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Morecambe FC co-owners' rugby club woes will have "no impact" on Shrimps

The Morecambe FC board has assured fans that problems at a rugby club owned by the Shrimps' bosses will have "no impact" at the Mazuma.

This came after Worcester Warriors, a rugby union club owned by Morecambe FC co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham, was issued with a winding-up petition by HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs).

A statement on the Morecambe FC website on Monday said: "Following the update from Worcester Warriors dated 22 August 2022, the Morecambe Football Club Board of Directors, including the owners, would like to reassure supporters that this has no impact on Morecambe FC. 

"Our finances are independent, as are our budgets. We do not owe Worcester Warriors any monies and the only shared position is that we have owners in common.

"We continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the Club maintains a healthy position and will continue to do so moving forwards.

"We wish Worcester Warriors and all associated the very best."

Mr Goldring and Mr Whittingham made a statement today, which was published on the Worcester Warriors website.

"There has been much speculation and rumour circulating in the media and among our supporters about the future of Worcester Warriors.

"Over the past week a lot of work has been done away from the media spotlight to try to navigate the club through the challenges that we currently face.

"That work continues, discussions are ongoing and we are reviewing the options available to the club.

"We continue to work closely with HMRC, Premiership Rugby, the RFU and DCMS to find the best solution to the situation. We are very grateful for the support these organisations have shown to the club.

"We are now working through a number of options with our advisors. These include solutions for keeping rugby at Sixways and we will communicate further as soon as a decision has been finalised.

"We are grateful to our staff, supporters, partners, sponsors and suppliers for their commitment, loyalty and support during what has been a difficult period for all involved in the club.

"We also greatly appreciate the messages of concern and support that we have received from across the rugby world and the wider sporting community."

In a statement on August 17, the Worcester Warriors website said: 

"Worcester Warriors, along with many other businesses and most sports clubs have found the past two years extremely challenging owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise in the cost of living.

"We retained our staff but lost income during the various lockdowns during which the overwhelming majority of matches were played behind closed doors.

"We returned to normal operations 12 months ago carrying a tax liability to HMRC. From the outset, we have worked closely and openly with HMRC on a plan to clear these liabilities and a Time to Pay (TTP) arrangement has been in place.

"The club owners and board are fully committed to preserving top-flight professional rugby in Worcester and have been working on solutions to secure the financial future of Worcester Warriors and to pay outstanding tax owed to HMRC.

"A solution, which would secure the long-term future of the club, has been approved. Unfortunately, there have been unavoidable delays beyond the club’s control to the final tasks required to complete the funding.

"Having kept HMRC fully apprised of the situation we are disappointed that they have taken the decision to issue a winding-up petition. The club’s directors are in continuing dialogue with HMRC in an attempt to find a speedy and satisfactory resolution.

"We have also been in communication with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Premiership Rugby and the RFU [Rugby Football Union] regarding this matter."

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