Worcester: Premiership strugglers report eight million pound loss for 2016-17 season

Darren Barry of Worcester goes up in a line-out
Worcester Warriors' underlying loss for 2015-16, before taking into account the £20.4m written off by shareholders, was £6.6m

Premiership club Worcester Warriors have reported a pre-tax loss of £8.1m for the 2016-17 season.

Losses for the 12 months up to 30 June 2017 came after the club reported a pre-tax profit of £14.3m a year before.

The profit for 2015-16, however, came after the club's owners - who have put the Sixways side up for sale - wrote off loans worth £20.4m.

Worcester's 2016-17 report said: "The club continues to be reliant on its shareholders for financial support."

Warriors, in their third season back in the Premiership, lie 11th with three games left.

But, despite beating play-off hopefuls Newcastle on Saturday, they are still not safe from the threat of relegation.

They are now only nine points clear of bottom club London Irish, who are enjoying an end-of-season revival.

The club have had a turbulent season, which has seen Gary Gold succeeded as director of rugby by fellow South African Alan Solomons, while a major end-of-season reshuffle of their backroom team has already been announced.

But they still have England and Lions centre Ben Te'o on the payroll and last month announced a new contract for star South African scrum-half Francois Hougaard.

Warriors also had a change of chief executive last summer, Gus Mackay, having joined the six-man board on 12 June 2017, to replace the outgoing Jim O'Toole, who officially departed 18 days later, the end of the time period which the accounts cover.

Warriors chairman's response

Warriors Chairman Bill Bolsover:

"We recognise that the level of spending seen during the 2016-17 financial year is not sustainable and we have worked to reduce outgoings substantially in order to decrease our losses.

"The financial stability of the club is of course a priority for us and we are also focused on maximising our commercial revenues to support the rugby set-up.

"Our commercial performance for the 2017-18 financial year will be far stronger than it was in the previous year and the financial support needed from our shareholders will decrease by around 50 per cent, which illustrates that we are making significant improvements financially.

"We have put together a challenging budget to balance costs against income and we are tracking well against it."

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