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Well, 2020 has been a year like no other. I would normally be recalling our achievements on the pitch, however we haven’t been able to play a game since early March when we were third in the table, one point behind Ealing and we were due to play them in the last game of the season. Was that really nine months ago!
Like most Championship clubs, we have been working to help ensure our survival. The “double whammy” of the RFU slashing our funding and then the impact of Covid 19 has put huge financial strain on clubs.
It is a great tribute to our squad for recognising the impact and helping to offset some of the pressure by agreeing a reduction in their contracts. A big thank you to them.
As always, we are indebted to Dicky Evans for his continued belief and support in our club, quite simply we could not survive without him – thank you Dicky.
All during this time, our management, staff and volunteers have continued to ensure that the club continues to operate – even if we are not able to play. Phil’s weekly log has shown the work that has gone into maintenance and improvements to have the ground ready Thank you to all of them for going the extra mile in very difficult times to help us to be ready in a position to start a new season when that is possible.
We should be proud of our achievements off the field during this year. Members of our squad stepped up to the plate in helping our local NHS practices through stewarding through some of the worst period – they even made local television at the drive-through testing centre! Sam Teasdale has continued our Community programme with schools which is so important during these difficult times.
I am sure that you all want to know when the season might start. I can tell you that all the Clubs have been working flat out with the RFU and Government to make this happen and all have agreed that we will start on the 6 March 2021 if possible.
However, it is not entirely in our hands. Covid will determine that and the majority of clubs (nine of the twelve) are in Tier 4 at present. Government funding for the additional costs of Covid such as testing is also a factor.
We are very fortunate that we are in Tier 1 and hope that we remain as such. I can assure you that our coaches and squad have been doing all they can within the rules and guidelines to be confident that when the button to go is pressed, they will be ready.
So, a very different and difficult year. We never take our sponsors and all your support for granted, indeed it is that support that has helped us through this year and we look forward to being able to welcome everyone back as soon as possible.
Can I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Christmas from everyone at the Cornish Pirates. Please stay safe and we look forward to seeing you in a new and better year.
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