Wolverhampton club permanently shut and 200 jobs at risk as Rileys Sports Bars collapses

The Wolverhampton branch of Rileys Sports Bars is to close after the chain collapsed into administration putting more than 200 jobs at risk.

A darts open qualifying event taking place at Rileys Sports Bar, Wolverhampton in 2015.
A darts open qualifying event taking place at Rileys Sports Bar, Wolverhampton in 2015.

The darts, snooker and pool club in Wolverhampton city centre is one of four Rileys to have already been permanently shut down with 44 jobs expected to be lost as a result.

The news will come as a blow to darts and pool clubs across the city, with many league matches taking place at the venue in Broad Street.

Rileys in Grays, Worcester and Sheffield have also closed but administrators for the Milton Keynes-based firm are looking for a buyer to take over 17 other sites across the country.

Phil 'the power' Taylor at Rileys in 2007

All Rileys have been shut since the coronavirus lockdown started in March, with the company saying it would look to open a "handful" of clubs at the beginning of August after the Government announced pubs could reopen from July 4.

Administrators are now hoping that a buyer can save the remaining 164 jobs at Rileys, including for staff at bars in Birmingham city centre, Solihull and Coventry which are so far not earmarked to stay shut.

A statement from Rileys said: "It is with great sadness that yesterday we had to make the very difficult decision to permanently close our sites in Grays, Wolverhampton, Worcester and Sheffield.

Phil Taylor, Robbie Savage and Judd Trump at Rileys in 2012

"The Covid-19 pandemic has had a far reaching effect on the business and the wider hospitality industry.

"As such we have re-evaluated the business to ensure that we have a strong proposition to take forward into the post coronavirus world.

"We can not thank our customers enough for their loyalty over the years

"We will miss you all greatly but your memberships will still be valid at your closest Rileys when we reopen."

Philip Watkins, administrator at FRP, added: "We expect there to be interest from prospective buyers who will take the sites forward and welcome back customers as the UK leisure market opens back up."

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