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Cornwall FC - a non-starter?


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Hi all. I've been reading about Cornish football and thought I'd reach out for some opinions from people local and way more knowledgeable than myself on the subject. I've read quite a bit of this forum, but apologies if I repeat things which have already been discussed.

It seems a huge sleeping giant, no? What's the population of Cornwall? Half a million? Surely the county could support a league team, or even two or three. Rightly or wrongly, it seems prime for some billionaire to build a team, that sort of thing.

It's uncommon for a team to represent an entire county but do you think it'd work in Cornwall? Of course people have allegiances to Truro, Falmouth, Penzance etc and this would be a strong reason for it to flop, but I was just wondering how tempting it would be if say Cornwall FC started marching up the leagues playing in the Stadium For Cornwall.

Of course, it's hypothetical but it doesn't seem too unrealistic.

Has anything similar ever been floated?

Thanks.

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In Rugby, Penzance Newlyn became Cornish Pirates and get widespread support.  I really hope one day that they play in the Rugby Premiership at the Stadium for Cornwall. 

The only club at the moment that could do that is Truro City but because of historic treatment of supporters and as Dave says below tribalism it would be difficult, however I think it's the only way forward for the club.  

Many people grow up support Plymouth Argyle as they're the main local professional side. However, if a new generation came along supporting a Cornwall United side I could see it working.  It would be a bitter pill to swallow if you were a Truro City supporter but without that forward thinking I can see the club dying, it doesn't even have a ground a present and play in Devon so nobody has any real attachment to the club no longer. 

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13 minutes ago, Dave Deacon said:

Tribalism would be an immediate blocker!

I certainly see that, and I'm from an area which would be described as the proverbial hot bed of football so I understand the tribalism. But with Cornwall never having had a league side and Cornish football never really having a well-known identity outside of Cornwall (very much open to be educated)... it just feels different. If a team for the whole of Cornwall started to gain some success... I don't know. Interesting.

7 minutes ago, Richard Chown said:

In Rugby, Penzance Newlyn became Cornish Pirates and get widespread support.  I really hope one day that play in the Rugby Premiership at the Stadium for Cornwall. 

The only club at the moment that could do that is Truro City but because of historic treatment of supporters and as Dave says below tribalism it would be difficult, however I think it's the only way forward for the club.  

Many people growing up support Plymouth Argyle as that is the main local professional side. However, if a new generation came along supporting a Cornwall United side I could see it working.  It would be a bitter pill to swallow if you were a Truro City supporter but without that forward thinking I can see the club dying, it doesn't even have a ground a present and play in Devon so nobody has any real attachment to the club no longer. 

Yes, all of these things make me think it isn't a totally farfetched idea. I'm interested by the feasibility of it and how successful it'd be. Not that I have the money for it!!

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2 hours ago, TAP said:

Hi all. I've been reading about Cornish football and thought I'd reach out for some opinions from people local and way more knowledgeable than myself on the subject. I've read quite a bit of this forum, but apologies if I repeat things which have already been discussed.

It seems a huge sleeping giant, no? What's the population of Cornwall? Half a million? Surely the county could support a league team, or even two or three. Rightly or wrongly, it seems prime for some billionaire to build a team, that sort of thing.

It's uncommon for a team to represent an entire county but do you think it'd work in Cornwall? Of course people have allegiances to Truro, Falmouth, Penzance etc and this would be a strong reason for it to flop, but I was just wondering how tempting it would be if say Cornwall FC started marching up the leagues playing in the Stadium For Cornwall.

Of course, it's hypothetical but it doesn't seem too unrealistic.

Has anything similar ever been floated?

Thanks.

On paper, a great idea. In reality? No chance.

Not a rugby union fan, and don't follow the sport. So no idea of the game's current health in Cornwall, the support that the Pirates get and how other clubs/fans in the county regard them.

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12 minutes ago, GaryHocking said:

Cornwall does have a county cricket team - won the Minor Counties Championship in 2012 - as well as a thriving county league but cricket generally (not just locally) seems to survive on a much lower supporter base than football and rugby.

The Cornwall County football team is, to all intents and purposes, a thing of the past. The less said about the Kernow FA/CONIFA adventure, the better.

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9 minutes ago, GaryHocking said:

Cornwall does have a county cricket team

We have a county football side too, although almost every other county don't bother any more and so games are few and far between! As I understand TAP is basically suggesting a team going under the guise of Cornwall FC to play on a league basis with the hope of being stronger both on and off the pitch helping the chances of promotion up through the system so that football league status eventually being achieved.

Things to think about - is it fair that it would be based at the stadium for cornwall (or perhaps lets just say Truro)? Would people from say Bude, Torpoint, Mousehole want to travel to Truro and why should they? Would the players have to been born in Cornwall?

I'm happier leaving it to a club to show ambition to go up through the pyramid system.

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1 hour ago, Dave Deacon said:

We have a county football side too, although almost every other county don't bother any more and so games are few and far between! As I understand TAP is basically suggesting a team going under the guise of Cornwall FC to play on a league basis with the hope of being stronger both on and off the pitch helping the chances of promotion up through the system so that football league status eventually being achieved.

