THERE was uproar within the Worcester and wider rugby community on Friday evening as Warriors' owners seemed to take aim at the club's players and supporters in a supposed apology letter.

In a statement given to ITV Central, the letter addressed the club's financial woes and the owners apologised for all the "emotional distress" the situation has caused.

Warriors were placed in administration shortly after being suspended from all competitions by the RFU on Monday evening.

The letter then seemed to blame the players at the club for not accepting reductions in their salary as a reason for the financial problems.

"Dear Staff, Supporters and Community of Worcester Warriors," the letter read from owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring.

"We are sorry to you all that the Club is in this current position and for the emotional distress this must have caused but we remain hopeful, through the process of Administration, that the Club can find a new Owner and emerge in a stronger position in order to preserve Rugby at Sixways.

"We are thankful to all of the staff that supported the Club through Covid in accepting a significant reduction in their Salary but sorry that the Playing Squad could not accept a similar level of reduction and in some Player’s instances would not accept any pay cut at all despite our openness at the financial impact this would have on the club."

Worcester's players, past and present, came forward in their numbers in response.

And if that was not enough, the owners then turned on the supporters, saying they were "sorry there were not more, nor enough of you on a regular basis to help make the club financially viable".

"We are thankful to all of the Supporters who continued to support the Club in any way they could, including many that donated their season ticket payment during the lockdown, and to the Government for the Furlough support that enabled us to keep every single staff member fully employed throughout the pandemic when many Club’s and Business’ were making redundancies.

"In doing so the Club took on enormous debt like so many others but we felt it was the right thing to do.

"We are thankful to those supporters who turned up week in week out to support the Club but sorry that there were not more, nor enough of you on a regular basis to help make the Club financially viable despite the significant personal funds we put into the Club."

Supporters were rightly hurt by the comments.

The final stage of the remarkable letter then had an air of resignation about it as they were "thankful for the highlights on the pitch" before signing off saying they would continue to find "the best possible outcome" for the club.

"We are sorry that we did not have the foresight during the Pandemic to cut back on the Squad budget but instead remained committed to giving the Club the best chance of being competitive.

"We are thankful for the highlights on many match days but sorry that we were not able to win more games for those Supporters that did turn up.

"We are thankful to the DCMS for the Financial Support they gave to all Clubs during the Pandemic but sorry that the post-pandemic recovery did not happen overnight and that many Clubs, like Worcester, are struggling with the debts we incurred during Covid.

"Despite this we remain committed to working with the Administrator, and DCMS, to deliver the best possible outcome for this Club, Supporters and the Community of Worcester."