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Serious step up in stadium for Worcester Raiders after rugby takeover!

worcester raiders worcester warriors

West Midlands Regional League clubs can look forward to kicking off at the Sixways home of the Worcester Warriors after the co-owners of the rugby giants bought the Worcester Raiders!

Football will be played at Sixways when the 2020/21 season kicks off in September after Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham announced they’d become joint majority owners of the West Midlands Regional League Premier Division club on Wednesday.

Although rugby fixtures will take precedence, everyone involved in the venture believes the arrival of the Step 6 Raiders will significantly increase the use of facilities at Sixways and the number of spectators visiting the 12,000 seater stadium.

The artificial grass pitch at the Championship standard ground has been certified by the Football Association as good to go and new Raiders chairman Steve Harris shares the ultimate ambition of the Warriors’ co-owners to build a Football League club in Worcester.

Harris told the Premiership Rugby club’s website: “In my short space of time as chairman of Worcester Raiders, there has been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes and different opportunities that have come along.

“My goal at the beginning was to make us financially viable to compete in the new season which has been extremely difficult and challenging with the Coronavirus and ground delays at Claines Lane .

“I always said I believed Worcester should have a team in the Football League one day that everyone can support and be proud of. I’m proud to say today this vision is now one step closer after several weeks of discussions .

“The Bond Group owned by Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring have agreed a takeover of our club with Worcester Raiders retaining a percentage shareholding of the club. Jason and Colin have been explanatory from the start and have great plans at Sixways that we are excited to be a part of.

“The 2020/2021 season we see us playing at Sixways at a capacity stadium of 12,000 under the team name of Worcester Raiders FC managed by Karl Gormley and Chris Cornes. I urge everyone in Worcester to get behind us in this fantastic new venture and stadium.”

Whittingham said: “Our vision has always been to make Sixways a multi-sport centre and to maximise the use of the excellent facilities we have here.

“The COVID-19 lockdown has given us the chance to look at the business and our plans for the future. We have probably accelerated a few of our plans as a consequence including bringing Worcester Raiders to Sixways.

“They are a young and ambitious club with a progressive committee who are excited by the prospect of playing their home matches in a stadium of Championship football standard.

“We believe that Raiders are the right fit for what we are trying to achieve here. We want to strengthen our links with the local community and broaden our appeal and Raiders, who were formed as a youth team only 19 years ago, already have an excellent community programme.

“In addition to increasing the use of the stadium we also have the potential to increase overall attendance at Sixways over the season by more than a third.

STEPPING UP: The Sixways Stadium

“This is a very positive and significant step for the club as we continue to build a sustainable business with rugby at its core. We hope that Warriors supporters will join us in making Raiders feel at home here.”

According to the Worcester News, a potential move to Sixways involving Worcester City being taken over by Goldring and Whittingham collapsed in November 2019.

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Images courtesy of The Non-League Paper, warriors.co.uk & @WorcsWarriors/Twitter

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