Press Statement

Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Statement from Wasps parent company Loxwood Holdings

The following is an update From Loxwood Holdings who are the current owner and custodian of Wasps RFC. The statement covers Loxwood's involvement with Worcester Warriors and its direct reference to Wasps. Loxwood and the Wasps management team wanted to share the statement directly with Wasps Supporters out of courtesy, and to reaffirm that whilst we are supporting the recovery of another phoenix club, our focus and commitment remains to return Wasps to the highest tier possible in a league that shares our values:

Atlas Worcester Warriors enters administration in the hope of bringing professional rugby back to Sixways

In May 2023, Loxwood Holdings, a group company that owns WASPS RFC stepped in to financially assist Atlas Worcester Warriors (“Atlas”) in completing its purchase of the former Worcester Warriors Rugby club from its administrators.

That financial assistance was only intended to be a short-term position to help and assist in the eventual recovery of Worcester Warriors and to allow WASPS a short-term option to play at Sixways Stadium in Worcester, as part of their committed and determined relocation to an eventual new stadium in Kent.

Unfortunately, despite Loxwood’s financial assistance, which included providing funding to meet the operational costs of the Stadium, Atlas was unable to meet its ongoing financial obligations. As a result, Atlas has entered into an insolvency process.

Facing this position, Loxwood were left with a difficult choice. Either seek the liquidation of Atlas which could have resulted in the closure of the Stadium or seek another solution, through a pre-packaged administration process. This would ensure the continued trading operation of the stadium, with funding being provided to energise the commercial operation, and at the same time support active steps to preserve and return elite level rugby, as Worcester Warriors.

Given that the ultimate and stated aim of Loxwood has always been to protect and recover elite level rugby, in a sustainable way, firstly for WASPS and now at Worcester under the name WORCESTER WARRIORS, we chose the latter and embarked on a strategy which involves:

  • Forming a newly incorporated group of companies who have acquired the business and assets of Atlas. This transaction has now completed. The newly formed group of companies have been funded by Loxwood with support from the local business community, several of whom have become shareholders in the new group.
  • Our newly formed group of companies will continue to employ all existing staff and actively expand the operations at the Stadium.
  • All existing and ongoing events and functions will continue uninterrupted. There is no disruption to ongoing stadium operations, and we will be looking to actively expand stadium business to make Sixways the thriving hub it can be.
  • Elite level rugby is important to Worcester, and we have had proactive dialogue with the RFU and the Championship, including giving formal notice to the RFU of the intent to return Worcester Warriors to the second tier of English Rugby. We are also exploring other opportunities to play competitive professional rugby at an elite level, including the possibility of a reformed women’s team.
  • Working with Wychavon District Council we engaged with Nigel Huddleston MP and Robin Walker MP and other interested stakeholders and embarked on a recovery plan to return the stadium to profitability and enable the return of Worcester Warriors and professional sport to Sixways.

We would hope that the community will flood back to Sixways under its new ownership and support what is an amazing sporting and conference and events facility. We have engaged and obtained the support of the Worcester Warriors Foundation, and the Worcester Amateur club and we will keep you informed through our website, which will be updated shortly.  Professional sport is important to Sixways and to Worcester, and the support of the business community and the Warriors supporters is not taken for granted. It is of huge importance to us.