The 'disgraceful' development in Worcester saga

UPDATE: Worcester Warriors have had to withdraw medical insurance from players at the behest of their insurance providers, further denting hopes of a rapid return to the field for the ailing club.

Already in administration, the crisis appears to be deepening at Sixways, with each day bringing a new low for players, staff and supporters.

On Friday the owners even took a swipe at the club’s players and supporters.

Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham issued a statement in response to an interview that Worcester captain Ted Hill did with ITV Central, in which the back row said an apology was required “from not only the owners, but also from other people high up from the company as well”.

proceeding statement from the owners attacked the players for not accepting big enough pay cuts during the pandemic and hit out at the club’s fans for not attending the stadium in sufficient numbers for the club to remain viable.

Now the club have had to withdraw medical insurance from the players after the policy was ‘placed on hold’. Former Worcester prop and current player agent John Andress blew the whistle on Twitter, providing a screengrab of a message sent to the players by the club.

The message reads: “Afternoon all, the situation at the club is ever-changing. It’s only right to update you to let you know that the players’ medical ‘insurance’ policy has now been placed on hold.

“Any medical costs arising from injuries that are sustained from this point forwards (incl costs associated with ongoing issues) will not be paid by insurers. Much effort is going into reversing the situation.

“Unless personally insured, sessions/rehab etc are now undertaken at your own risk. At this moment in time, med & conditioning staff will continue to provide services at the club.”

It effectively means that players who wish to continue training as the club looks to right itself will do so knowing that if they are injured, they will not be covered by the club’s insurance. It could potentially limit what training players are willing to partake in, relative to the risk involved.

Furthermore, players who are currently undergoing treatment for previous injuries that are funded with the club’s insurance policy will not have their treatment paid for.

It’s a further dent in any hopes that the club will be back playing anytime soon.

With other clubs – in the UK and overseas – waiting in the wings to take their pick of the best athletes at the club, the decision may well push players further towards the exit.

All Warriors players and staff were due to be paid on Friday, but the PA news agency confirmed that did not happen, meaning that players are now entitled to start looking elsewhere for employment.

There is some hope. Two consortiums, one involving former Worcester chief executive Jim O’Toole, are understood to have expressed interest in buying the club out of administration.

* RugbyPass, Additional reporting PA