Pirates owner prepares to 'step aside'
October 15, 2013
Cornish Pirates fans continue their push for a new stadium during the 2011-12 RFU Championship final © PA Photos
Cornish Pirates owner Dicky Evans has announced plans to "step aside" at the end of the season, but reassured supporters he will not be turning his back on the club.
Evans, 67, who has been involved with the Pirates for almost two decades, told the BBC he would be leaving the club on a sound financial footing as well as committing to investing another £400,000 over the next two years.
"We need to alter the ownership of the club in readiness for the next push as I'm not getting younger," he said. "I intend to step aside, not down, at the end of the season as the owner of the company and hand over ownership to the many superb friends and supporters who follow the team.
"Consequently, over the next eight months to the end of this current financial year we need to develop a plan to enable friends and supporters of the Cornish Pirates worldwide to take ownership through a basic share issue format. They will be taking over a company clear of all loans and debt - paying a nominal £1 for the whole shareholding."
Evans said the priority now was to move to a better-placed stadium which met the Premiership criteria. The existing ground at Mennaye Field is in Penzance at the very west of the county and without new facilities the Championship will be as far as the Pirates can progress.
"The stadium will come eventually and it's essential that the Cornish Pirates are in a position to move to the centre of Cornwall and consolidate on the business and spectator support available there. Cornish people deserve a top-class sporting team and venue. We have the ability to produce the former and as each obstacle to a stadium is surmounted there is no doubt that will come.
"The Pirates are a vital part of this dream. Let's not let it go down the tubes."
Evans said he would be offering some key players and coaches contracts to see them through to the end of 2015-16 with the intention of ensuring they work in the community as well as at the club.
"We have a deep squad this year and will continue to target all competitions. Once we have decided and agreed which players we think will make the grade we will commence negotiations and we will be cutting our cloth to suit. Our budget funds next season should be sufficient to enable us retain a very competitive side."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Download ESPN's new UK multisport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton