The Cornish Pirates face an uncertain future following the failure to secure a guarantee of extra funding from the Rugby Football Union.
The club announced this morning that it has had to lay off some positions in its admin department with immediate effect, while it is also likely to be pulling the plug on its Pirates TV service.
The club statement reads:
“On 27th October Pirates Representatives Dicky Evans and Rod Coward attended a Championship Clubs meeting with the RFU Management Board at Twickenham.
“At this meeting the Clubs put the case for additional funding, pointing out that if a professional second tier of English rugby were to be successful in providing some players who would ultimately become Elite players and if the RFU wished the current high standards to be sustained, then the RFU had to have a long term plan to increase core funding to Clubs on an annual basis, allowing Clubs to be less reliant on current benefactors.
“This was clearly not on the agenda of the RFU and the inconclusive outcome of the meeting meant some Clubs left feeling disappointed and fairly pessimistic about the future, including the Pirates’ representatives.
“The only positive was that the two sides agreed to set up a ‘task force’ comprising four RFU representatives and four nominees from the Championship Clubs to further examine how things can be progressed in a satisfactory way, if any.
“It is with a heavy heart these decisions have had to be made affecting good staff but the steps we are taking now are designed towards safeguarding the immediate future of the Cornish Pirates”
“So where does this leave the Cornish Pirates?
“We have decided that without a quantifiable increase on the table in funding support that the Pirates have to cut their cloth to suit.
“The inevitable decisions on cost cutting required have had to be made and this includes the loss of some jobs currently either full-time or part-time within the admin team and the remaining administrative staff moving from full-time to part-time working with immediate effect.
“This has been dealt with this week in as sympathetic manner as is possible within the Club environs.
“We have also decided to give the contractual notice required on Pirates TV to MYCornwall TV which is a great shame as well but it is not proving a viable business proposition.
“We are likely to be discontinuing this service at the end of January unless a solution is found by MYCornwall to ensure it’s not a loss leader to the Pirates.
“It is with a heavy heart these decisions have had to be made affecting good staff but the steps we are taking now are designed towards safeguarding the immediate future of the Cornish Pirates and it is possible that further hard decisions will have to be taken at a later stage should the RFU response be their current stance.
“We will however continue to ensure the squad is fully funded this season and also maintain the matchday experience at the Mennaye.”