Steve Diamond says the Worcester Warriors will have a mindset that Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership clash against Newcastle will be their last game at Sixways.
Warriors rugby director Diamond described the club’s current succession of dark days as a “period of near purgatory”.
Worcester have until early Monday evening to provide Rugby Football Union with evidence that they have the necessary insurance, are able to meet payroll and have a “credible plan to move the club forward”.
The Warriors are saddled with debts totaling more than £25m, including at least £6m in unpaid taxes, amid growing anger felt by owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham, who have been accused of dispossessing the club.
If Worcester does not provide guarantees on funding and insurance requested by the RFU, they have been informed that the suspension could lead to the total removal of all leagues.
In that context, Worcester will host the Falcons, and Diamond said, “Our mindset tomorrow is that it’s our last game at Sixways, ever. I’m very proud of the boys leaving tomorrow. No need for team talk.
“And we’re going to Worcester tomorrow night for a team beer. We’ll find some little bars and clubs for older gentlemen like me to hang out in the corner.”
Culture Minister Stuart Andrew said on Thursday that the government would “immediately” send professional advisers to take a closer look at the club and possible options.
Placing the club in administration is a decision that “we will not be afraid to take” if it is considered the most appropriate, the minister added.
Decision day is fast approaching, and Diamond said: “We’ve been in this period of near-purgatory for some time now, and it’s starting to come to a head, no doubt with the possibility of being suspended on Monday.
“I don’t know how he got to this position. It’s sad, and it’s diabolical that I was allowed to walk to the cemetery, virtually, and I never thought I’d get to this position, but I did.
“Just getting 23 guys to do their best is all I’m interested in right now, and if people had the same mindset behind the scenes that I have, I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in.”
Diamond also addressed the likely scenario of Worcester being suspended and his season suspended.
“I don’t want to guess, but I know one thing, I’m going to have a look at some places in the sun in the next fortnight if we’re suspended,” he said.
“From what I believe, if we are suspended, because there is no liability insurance, we will not be able to use the stadium to train, so we will have to train off-site, maybe a local school or what have you, but I think I can give them a time off.
“To be fair to the league, to be fair to the union (RFU), you can’t have a team without playing five or six games and putting them back together.
“I’m assuming that if we are suspended and go into administration, it would be a two or three week process and we could play after the break. We have a farewell week in two weeks.
“If the right investor with the right equity investment, working capital money, comes along, then you wouldn’t have to be Warren Buffett (American business tycoon) to turn things around.
“There was no financial control, no real graft into the business.”