Rugby chiefs questioned on Worcester Warriors and Wasps financial collapse
22 November 2022
Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee questions English rugby’s governing bodies on how Worcester Warriors and Wasps were allowed to financially collapse.
- Watch Parliament TV: Sport governance
- Inquiry: Sport governance
- Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee
Thursday 24 November 2022, Wilson Room, Portcullis House
- Robin Walker MP, Member of Parliament for Worcester
- Carol Hart, chief executive, Worcester Warriors Foundation
- Bill Sweeney OBE, chief executive, Rugby Football Union
- Simon Massie-Taylor, chief executive, Premiership Rugby Limited
- Judith Batchelar OBE, chief executive, Rugby Players Association
Worcester’s debts totalled over £25 million, including at least £6 million in unpaid tax, while the Wasps Group was over £100 million in debt before the club was placed into administration.
The Committee is likely to ask whether more financial oversight is needed to prevent financial mismanagement and rising debts (the RFU’s cumulative losses since 2012 have been £73 million). Witnesses may be asked whether English rugby should adopt the more transparent model used by the French leagues.
The RFU’s regulation of ownership may be considered. At the time of its collapse, Worcester was partially owned by Colin Goldring, who was previously sanctioned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
MPs may also examine the likelihood of Wasps and Worcester returning to the Premiership and whether the clubs will retain their “P” shares in the league.