Worcester Warriors owners have created THIRTEEN companies with links to the club since joining the board of directors in 2018… with Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham using parts of the network to transfer ownership of the club’s major assets
- The Worcester Warriors owners have created 13 companies with links to the club
- Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have used the network to transfer assets
- They have carved off Worcester’s money-making elements into one company
- The Warriors will be banned from all competitions from Monday afternoon
The owners of crisis club Worcester Warriors have created a complicated web of 13 companies with links to the club since joining the board of directors in 2018.
In recent months, Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have used parts of the network to transfer ownership of the club’s major assets.
Last week it was revealed the pair have lawfully carved off Worcester’s money-making elements into one of the separate companies, Sixways Stadium Limited, leaving the rugby club to operate separately. The new company will retain all of the club’s matchday, hospitality and sponsorship income.
The Worcester Warrior owners have created separate 13 companies with links to the club
Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have used the network to transfer ownership assets
Sixways Stadium Limited — set up by Whittingham and Goldring in June — is described on Companies House as ‘other letting and operating of own or leased real estate’. The company took out two loans last month with the English Sports Council, meaning the Council was required to sign off on the changes.
There is no suggestion that the directors have breached any laws or regulations, but creditors this week expressed concerns over the moves, with one reportedly accusing the Government of aiding the ‘asset stripping’ of the club.
The creditor is said to have asked the English Sports Council to explain ‘why they thought this was in the best interests of the club and the taxpayer?’
Mr Whittingham said that, if the details of the transactions were properly understood, it ‘would demonstrate that any and all actions have always been in the best interests of the club and the community’.
Worcester Warriors defeated Newcastle Falcons 39-5 today in their final game for a while
Sport England confirmed that they had acted as ‘loan agent for the finance provided by the Government’ but said they could not comment on individual cases.
Further analysis by The Mail on Sunday has discovered 12 further companies set up or operated by Whittingham and Goldring and connected to the stricken club.
A number of these companies have been used to transfer assets within the group, including moves which split land into separate businesses from the club. Other assets have been sold off or mortgaged as the owners battle financial difficulty.
Boss Steve Diamond gathered his team in a huddle on the pitch at the end of today’s game
The owners sold the club’s Sixways car park to themselves for just £50,000 in August — the day after being hit by legal action over unpaid taxes. The asset was sold to their company WRFC Trading Limited, the company that runs the club.
The company has been handed a winding-up petition by HMRC. The car park deal was paid with a loan from Triangle Estate & Petroleum Ltd.
Worcester’s financial accounts for 2020 state that as a whole, the site had been independently valued at £16.7million. That estimate includes the stadium, the car park and pitches.
Diamond has been determined to keep the club going despite the Warriors hitting rock bottom
Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have lawfully carved off elements into one company
The freehold of the stadium and the club’s car park were transferred in August to a company called Mq Property Ltd.
As a result of the transactions, Mq Property Ltd now owns the bulk of the land the club sits on, but does not face a winding up petition.
Goldring has previously called accusations of asset-stripping ‘completely false’. He said transfers and sales of assets had been made to protect the club and enable it to pay staff wages.
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