Cornish Pirates' plans for a tie-up with the Chiefs Super Rugby franchise hinge on a new stadium being built.
"You need that stadium, we need the other revenue streams," said new Pirates chairman Paul Durkin.
"It that doesn't happen, I really fear for what the outcome will be because it's not sustainable."
The Pirates are hoping to move into the proposed new Stadium for Cornwall in Truro, but work has not yet begun at the site, which received planning permission in July 2015.
"We've got a very clear view of what we want to do," Durkin said.
"First is to consolidate what we've got at the minute and make sure we've got a solid base to allow the team to play.
"It's all predicated on the fact that we will get the Stadium for Cornwall, but the input now is coming from Super Rugby in New Zealand and I think that is unique.
"We've got people who are putting money in, but also have intellectual property about how to run a stadium, how to run a Super Rugby franchise and that's so important.
"The view is consolidate, get the stadium going and the Premiership after that."