décembre 1, 2022

Joe Batley says Worcester Warriors players did take wage cut and there is huge anger aimed at owners | Rugby Union News

5 min read

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Former Worcester forward Joe Batley has hit back at the club’s owners, claiming the players did take a wage cut

Former Worcester forward Joe Batley has hit back at the club’s owners, claiming the players did take a wage cut

Former Worcester Warriors forward Joe Batley has hit back at the club’s owners, claiming the players did take a wage cut and admitting ‘huge anger and detest’ at them for the situation that has unfolded.

WRFC Players Ltd – the company which holds the contracts of Worcester’s players and some staff – was liquidated in the High Court on Wednesday, which saw all player employment immediately terminated.

Owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham issued a statement last Friday, claiming « some players would not accept any pay cut at all despite our openness at the financial impact this would have on the club, » while also criticising the club’s supporters.

Batley, speaking to Sky Sports on Thursday outside Sixways, refuted the claims and admitted to feeling upset, let down, and a high degree of anger.

« I’ve got no real feelings towards them [Worcester owners] now. There’s been anger and detest towards them for standing by and letting this happen, » Batley said.

« I don’t know what their game-plan was in the long term. The more you look into it, the more sinister it seems. I’m not assuming too much, but upset and let down is how I feel in this situation, and they are the brunt of it.

« It’s tough to hear [owners’ statement] because we did during Covid take a wage cut. It was forced upon us and then later on we decided to continue it for the betterment of the club.

Batley says the playing squad did take a wage cut during Covid, and chose to continue it

Batley says the playing squad did take a wage cut during Covid, and chose to continue it

« For them then to hit out at the fans afterwards is a very odd move. Very loyal, passionate fans, through losses and wins have stuck by us. To hit out against them is odd and to come at us as well, who for the last two months have done nothing but try to keep the games going at Sixways.

« Obviously they have their own agenda, and that’s up to them. But it was not welcomed by us, the playing group. »

Prior to speaking to Sky Sports, Batley had been in to clear his possessions out of the dressing room at Worcester, with the back-row/second-row now a free agent.

Batley admitted it was an emotional time, labelling the loss of the club as ‘unbearable’.

« Yeah, it’s hugely [emotional]. I was looking forward to another season at the club and for it to be cut short in only October is tough.

« We were building something here, there was a definite positive feeling around the place, so for it to be cut short not because of what we’ve done on the pitch but off it, is very tough to take.

« The light at the end of the tunnel was always there for us for it to happen at Worcester, but unfortunately now with the contracts being liquidated and being made redundant, we have to, selfishly, look at ourselves.

« I know personally I can’t go two months not being paid.

« A lot of professional rugby players go month-to-month on their salaries. I’m no exception to that. Luckily I had a little bit put away to survive one month not being paid, but with a little boy at home and a mortgage, I can’t to go two months.

Joe Batley spoke of his personal upset at the Worcester situation, and how he cannot afford to go two months without pay

Joe Batley spoke of his personal upset at the Worcester situation, and how he cannot afford to go two months without pay

« We’re very privileged. To get paid to do the job I love is unbelievable, and it’s all I ever wanted to do since the age of six. So to live it out has been unbelievable and I hope it’s not the end.

« It’s tough because everyone wished for it to go well, and I truly feel for the fans. The fan within me, I can’t imagine being a 10-year-old boy back home in Portsmouth losing my home club.

« On a grand scale, the amount of supporters and people losing a team in the Premiership is unbearable. »

Staff at Worcester went unpaid for September and received just 65 per cent of their salaries for August.

Batley paid tribute to them, while also expressing concern – both for his immediate future and that of his team-mates, and for the sustainability of rugby union.

« Not only are they good workers but they’re great people. Everyone has stuck together, and wished and willed it to work, not only for the club but for each other.

« The fact this has happened to them is tough, because they paid the ultimate sacrifice in August, getting paid only 65 per cent. They are never going to see the rest of that money, or indeed September’s money.

« They put a personal sacrifice for the better of the club, and unfortunately the club isn’t going to pan out how we wanted.

Batley labelled the loss of the club as 'unbearable' for the community

Batley labelled the loss of the club as ‘unbearable’ for the community

« The two weeks we’ve not been allowed to train as one and be together has been hard. When you are together with people in the same sort of circumstances as you, it calms you because you know you’re not the only one. When you’re by yourself, you’re kind of trapped in your own thoughts and the worst case scenario.

« My agent is looking for me now. Hopefully I’ve done enough in this season and last to be valued in the Premiership or by another club.

« Unfortunately, the salary cap in the Premiership decreased, which put a lot of players out of contracts last season. To now throw another 40-odd players into that, is a tough situation and my team-mates are now my competition.

« I’m hoping things will work out.

« This is probably a big wake-up call in terms of the sustainability of rugby union. It’s an amazing sport, and I think Covid probably accelerated this.

« I’m not too sure what the solution is. »



Source link