The Pilgrims have announced their new £50million stadium will become a reality even if they fail in a bid to become a host city for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

However executive director Keith Todd admits sorting out the club's finances is proving a much harder task than first thought.

He said the aim of separating the stadium from the football club was to set up a structure to raise £50million for the new, enlarged Home Park.

This deal would see the club have priority to play in the stadium, currently used only for 23 home league games and a handful of home cup games each season.

It means the stadium would benefit from additional events held at Home Park, whose new playing surface is designed to take extra wear and tear.

Todd said: "The primary impact of the World Cup is on the timing of phases of building. We are planning to start Phase 1 as early as possible next year, but subsequent phases will depend on the success of the stadium as a venue, and the success of the club."

"The club will also not have to find the capital to build the new stadium. The aim is to have a debt-free club, although that may not be immediate, and then operate the club within its means," he added.

The first phase will see the capacity rise to 27,000 and subsequent phases will raise the venue to a 46,000-seater stadium in time for the 2014/15 should England’s and Plymouth’s World Cup 2018 bid be successful.

Posted on 14/09/2010