Steve Diamond, the former Worcester Warriors director of rugby, has revealed he was part of a consortium that wanted to buy the club from administration.
Diamond and the rest of Worcester’s players and staff had their contracts terminated earlier this month after the club went into administration and were suspended for the remainder of the Gallagher Premiership season.
However, Diamond has spent the last month planning a bid to buy the club alongside Adam Hewitt, the club’s former shirt sponsor who helped pay for the team’s trip at the start of the season when Worcester ran out of money, with a London-based investor.
“It’s about the survival of rugby and how to rebuild the club in the Championship, making it sustainable so that in two, three, four years maximum I can bring the club back to the Premiership,” Diamond told Telegraph Sport.
Diamond added that while discussions regarding the “P” share were ongoing – the share that entitles shareholders to a percentage of the league’s central revenue as well as voting rights worth approximately 10 million, but can be reabsorbed into Premiership Rugby with Worcester in administration – the consortium were prepared to buy the club with or without the share in place. “If we don’t have him, the plan works without him,” Diamond added.
Simon Cohen, the former Leicester Tigers chief executive, has been named a potential non-executive director as part of the consortium along with Mike Blood, a lawyer linked to Sale Sharks.
“We have a management team in place and already practically a team”
The consortium also plans to repay Worcester’s creditors. “There are two or three horses in the running, so I don’t want to be left behind by property developers who think they can kill,” Diamond continued.
“Until we get the exclusivity, which is the next step, the investor in London is a wealthy benefactor who loves rugby but not enough to lose £5m, £6m a year like It only works with the three of us, with myself being the bandleader and those two having one element of real estate experience and the other being the main sponsor. backstage for a month.
“To run a top-flight Championship club for a year or two, to break even, which we can do, recruitment has to happen now. We have a management team in place and practically a team already, as long as we manage to win the bid, which can be a challenge in the championship, to do things right financially so that we don’t rise and fall again. We can never have this again. situation, or Cecil [Duckworth, the former Worcester owner] will turn in his grave. If we get the green light, we will be ready for next season.”
“It was an impending disaster”
Diamond added that he was also open to the prospect of leading a Barbarians-style squad of Wasps and Worcester players to take on clubs in the new year to fill any schedule gaps ahead of the 2022-23 campaign. , adding that he had 30 players. “hot to trot” to play next season.
Having joined the Worcester coaching staff at the end of 2021 initially as a consultant, Diamond has seen the financial mess behind the scenes at Sixways firsthand.
“It was a disaster that was still waiting to happen,” Diamond said. “But the skill of this job is to rebuild the club from the foundations that have been massively shattered. Anyone who thinks they can bring it back in a year is either kidding or lying. It takes a long time to put the basics in place. I don’t don’t want to see a bit of kidology. It takes someone experienced in rugby like me, a local businessman and another investor with a broader vision for the pitch that will create the legacy profile in the future.
Diamond also revealed he spoke with Bill Sweeney, the chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, who reacted positively to the consortium’s plan and vision for Worcester.