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Truro City announce takeover with big transformative plans for Cornwall’s sporting landscape

Sixth tier Truro City announce a new takeover with big transformative plans put in place for Cornwall’s sporting landscape.

The National League South side have been taken over by Eric Perez, owner of Cornwall’s rugby league side Cornwall RLFC, who play in the third tier of English rugby league.

Truro had been owned by Kernow Sport, in charge of Cornish Pirates rugby union side since March 2019, but have since confirmed sale of the club to Canadian sports consortium Ontario Inc (OI).

CLUB STATEMENT

Truro City Football Club are pleased to announce two major developments to its supporters, stakeholders and the wider Cornish community.

Firstly, full ownership of the football club has been transferred to a Canadian consortium, who also hold ownership of Cornwall RLFC, the Duchy’s professional rugby league club. The group are thrilled to acquire a football club with such a rich history, tradition and most of all, one with such an exciting future.

The club wish to place on record our thanks to Dicky Evans and the previous ownership for the work they have done in ensuring Truro City’s survival through the turbulence of the covid-19 pandemic, whilst steering the club throughout its time in exile over the past three seasons.

“We are delighted to complete the takeover of Truro City Football Club,” said incoming executive chairman Eric Perez.

“As the new custodians of Cornwall’s highest ranking football club, we are fully committed to playing our part within the exciting future of the beautiful game in the Duchy.”

Most significantly, and after three long seasons in exile, we are over the moon to announce that Football’s Coming Home – Truro City will be moving back to Truro next season. The club will begin the 2024-25 season at the Langarth Village site, using temporary infrastructure whilst the new ground is built.

“The club stands on the cusp of a new dawn with the move back to Cornwall,” Perez added. “The team, under the trusted leadership of our manager Paul Wotton, produced wonderful results on the pitch last season in winning promotion back to the National League South.

“The goal is to continue the club’s progress by supporting the delivery of a facility that befits our team’s standing, our accomplishments, and most importantly our ambition.”

An offer came from the directors of Ontario Inc to acquire the football club, fund its operation going forward, and help develop the Langarth site, where the new stadium will be.

“I’m sad to lose TCFC, it’s been a pleasure to support their ambitions, see them promoted, and have started to build their new home in Truro. We pass on a great club with a bright future and I wish them well with their new owners” said Kernow Sport Ltd owner Dicky Evans.

Speaking about the Pirates, Mr Evans said, “It is a sadness for Pirates to have to give up their ambition for a permanent home in Truro but the bigger reality of my declining health and sunset funding means that sensible governance decisions needed to be made to secure the future of both clubs.

“With TCFC in good hands, I am now totally focused on passing on the Pirates baton to new rugby owners. Cornish Pirates will remain in Penzance, their home and heartland. We may have lost the Stadium, but we have gained control of our own destiny.”

Pirates chairman Paul Durkin adds: “In the face of all the publicity about failing rugby clubs and the total lack of clarity from the RFU on the rugby structure and more importantly on funding going forward, I am proud to say that Pirates is financially secure and will continue to compete within the top 20 of English rugby.

“The club is an essential part of the fabric of Cornwall with a loyal fan base and widespread commercial and community support. As a safe bet, we are as good as it gets.”

“We know that a minority of new investors came in to support the football club” said KSL CEO Rebecca Thomas “and while they will remain shareholders in KSL, we have passed on a percentage of the crowdfunding raise to TCFC to honour their wishes.”

The directors of Ontario Inc said: “We are delighted to complete the takeover of Truro City Football Club. The club stands on the cusp of a new dawn and we are honoured to be leading Truro City into what promises to be another history-laden chapter in its long and distinguished history.

“We must place on record our thanks to Dicky Evans and the previous ownership for the work they have done in ensuring the club’s survival through the turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic and for steering it throughout its time in exile these past few seasons.”

Truro City will hold a fans’ forum at the Hotel Vara in Truro on Thursday night (30th November), starting at 7.30pm, which will see more details of the agreement will be released, and the prospect of Cornwall RLFC playing their home matches at some point in the future at Langarth.

“We’ve fallen in love with the place and we see massive potential in this football club,” Perez said via BBC Spotlight.

“The ability to take this club up levels would be transformative for the sporting landscape in Cornwall and we’re looking forward to delivering that.”

Truro currently sit 21st in the table, with 19 points form 17 games played, and are one point from safety, but have games in hand over sides around the.

This is the first season back in the sixth tier following on from their promotion last season.

They currently play their ‘home’ matches at Plymouth Parkway’s Bolitho Park as their new ground is being built.

Perez is also a founder of Toronto Wolfpack and had plans for a second rugby league side, Ottawa, to play in England prior to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t think too many people would say ‘let’s buy a football club to support a rugby league club’, I think that’s a strange play to make,” he said.

“I’m a football fanatic, a lot of people on the group are football fanatics and we’re here to take this club up, that’s what we’re here for.

“If it wasn’t for the rugby league club we wouldn’t know about this operating environment so that is a factor, but we’re talking football.”

Eric Perez
Eric Perez (Credit: BBC Sport)

This is how fans reacted as Truro City announce takeover with big transformative plans for Cornwall’s sporting landscape…

@berwynfinlay: Wow what great news, looking forward to a new era for the club. Can’t make it to the event tonight but can’t wait to hear what additional information is revealed. 😊

@IanMcDo06417525: great news, can’t wait to be back at Truro

@Wazefc83: Fantastic news, just need to stay in the league now at all costs #oneandall

@ArgyleLoz: This is fantastic news. Great to hear Truro City are heading back to Cornwall with new owners which heralds a brighter future for this great football club, next stop the National League ⚽⚽

@JLH5464: Finally but absolutely mental they haven’t started building that stadium for Cornwall still was meant to be done 2 years ago

@Alasdair333: Exciting times ahead and more importantly coming home to Cornwall I can’t wait 😍 🐯

@SK22Ram: Amazing news for football in Kernow ❤️

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