Cornish Pirates chairman Dickie Evans 'dismayed' at stadium delay

Artists' impression of Stadium for Cornwall
The new stadium has planning permission to be built

Cornish Pirates chairman Dickie Evans says he is "dismayed" at plans to delay work on a new stadium for Cornwall.

The delays have been caused by the financial problems being suffered by proposed tenants Truro City as well as further work that is needed on transport and drainage issues.

It means the Pirates will not be able to play at the ground next season.

"I am dismayed that factors outside our control mean that the agreed business plan cannot be achieved," Evans said.

The club had hoped to groundshare with Plymouth Argyle for part of next season should they win the Championship and get promoted to the Premiership.

The Pirates' current home at the Mennaye Field in Penzance does not meet Premiership criteria and Home Park is the nearest stadium that does.

Under the rules a Premiership club must have a stadium with a capacity of at least 10,000.

"Personally I am distraught and I feel extremely sad that so many good people who have put in so much effort have to handle this news," Evans said.

"Without doubt this will greatly affect our plans and I will now take stock over the next week with the key club management staff and the playing force to review options for the future of the Cornish Pirates."

A club spokesman refused to speculate on whether the Pirates would groundshare with Argyle for all of next season if they were to go up to the top flight.

Under the original plans the Pirates would share for the first part of next season until the stadium was finished.

The stadium is scheduled to be built by Cornwall Council with the Pirates and Truro City being its main tenants.

But with Truro City facing a high court winding up order over unpaid taxes next month, the council says they are not able to contribute to the stadium.

"Unfortunately Truro City Football Club are not currently in a position to commit to the project but discussions continue and the impact on the business plan is being considered," a statement from the council said.

"The timetable for completion has been extended in order to ensure that the viability of the project is thoroughly reviewed."

But Truro chairman Kevin Heaney told BBC South West that he expected his club to sign up to the stadium project by the end of the week.

He says he is waiting for a developer to commit to building a new retail park on the site of the club's current Treyew Road ground, a deal he expects will be done on Friday.

"Once that is signed it allows us to sign for the stadium," Heaney said.

"We will be 100% committed if our partner signs up.

"If we get a retail development partner for Treyew Road it's an income for life for the club. It allows us to be a viable tenant and allows us to sign up for the stadium."