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Cornish Pirates' Promotion Hopes Dashed

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5:32am 16th December 2011
(Updated 5:32am 16th December 2011)

It is confirmed the Cornish Pirates will not get promoted to the premiership if they win the league.

Bosses do not think a Stadium for Cornwall will be built in time for next season.

It is after the council delayed the plans.

That means a deal to share Home Park because their ground does not meet standards, will not happen.

The High Performance Coach is quitting too.

Chris Stirling will go on sabbatical at the end of the year.

Bosses are hoping it is temporary.

Fan Russell Ahearn said, "You can only keep putting players on the premise at the beginning of the season that you're going to try to take them to the top level of rugby for so long. As supporters, through thick and thin, we'll accept whatever league we're in. But it's just a shame that the county don't seem to want to help us out and promote Cornish rugby as much."

In a statement the Chairman of Directors for the Cornish Pirates, Dicky Evans said, "Following three days of meetings and budgeting both in-house and with associated parties the Pirates now have a clear solid plan that can be delivered to cover our progress for at least the next two years.

"Primarily, it is evident that although well advanced, the planning and design plus implementation of the infrastructure associated with the stadium and surrounding environs will not be in place in time for the Pirates to pass a successful stadium audit from the RFU and Professional Game Board - due by 31st March 2012. This infrastructure covers water, sanitation and access.

"Consequently this means the Cornish Pirates will not have a base available in the season 2012-13 to allow them to be promoted should they manage to win the Championship this season.

"A temporary facility such as Home Park can only be used on a short term basis whilst the main base is not available, it cannot be used to replace a proposed facility.

"We have informed Plymouth Argyle of the circumstances now arising and we thank them for their understanding and support.

"We are , however, fully satisfied that subject to the INOX housing application being approved early next year that work on a stadium will start in 2012 at a time that will ensure delivery ready for use in the 2013-14 season.

"This also assumes that any opposition to the development does not succeed. We are also assured that the Business Plan for the stadium remains robust despite the doubt involving Truro City FC and their commitment.

"In summary, the Pirates will definitely be playing at the Mennaye next season and almost certainly moving to Truro for the following season whichever league is involved, including the Championship.

"The squad and coaches have been fully briefed and although very disappointed at the turn of events they are fully committed to continue in their quest to win both competitions, the Championship and the Cup this season.

"Nothing has changed in our ambitions to be the best on and off the field despite the one year delay in delivery of a stadium facility.

"I fully appreciate the support received this week from key staff at the Pirates in resolving the many issues arising and request the understanding of supporters. Nothing in life is easy that’s for sure.

Finally I wish all true rugby supporters and particularly those of the Cornish Pirates a healthy and safe Christmas and New Year."

5:32am 16th December 2011

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