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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 June, 2004, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
WRU axe falls on Warriors
Welsh Rugby Union group chief executive David Moffett
Moffett says the Warriors do not have enough money to survive
Celtic Warriors have been put into liquidation by the Welsh Rugby Union.

"I would like to thank the players and the staff for their efforts on behalf of the Warriors over the past season," said WRU chief executive David Moffett.

"While it is a regrettable decision, the company is not in a position to continue.

"The debtors far outweigh the creditors and there is simply no money left in the company with which to continue paying the wages of the staff."

The end for the Warriors had been on the cards ever since the WRU took full control of the season last month by buying the remaining 50% stake from former owner Leighton Samuel.

Moffett had always stressed the WRU could only afford to fund four regional sides.

We would have started next season with everything to play for
Former Warriors owner Leighton Samuel
Samuel has launched a legal battle against the WRU for the alleged misrepresentation during the sale agreement in promising the team would play on next season.

He told BBC Wales Sport he was "devastated" by the decision to close the Warriors down.

"They've liquidated a vibrant and solvent region full of quality players that would have played in the Heineken Cup next season," said Samuel, who bankrolled the region to the tune of 50,000 a month last season.

"I'm very disappointed we've reached this stage because we've put so much effort in the last year.

"We argued over the badge and the shirt, but all that was behind us and we would have started next season with everything to play for."

Last season's squad were encouraged by Moffett to search for alternative employment last week, and seven players have already secured new deals with other clubs.

The majority will be offered contracts by the remaining Welsh regions, but up to a dozen players and the coaching staff could find themselves without professional contracts.

Moffett revealed the decision to wind-up the region was taken last Friday, and he met the players and staff on Tuesday to inform them of the situation.

A meeting with the Warriors' creditors will be held on Friday, 18 June.

It remains to be seen whether the Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets will receive more funding from the WRU as a result of the Warriors' demise.



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