Things to think about - is it fair that it would be based at the stadium for cornwall (or perhaps lets just say Truro)? Would people from say Bude, Torpoint, Mousehole want to travel to Truro and why should they? Would the players have to been born in Cornwall?

I'm happier leaving it to a club to show ambition to go up through the pyramid system.

That's it. Players wouldn't have to be born in Cornwall though. Just a normal side, called Cornwall FC, hopefully exploiting the enormous catchment area. And the stadium is a good point, I suppose somewhere as equidistant as possible. It's a project I can see some consortium or other being interested in.  Interesting thing to imagine.

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38 minutes ago, Postman Pat said:

When you look at the peninsula league a lot of the teams are not from the bigger towns. Then from the west you have clubs like Porthleven, St. Day, Illogan. Perranporth, perranwell. 

How would these clubs feel about a Cornwall league side. It's more the people behind the scenes than the players..

You have to think bigger than that Pat.  As soon as you get to the end of the A30 and hit the M5 what do you see, Exeter Chiefs with Sandy Park, then Bath with The Rec, Bristol with Ashton Gate then Gloucester with Kingsholm Stadium.  None of the people around there are worried about grassroots because the investment seen means they can go and watch European Rugby matches, all these stadiums are supported by their county councils because they bring in a lot of revenue to the area.  Cornwall will continue to languish without any foresight and support for the Stadium for Cornwall.

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8 minutes ago, Richard Chown said:

You have to think bigger than that Pat.  As soon as you get to the end of the A30 and hit the M5 what do you see, Exeter Chiefs with Sandy Park, then Bath with The Rec, Bristol with Ashton Gate then Gloucester with Kingsholm Stadium.  None of the people around there are worried about grassroots because the investment seen means they can go and watch European Rugby matches, all these stadiums are supported by their county councils because they bring in a lot of revenue to the area.  Cornwall will continue to languish without any foresight and support for the Stadium for Cornwall.

All of these grounds, with the exception of the Bath Rec. which is owned by a trust, are all privately built and owned. There were incentives and grants from local authorities regarding land and infrastructure, The current plight of the Worcester Warriors rugby club, who play at the impressive looking Sixways Stadium just off the M5, is very much a warning of how a shiny new ground is no guarantee of future prosperity.

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On 29/09/2022 at 15:13, Way Of The Park said:

All of these grounds, with the exception of the Bath Rec. which is owned by a trust, are all privately built and owned. There were incentives and grants from local authorities regarding land and infrastructure, The current plight of the Worcester Warriors rugby club, who play at the impressive looking Sixways Stadium just off the M5, is very much a warning of how a shiny new ground is no guarantee of future prosperity.

Although I would agree that is true. If you look at Cornwall, it has both a Rugby Union and now Rugby League side playing one division below Elite Premiership and Super League level. The only way they can join is by having a stadium with enough capacity to fulfill the requirements. That is the only thing holding them back.  Devon has two stadiums that for that purpose Home Park in Plymouth and Sandy Park in Exeter, Cornwall has none. 
 

Personally, I get fed up with the short sightedness in lack of investment in Cornwall and just not sport.

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9 hours ago, Richard Chown said:

Although I would agree that is true. If you look at Cornwall, it has both a Rugby Union and now Rugby League side playing one division below Elite Premiership and Super League level. The only way they can join is by having a stadium with enough capacity to fulfill the requirements. That is the only thing holding them back.  Devon has two stadiums that for that purpose Home Park in Plymouth and Sandy Park in Exeter, Cornwall has none. 
 

Personally, I get fed up with the short sightedness in lack of investment in Cornwall and just not sport.

Totally agree Richard. As I keep saying to my mum and eldest brother (who still live in Cornwall) when they also bemoan a lack of investment, "then stop voting for the ..." (sorry, almost strayed into politics there). 

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24 minutes ago, Richard Chown said:

@Way Of The Park What I would say is that the Stadium For Cornwall would have to take lessons learned for Plymouth Argyle and make use of the space/land to generate revenue when there are no games. Those profits are then put back into the team. 

Yes, agree. But not sure it would work in practice.

One of the lessons from Sandy Park in Exeter (and other such stadiums) is that they have to be 7 day a week, 12 months of the year operations. They have a successful exhibition, convention and hospitality operation.  Exeter, as an example though, is just off the M5, two hours train journey from London, near the airport and with a much larger services and knowledge based economy on their doorstep (headquarters of D&C Police, Exeter University, The Met Office, Pennon, EDF and others ) to sustain this. Not sure there would be anything like the same level of commercial activity in Cornwall (and specifically Truro) to maintain a similar level of activity in a Stadium For Cornwall.

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Horrible idea. Don't want "some billionaire" ruining Cornish football. One is ruining Cornish cricket. Heaney...that ended well ! What Stadium for Cornwall ? Waste of money. You can keep it. Pirates ? Glorified Magpies with the wrong shaped balls. Wouldn't watch them if they paid me. As long as the TINNERS win, the rest can bugger off.

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