Worcester Warriors will consider leaving the city – if it helped the proposed sale of the club, who are currently bottom of the Premiership.
Warriors chairman Bill Bolsover told BBC Hereford & Worcester that the idea of leaving the city is “a long shot”.
But he also did not categorically dismiss a Wasps-style move elsewhere, if owners Sixways Holdings Ltd sell.
“We’re going through the process of selling the club in total, rather than by investment,” said Bolsover.
“That has not been discussed in any detail. No-one has said that’s what they want to do. I think that would be a long shot. But, until I have got an offer on the table I don’t know whether it’s in or out.
“If we happen to go down that route, which is highly unlikely, then we would have to look at the rules within the PRL (Premiership Rugby Ltd) as to exactly what we can do. I think there are one or two.”
‘Crowds not what they should be’
Bolsover is part of the board with Warriors’ owners, Sixways Holdings Limited, for whom Greg Allen is the figurehead.
“It still depends on the deal we finally get to. Greg Allen is being very reasonable about the whole thing,” added Bolsover.
“If someone wants to buy the club but can’t afford to buy all the facilities, then he would certainly do something which meant he kept the facilities for a number of years.
“If someone came along as a developer and wanted to buy the complete facilities, he’d discuss that as well.”
The club’s reported total market value is £26.7m, made up of the 50-acre Sixways site, valued at £17m, and the club itself, at £9.7m.
Warriors have averaged home crowds of just over 7,000 in their five matches at the 11,500-capacity Sixways this season.
Saturday’s gate of 6,081 for the 24-21 Anglo-Welsh Cup home defeat by Sale was their lowest of the campaign so far.
“Commercially we are doing OK,” Warriors managing director Gus Mackay told BBC Hereford & Worcester. “But we are driven by crowd numbers, which we accept have not been what they should be.
“If we get some wins together, the crowds will come. Traditionally, our attendances have always increased as the season goes on.”
They are currently in the hands at first team level of Alan Solomons, while director of rugby Gary Gold, who is to leave at the end of the season to become USA coach, is back in South Africa on extended leave.
The short history of Premiership rugby at Sixways
Sixways Holdings Limited took over when Warriors’ main long-time benefactor Cecil Duckworth, now also part of the board as club president, stepped back his involvement.
Duckworth remains part of a six-man board, which also includes Mackay, Allen, John Crabtree, Bolsover and Anthony Glossop.
The old Worcester Rugby Football Club had a variety of homes in and around the city until they moved to Sixways in 1975, after which Warriors bought the freehold.
Worcester first won promotion to the Premiership back in Duckworth’s heyday, under coach John Brain in 2004.
This is their third successive season – and 12th overall – in the top flight, interrupted only by relegation in 2010 and 2014.
Source: BBC Here