TAKEN FROM THE CORNISH PIRATES SITE RESUMEE OF THE MEETING HELD AT THE MENNAYE ON THURSDAY EVENING
It was back in 2005 that the Cornish Pirates declared their dream of one day making the Premiership.
It is a dream that is still very much alive, and one given a boost following a meeting that took place in the Travis Perkins Marquee at the Mennaye Field, Penzance, last night.
Addressing a large number of ‘Pirates Futures’ members and members of Penzance & Newlyn RFC, the Chairman of Directors for the Cornish Pirates, Dicky Evans, announced that following meetings with the Cornwall Council a chance of a stadium for Cornwall was REAL.
Evans has put together an advisory team comprising legal,financial and stadium management experts who have analysed the proposals contained in a feasibility study commissioned by the Council. Sensitivity analyses indicate that the Club could proceed to enter into a ten year management contract with the Council to manage the stadium at NIL COST to the Council and also therefore by association the council taxpayer.
The Cornish Pirates intend to put a proposal to the Council by the middle of February with a view to support a Council Cabinet approval in the short term followed by planning approval later in the year.
The achievement of Premiership status is the first target to underwrite forward financial budgets and the Club has now agreed budgets for a fully funded full time squad initially next season as the Pirates aim higher. It will take time to achieve as other clubs have found but the commitment is now in place with the Club moving to the new stadium as soon as its ready no matter where they are league wise.
The reaction of members at last evening’s meeting was extremely POSITIVE in support, but there are still various details to be considered.
As a part of the plans to move forward, the Pirates will have a slightly bigger full-time squad next season, to keep building what is an impressive developing team under the leadership of high performance manager Chris Stirling and the club coaches. In reply, Mr. Stirling commented that he was excited about the prospects, feeling “that the club was not far off now from having a crack at the Premiership.” Besides player numbers, off field staff would also be added to in a couple of areas.
The personal commitment by Mr. Evans would be considerable, but it was also hoped that supporters would participate in a debenture scheme to raise funds- further details to be confirmed in the next few days. The reaction from those present at the meeting certainly indicated that a worthy level of support for such a scheme from prospective debenture holders.
Many people feel that Premiership rugby is both deliverable and viable in Cornwall, which is one of the few genuine HOTBEDS of rugby in the country, and for supporters it is their chance to make it happen.
There was a question and answer session, thanks were expressed to various volunteers, whilst the point was also made that the time had come for Penzance & Newlyn RFC to stand up and manage itself, as Mr. Evans would have to concentrate on the financing for the Cornish Pirates going forward once they leave the Mennaye.
A further important announcement confirmed that Rod Coward, CEO for the Cornish Pirates, had decided to stand down at the end of the season. Commenting on the decision, Mr. Evans said: “Rod has been a fantastic CEO, and thanks are expressed to him not just from myself, but also my family and all of our supporters.”
The Cornish Pirates will in time appoint a new CEO, but for the immediate future it is felt that there is a core of staff who can hold things together until such an appointment is made.