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Worcester Warriors Supporters Trust claims there are new bidders for troubled club

Worcester Warriors' Sixways home will be occupied by two sides in the 2023-24 season - Warriors Women in Premiership Women's Rugby and non-league football side Worcester Raiders
Worcester Warriors' Sixways home will be occupied by two teams in the 2023-24 season - Warriors Women, in Premiership Women's Rugby, and non-league football side Worcester Raiders

Worcester Warriors fans are claiming that there are fresh bidders for the troubled former Premiership club.

A deal was agreed on 1 February with new 'owners' Atlas before a May announcement to say it was completed.

But it was confirmed in August that the club remains in administration, while the sale to Atlas drags on.

Now, Worcester Warriors Supporters Trust says it is "aware of at least one other party trying hard to purchase the rugby club in its entirety".

Although they owned several companies, the club was largely split into two under previous co-owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring.

WRFC Trading Ltd, which did not own the land and stadium at Sixways, went into administration last September, before WRFC Players Ltd was wound up in the High Court in London a week later.

Begbies Traynor, the administrators, have confirmed that "WRFC Trading Ltd's business and assets were sold to Atlas Worcester Warriors Rugby Club Ltd on 2 May 2023, as previously reported to all creditors."

A Begbies Traynor report issued on 7 August also said that Atlas had so far paid £2.05m and are required to pay a further £1m by 9 October.

The Worcester Warriors Supporters Trust have told BBC Hereford & Worcester that at least one other bidder is still looking to purchase the rugby club, stadium and land in its entirety.

But this is no longer understood to involve former Warriors director of rugby Steve Diamond, whose consortium, along with main former club sponsor Adam Hewitt, were the main rivals when Atlas were chosen as preferred bidders by Begbies Traynor last October.

In a statement issued on Monday, Julie Palmer, from Begbies Traynor said: "The joint administrators have run an extensive marketing process since the date of our appointment to maximise the return to creditors in accordance with the Insolvency Act.

"The joint administrators have always engaged with all serious and committed interested parties.

"In addition, we also informed all interested parties that they need to provide sufficient proof of funding.

"On 29 August 2023, we exchanged emails with the supporters' trust on the matter and requested certain details from them.

"To date they have not responded to our email. As previously stated, social media reports (including the latest Supporters Trust statement) on the process and offers received contain material inaccuracies."

Atlas have a licence to use Sixways as their trading premises and the stadium will be occupied by Worcester Warriors Women, when the rebranded Premiership Women's Rugby season starts in November, and non-league football club Worcester Raiders for their respective 2023-24 seasons.

It is now 13 months since the previous Worcester owners' financial issues were first brought into the public domain, closely followed by the Midlands' other Premiership side Wasps, and approaching a year since the Warriors men's team played their last game.

Neither Worcester nor Wasps, whose owner Chris Holland continues to be linked with Sixways, have a side registered with the Rugby Football Union to compete in the 2023-24 season, which began on Saturday.

The earliest either could compete again is September 2024.