WORCESTER Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons has added his support to the push for government to come to the aid of rugby union.

Warriors co-owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring “held constructive talks” with Mid-Worcestershire MP and under-secretary of state for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nigel Huddleston last week.

That came after a stark message from Sixways over the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, particularly those preventing fans from attending professional sports matches for up to six months, and not just at Worcester.

Solomons is known for taking care with public comments, not least when it comes to off-field matters, but he refused to sugar coat the obvious this week in stating external help is “definitely required”.

“It was very positive to have Nigel Huddleston visit us, I think he is appreciative of the role rugby plays in terms of the community in Worcester, the county and West Midlands,” said Solomons.

“These are circumstances totally beyond the control of any of the clubs. It was one thing to say that maybe by November, the start of the 2020-21 season, we would be playing (in front of crowds) but now it appears that will not be until March.

“That is a year without any gate money at all so I think the government will take cognisance of that.

“Everyone is in pretty much the same boat, the good thing is Colin and Jason are pretty hands-on and committed to the Warriors.

“There is the question of the development of the land here which will provide non-matchday revenue for the club so that is very positive but the truth is with no crowds for 12 months, some sort of assistance is definitely required.”

Speaking prior to that meeting, Whittingham was also appreciative of the urgency shown by Nigel Huddleston and Worcester MP Robin Walker.

“Nigel was very proactive about coming to meet with the club,” said Whittingham.

“We have an opportunity here to support the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games which Nigel is very keen for us to take.

“Likewise, I was very keen to chat to Nigel regarding the crisis facing this sport, not just this club but rugby as a whole, and to his credit he was incredibly flexible and arranged to visit at the earliest possible opportunity.

“He is very engaged with the process and the government is very engaged with our sport.

“Even though we are not in his constituency, a lot of Robin’s constituents are supporters and employees of the club so he has been very keen to help too.

“If nothing else, the statement served a purpose in terms of getting people to proactively engage with us.”

Asked what he hoped would come from the talks, Whittingham replied: “Some form of financial support for the industry.

“There is an amount of financial support that every owner of every club signs up to, Covid has made that exceptional so some kind of reasonable and sensible approach from the government to support an industry that is responsible for several thousand employees.

“It is not just them, every one of these clubs is an asset within its community. It is not just about kicking around an oval ball every Saturday or Sunday, and now kicking around a round ball, we do a lot of good work out in the community through our foundation.

“Last year, when Oscar (Saxelby-Lee) needed help getting treatment for a rare form of leukaemia, we put on a charity match so there is more to these clubs than simply being a sports business that plies its trade at the weekend, they are there when their communities need them.

“It is not wrong that when a club, sport or business needs support back from the community that it reaches out, which is exactly what’s happening now.”