Josh Lewsey: Cornish Pirates must become 'sustainable'

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Josh Lewsey wants 'sustainable' Cornish Pirates

Cornish Pirates chief executive Josh Lewsey says they must rely less on money from owner Dicky Evans.

The ex-England star, says the club will invest in off-field infrastructure.

"By making the experience here more enjoyable people will want to come down here and watch, then we'll reduce that burden," he told BBC South West Sport.

"That's the challenge we have in terms of making the club sustainable over a long period of time."

But with gates averaging 1,875, Lewsey says the club needs to get more people through the turnstiles.

Championship clubs are finding it harder to make ends meet, with and Pirates' nearest rivals

Lewsey added: "If you look at most business model of most sports clubs in the country, let alone rugby clubs, be it Premiership or especially Championship clubs, the reality is that the finances are challenging and they do rely on one, two or a small number of wealthy benefactors.

"That is the reality of professional sport in the country."

Among Lewsey's aims is to appoint new commercial and community managers as the club aims to reconnect with the people of Cornwall.

He says they will also spend "hundred of thousands" on improving their Mennaye Field home as they wait to see if a new stadium is built in the region.

The Mennaye currently does not meet the minimum standards for Premiership rugby, meaning even if the club won the Championship play-offs they would not be promoted to the top flight.

"That's not within the club's control and with that in mind one hopes that will come fairly soon," said Lewesey.

"But the reality is that if that happened tomorrow we wouldn't be a sustainable business.

"What can we do within our control between now and then is to develop the infrastructure, community framework and community support, so that when that does occur we'll be able to step up seamlessly to that level.

"We'll invest in some of the facilities here to make the match-day experience a little bit more enjoyable, investing in the squad and in return reconnecting with the county."