Rugby: Dicky Evans maps out vision for future at Cornish Pirates
DICKY Evans is determined to leave his beloved Cornish Pirates in good hands when he takes more of a back seat at the end of this season.
In a statement released this week, Evans confirmed that he intends to "step aside (not down) as the owner of the Company and hand over ownership to the many superb friends and supporters who follow the team."
Far from seeing his decision to relinquish full control as bad news for the Pirates, he stated: "We are now starting on a further push for success.
"However, there is a need to alter the ownership of the club in readiness for this next push as I am not getting younger and need to alleviate the stress somewhat that is involved with this mission.
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"I also have to think of my family for a change, four people who have been incredibly supportive of me led by the Great Dane."
Evans went on: "Over the next eight months to the end of this current Financial Year (FY) which is June 2014 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.
"The limited liability company that is registered with the RFU and trades under the name of the Cornish Pirates is owned by Kernow Sport a company within a Trust.
"The RFU demand that Championship sides operate as a company and provide financial reporting quarterly to them.
"We will liquidate Kernow Sport and sell the ownership to the new shareholders.
"During the next eight month transition period we will be drawing up a simple shareholding offering for up to 150 supporters that will enable them to purchase blocks of shares in the limited liability company.
"With less than 150 shareholders we don't fall foul of the FSA and require an expensive prospectus and all the rigmarole that goes with a Public offering."
Evans went on to discuss the on-field future, stating: "The current squad is beginning to gel, witnessed by the best performance of the season to date against Ulster.
"Subject to agreement from the current Board it is our intention that, subject to salary agreement, some iconic players who have been long term Cornish Pirates, the two coaches and some of the current squad will be approached and offered long term contracts for the next seasons until the end of the season 2015-2016, three years hence."
Evans addeed: "The Stadium (for Cornwall) will come eventually and it's essential that the Cornish Pirates are in a position to move to the centre of Cornwall and consolidate and build on the business and spectator support available there, witnessed by the year we spent at Kenwyn – our most successful year at this level financially."
He added: "I will be in Cornwall for the Bristol game on November 24 and at that time should be in a position to take this forward and provide more information.
"If you wish to become part of the Pirates future as a shareholder in the club and want to register for more information as it becomes available with a view to becoming a shareholder, please send an expression of interest to email@example.com "
THE 12-POINT PLAN:
1. Nobody can buy enough shares to take control through voting rights. Clearly should we ever get Premiership status the value of the Club could increase dramatically downstream and the last thing we need is a speculator(s) involved. This club is going to be owned by the supporters.
2. Shareholders will be able to purchase shares upfront or monthly at an agreed interest charge.
3. Likely format (subject to legal advice) will be a commitment to buy a minimum block of 100 x £10 Class A shares each year for the first two years in parallel with my funding commitment (see below).
4. Maximum shareholding will be set at an agreed figure to be advised but we must protect shareholders against speculators.
5. Sale of these shares in the future must be investigated along with drag along and tag along issues.
6. All shareholding funds coming in will be used to support the playing budget.
7. It may be feasible for longer term commitments of say five annual or ten annual payments that shares will be sold at a discount. Again this will be investigated.
8. I will commit to a two years rolling commitment to raise £400,000 from my sources, including friends, towards the budget requirement. Each year we remain in the Championship there will be a two year commitment and if we were to be relegated this would therefore include a one year parachute payment of the same amount.
This rolling commitment may cease should we get to the Premier league and after more than one year in the lower league which obviously must be avoided by building a strong squad.
9. The details of the shareholding offer may change once we have received legal advice.
10. We will set up a small secretariat at the Club manned by a volunteer who will initially be able to field questions from people intending to join in the share issue.
11. This is a simple shareholding issue amongst supporters –it is not an IPO ( Initial Public Offering).
12. Non executives on the Board will be voted in by shareholders and the Board format will form an integral part of the shareholder agreement. The Board will also include key employees such as the General Manager & the Business & Financial controller - Rebecca Daniel - who runs a very tight ship and is essential to my input.
– Dicky Evans
Pirates head coach Ian Davies has been chosen to lead the Barbarians in their annual fixture against the Combined Services at Brickfields, Plymouth on Tuesday November 12.