Worcester Warriors players are now free agents after the company which was set up to pay them was liquidated at the High Court this morning.
The Premiership club have been battling with financial woes since May – when players first went unpaid – but are now in administration amid a series of owed monies.
Players’ wages were not paid in September following the squad having only been paid their wages in August at the last minute – some staff at the club were paid just 65 per cent of their salary while others weren’t paid at all.
Worcester had hoped that being placed into administration would have provided time for administrators to assess assets, understand the club’s value and raise necessary funds to save the club.
The East Midlands side have had their matches against Gloucester and Harlequins cancelled and with no company to pay the players, the squad members are free to leave the club.
However, given the reduction in the salary cap over the summer and the fact that the season is a month into its operation, it is unlikely that all of Worcester’s players will be able to find new clubs.
Premiership Rugby have been criticised over unsubstantiated reports that they would look to buy Worcester’s shares in the league to either distribute to other clubs or sell on to a new club – likely Worcester.
But the likelihood for the Warriors is that they will now be relegated into the Championship and be forced into creating a new club with the same assets – known in the sport as a phoenix club – with the hope of proving their fiscal future, maintaining their P Share in the league and ultimately earning promotion to the top flight once more.
Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union are yet to comment on the matter.