Worcester Warriors players have been left in limbo after receiving conflicting information over whether they can leave the stricken club immediately.
After the government put the club into administration, the expectation was that the players were free to leave, but the Rugby Players’ Association has informed the squad they are still under contract.
Players had initially been told that “if the club enters administration you have the ability to immediately terminate your contract”. Accordingly, on Monday, when it was announced the club was being put into administration after being suspended from all competitions, the door appeared open for the players to leave.
However, the RPA clarified the situation and gave the players different information on Tuesday night in an email seen by the Guardian, because while WRFC Trading Limited is in administration, the company that they are contracted to – WRFC Players Limited – is not.
That, in turn, means that rather than being able to leave immediately, players have to wait to learn if they will be paid September’s wages on Friday. If not, they can give 14 days’ notice of their intention to leave, and in theory would be obliged to wait another fortnight before doing so.
The RPA’s email read: “The RFU has now confirmed that WRFC Players Limited [the company that you are contracted to] has not entered into administration. You may have seen that a different company WRFC Trading Limited has entered into administration. We can only imagine how frustrating this news will be and we will be speaking with all stakeholders to urge them to find a reasonable solution for the players as soon as possible. We will be in contact again as soon as we have further information.” As a result, the players are in limbo. Some are training in groups away from Sixways, others on their own and some have returned to their home towns. All, however, are contemplating alternatives according to the captain Ted Hill, amid widespread discussions with clubs over possible future moves.
“Everyone wants everything to work out at Worcester, but at the end of the day, we are professional players,” he said. “I think people will be being advised by their agents about what is the best thing to be doing going forward.”