenue and Customs due to unpaid tax.

There have been rumours that the English Premiership club are in a perilous financial position, with reports earlier this year that players had not been paid their wages on time.

Worcester revealed that Covid has had a significant impact on their finances but that they are in constant communication with HMRC.

Tax liability

“Worcester Warriors, along with many other businesses and most sports clubs have found the past two years extremely challenging owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise in the cost of living,” a club statement read.

“We retained our staff but lost income during the various lockdowns during which the overwhelming majority of matches were played behind closed doors. We returned to normal operations 12 months ago carrying a tax liability to HMRC.

“From the outset, we have worked closely and openly with HMRC on a plan to clear these liabilities and a Time to Pay (TTP) arrangement has been in place.

“The club owners and board are fully committed to preserving top-flight professional rugby in Worcester and have been working on solutions to secure the financial future of Worcester Warriors and to pay outstanding tax owed to HMRC.

“A solution, which would secure the long-term future of the club, has been approved. Unfortunately, there have been unavoidable delays beyond the club’s control to the final tasks required to complete the funding.

“Having kept HMRC fully apprised of the situation we are disappointed that they have taken the decision to issue a winding-up petition. The club’s directors are in continuing dialogue with HMRC in an attempt to find a speedy and satisfactory resolution.

“We have also been in communication with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Premiership Rugby and the RFU [Rugby Football Union] regarding this matter.”

Unsettling for those connected with Worcester

The RFU and Premiership Rugby also issued a joint statement which read: “The RFU and Premiership Rugby have been made aware that a winding-up petition has been filed by HMRC against Worcester.

“Premiership Rugby and the RFU have been in regular contact with Worcester shareholders and management.

“Both parties have supported the club through the financial challenges of the last few years.

“We appreciate that this is unsettling for the players, the employees, the fans and the community in Worcester, and we will continue to work with all stakeholders to establish the appropriate next steps.”

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