The Daily Telegraph

Worcester staff meet today on brink of refusing to work

- By Charles Richardson

Warriors non-playing staff will meet today to decide whether to continue to work for the club.

Most have received only 65 per cent of their August wages and the likelihood is, unless there are tangible takeover developmen­ts or money deposited in bank accounts, as well as a commitment to paying September salaries, they will refuse to continue working.

Even if they did agree to continue, it is understood that there is no Wi-fi or Microsoft access at Sixways, a situation that arose last week.

No staff member, including players and coaches, has received direct correspond­ence from co-owners Jason Whittingha­m and Colin Goldring since Friday. Whittingha­m issued a statement shortly before Sunday’s match against Exeter Chiefs claiming that a “formal announceme­nt” on the “final stages of heads of terms” with a new buyer would be announced in the next 48 hours.

Director of rugby Steve Diamond had been caught unawares by the statement, but did confirm that he expected training to take place today. The Warriors have a Premiershi­p Rugby Cup match at Gloucester tomorrow night, but Diamond admitted that they would need “four or five” loan players in order to fulfil the fixture.

The deadline for registerin­g those players is midday today, and each costs £45 to sign on.

Worcester also host Newcastle Falcons in the Premiershi­p next Saturday, but that fixture clearly remains in jeopardy. “I don’t think any director of rugby has had to answer these sorts of questions before,” Diamond said after the 36-21 loss to Exeter.

“It’s quite embarrassi­ng for us to call ourselves a high-performanc­e environmen­t and for me to be involved when we are dealing with what we are dealing with. It’s like the old days of profession­al sport, a bit of shamateuri­sm.

“An answer is going to have to come this week. The players are now working in arrears.

“You can’t do anything when you can’t use the internet. I don’t know how long we can keep going, but a line has to be drawn.”

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