EXCLUSIVE: Worcester Warriors players left FUMING at owners after failure to hand over thousands in agent’s fees… as ongoing turmoil leaves players ‘p***** off’ with up to 15 players losing five to 10 per cent of their salaries
- Structures allow clubs to deduct a percentage of player salaries to pay agents
- But Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have failed to pass on the funds
- There is a desperate need to find a takeover deal in order to keep the club afloat
Angry Worcester players have been left short-changed after the club failed to hand over thousands of pounds in agent’s fees.
Under new fee structures imposed this season, clubs are permitted to deduct a percentage from player salaries in order to pay to the agents.
However, The Mail on Sunday understands that Worcester’s co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have not been passing on the funds.
Worcester Warriors staff wrote a statement calling for an urgent change in ownership
The new legislation applies to all contracts starting from July 1, meaning up to 15 Worcester players have been losing between five and 10 per cent of their salaries.
One source claimed the latest financial mismanagement had left players ‘p***ed off’ amid the ongoing turmoil.
It is yet another debt that will be transferred over to any prospective investors, with a deal desperately required to keep the club afloat. Sunday’s fixture against Exeter was on the brink of being called off after the RFU issued a Friday deadline to secure a safety certificate to stage the event.
It is understood that the majority of Worcester staff did not see the ultimatum until late on Thursday night as it was not passed on by Goldring and Whittingham.
Co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have failed to pass on agent’s fees
To make matters more difficult, the club’s wifi and email system stopped working after the Microsoft licence expired.
Despite being paid zero or only 65 per cent of their salaries, non-playing staff worked through the night – only stopping between 1am and 5am – to ensure everything was put in place.
However, they may refuse to show the same goodwill ahead of next weekend’s fixture with Newcastle if the ownership situation is still not resolved.
Goldring did not respond to requests for an interview but Worcester lock Joe Batley, who has endured his fair share of personal turmoil after recovering from cancer, said morale among the Warriors players and staff was still holding up.
Steve Diamond’s side will play on Sunday after they beat an RFU deadline to host matches
‘It’s been a challenging time but the strength of the team and the staff has shown through,’ Batley told the Mail on Sunday. ‘It’s more than just the 15 guys on the pitch who are experiencing the uncertainty of livelihoods being lost. It’s been emotional but we’re all in it together. It’s galvanised us. We just hope it gets sorted out.’
It’s not the first time that Batley’s life has been turned upside down having been diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 21 when he played for Bristol. He was sent for chemotherapy and lost all of his hair.
‘I’d gone from being a really fit rugby player to struggling to walk up the stairs. I was getting chemo every 12 days and by the end I was throwing up a lot. It took its toll mentally and physically,’ he said.
Warriors were hammered 45-14 by London Irish in their Premiership opener last weekend
‘My mum took it really hard. Rugby was taken away from me, albeit momentarily, which was tough. I came back and luckily managed to get myself back into it. I was out for just over eight months and within a year I was back in the team. The rugby community helped me a lot.’
Now 26, Batley’s perspective on life has changed. He is less concerned about his own well-being, but more about those around him.
‘My whole life was flipped upside down but all I’d ever wanted to do was be a professional rugby player,’ he said. ‘That was a big motivator for me when I was sick. It does change your perspective.’
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