WORCESTER Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham are on a mission to turn Sixways into a “powerhouse”.

But the pair are “opposed to just throwing money at it” and have put together a “five-year plan to become a stable top-tier club”.

Goldring and Whittingham joined Warriors’ board last October before being named joint owners following Jed McCrory’s departure in June.

The duo, who also run League Two football club Morecambe, believe they can change the fortunes of Warriors who have been perennial underachievers in the Gallagher Premiership.

“This club deserves to be one of those big-boy, top-playing clubs,” Goldring told The Rugby Paper.

“But its history has kept it suppressed a long way behind its real potential — and that’s what Jason and I saw when we bought the place.

“Jason and I got involved in the sports business with Morecambe FC and they’d had a bit of a turbulent period before we went in there.

“Nobody really knew who owned their shares so we had to work all of that out.

“But we found we had a good knack of turning things around there through applying real commercial strategies which is what our business background is all about.”

Warriors first gained promotion to the top flight in 2004 but have since experienced two relegations and are yet to better their highest placing of eighth which came 13 years ago.

They have also undergone numerous changes behind the scenes with Alan Solomons, who was appointed director of rugby in December 2017, the latest man to take the reins.

“People call Warriors a sleeping giant but it’s never been that,” Goldring said.

“It’s been sitting there waiting for someone to really grow it.

“We had a detailed analysis done around the rugby, the business side and the assets around what we could do with the place to make it sustainable long-term as opposed to just throwing money at it and going boom and bust and we believe we can turn this place into a powerhouse.

“Having been in here for nine months I believe it even more.

“We’re already exceeding expectations both in terms of growth of commercial partnerships and on the rugby side I’m very happy with the work of Alan — we’ve just extended his contract because he’s part of our long-term — and we’re doing everything in a calculated, properly planned way.

“It’s a mountain of a task but we’ve got the knowhow and the team in place with excellent heads of marketing, commercial and operations and an excellent director of rugby.”

Warriors lost £5.8million in the 2017-18 season and speaking to the Worcester News in June Whittingham said he anticipated losing “several million” when the next set of figures come out.

But the club’s co-owners are aiming to be in a break-even position after three years and Goldring told the Rugby Paper that the financial position was “not as bad as it looks”.

“Reported losses are high because there’s been a lot of investment in this club,” Goldring said.

“The previous owners, Greg and Dave Allen, invested heavily in the infrastructure at Sixways — new stands, gyms, 3G pitches etc — and the losses on the various balance sheets down the years are mainly due to those things.

“A lot of money was spent but it’s not as bad as it looks and there’s a lot of other stuff happening around Sixways that is going to make Worcester industry-leading across so many aspects of the business.

“We want to be leading in rugby but also want to be industry-leading as a conferencing and events arena.

“There is a big development plan which I can’t say too much about yet but it will delight our fans.

“We have the luxury of owning our own land which a lot of Premiership clubs don’t have and that opens up a lot of funding opportunities.

“The local authorities at city and county level are extremely supportive and want to see the club at the heart of the community.

“We bring something special to the area without just being totally rugby-focused.”

Goldring added: “Watch this space because we have a five-year plan to become a stable top-tier club that can compete at the highest level.”