Cornish Pirates forced to delay switch to new stadium

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

Cornish Pirates have had their hopes of Premiership rugby next season dashed after chairman Dickie Evans confirmed they will stay at Mennaye Field.

The club had hoped to move into the planned new Stadium for Cornwall in Truro some time next season.

But mean it will not be ready until the 2013-14 campaign.

"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," said Evans.

Pirates had an agreement to groundshare with Plymouth Argyle for part of next season as the Mennaye does not meet Premiership standards.

But in a statement, Evans said: "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."

Premiership grounds must have a capacity of 10,000, while the Mennaye, in Penzance, can only accommodate 3,500 spectators.

The new stadium was set to be shared with Blue Square Bet South side Truro City, but they have yet to sign up to the deal as they struggle with financial problems.

But Evans is confident that his side will make the move to the new stadium and it will be ready no matter what happens to Truro City.

"We are assured that the business plan for the stadium remains robust despite the doubt involving Truro City FC and their commitment," he said.

"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."

And despite the setback the club is still keen to push forward.

"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," Evans added.