It’s been over a year since we were allowed to admit full crowds into Sixways and that year has been extremely challenging not just for our club but for our sport. There is hope that we will see crowds returning through June and then, hopefully, back up to normal levels for the start of next season.
The financial challenges faced by all of us have then been compounded by our performances on the pitch. We are not just owners but we are also supporters and those of you that we have had the opportunity to speak with will hopefully understand that we are as passionate about winning as every one of you and that we too feel the huge disappointment of these losses.
We have invested a great deal of time, emotion and money in this club in order to fulfil the ambition we share with all of you to finally see Warriors move up the table and returning the consistency in performances that we need, and we all deserve as supporters, to be a sustainable top six club.
Strategically we have been planning for next season since we first acquired the club back in September 2018. This is how long it takes to assemble the coaches and players and to go through two full cycles of recruitment and retention to then have those people in place who you believe will build on all of the good work of those that have gone before.
The continued commitment of the coaches and players during this season, in the face of some devastating losses, frustrations and negativity on social media, is commendable and whilst we make this final transition a great deal of effort has been put in to ensure the long-term vision is achieved.
Significant change will always come at significant cost and that is not just financial cost. We knew this season was going to be tough as it was the season when we would have to deal with decisions that were made almost three years ago. That said we never envisaged it being this tough. But the plan was in place and we still believe in that plan. A part of that plan is to understand that to get where we want to be we need the resilience and resolve to see the process through to fruition and overcome the inevitable adversity along the way.
It is easy, when facing that adversity, to just focus on the negatives. We look at the players that are leaving us and we thank them for all that they continue to contribute. No loss is ever acceptable, not to any of us, the coaches or the players, but we remain positive and appreciate that the new players coming in, coupled with those we have retained, will create the right environment, culture and dynamic to now move this club forward.
As owners we are fully committed to financially and emotionally supporting the club in good times and in bad. We are doing everything we can within the parameters set by the salary cap. We support Solly’s vision and we fully believe in JT’s ability to run the rugby programme with the support of Solly, his team and the squad that we have assembled for next season.
We have made changes in personnel and we are also adding to the rugby support staff. Some of these additions are positions that the club have never previously appointed but we see them as essential to the continued growth. Those changes and additions will be communicated at the appropriate time. We are also still in a recruitment phase and have further squad announcements to make in due course.
What we need, and ask, is that you continue to support this club as we do. We know all too well that supporting is not always easy, but the harder the journey the more meaning success will have for every one of us.
The Premiership is the toughest competition in the world. The boys have often fought with heart and a small change would have made the difference in so many of our games this season, some perhaps more than others. We have looked hard at what we are doing, questioned everything, know what needs to be done and are prepared to make the right choice no matter how hard it may be.
Change is never easy, especially the level of change this season. We are in this together and we all share the same pain. But do not question the commitment, ambition and drive of everyone at the club, in now bringing that plan to fruition.
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Sixways when the restrictions are lifted and we look forward to a brighter future for the club and the country.
Colin and Jason