Plymouth Albion finances secure until end of season

Plymouth Albion chairman Dr Graham Stirling says the club's finances are secure until the end of the season after a fundraising campaign.

Around £160,000 of the £250,000 needed to keep the club afloat has been pledged by fans and shareholders.

Stirling also revealed he is in talks with boss Nat Saumi to extend his role after the end of the season.

Saumi took over team affairs after the financial problems led to Pete Drewett leaving after just a month and a half.

after the former England hooker was sacked in November.

Stirling says he has been overwhelmed by the support that the club has had.

"It's been quite outstanding," he told BBC South West.

"We've still got a long way to go to get to our target of £250,000 but the response across the board has been phenomenal."

And he says that much of the pledges have been turned into full donations.

"Already the vast majority of that £160,000 has moved from pledges and it's money in the bank," he added.

"It helps immediately and gets us through January and February but this is working capital to get us through to the end of the season, in fact through to June.

"It takes the immediate pressure off but there is still that need for additional working capital."

Stirling will hold an open meeting for fans, shareholders and other interested parties at the Brickfields on Tuesday 31 January to outline the board's future plans.

And he says he is hopeful that the rest of the money they need may be forthcoming after people see their aspirations for the future.

"If we can let people see that we have got a future then I think people will be prepared to put their hands in their pockets.

"Quite rightly we can understand some people holding back at the moment and in fact we've got quite a good dialogue with a number of our business supporters and they've been asking the right sorts of questions."

Stirling was full of praise for the way Saumi and his assistant John Roberts have guided the team in their past two matches.

After a disappointing , Albion came back with a win over former Premiership side .

"They are doping quite an outstanding job," he said.

"The game against Leeds was without doubt our best performance of the season and if ever we needed a tonic we got it in that game.

"Looking forward we've got to get through this season and certainly we'd be delighted if Nat could stay beyond this season, that would be our wish and we are talking to him.

"We do see with Nat and John and the rest of the coaching team a good group of guys who we feel confident going forward with."