Birmingham & Solihull have done all they can on the field to influence the club’s future; they now wait anxiously for the council planners to fulfil their dreams off it.
Bees secured promotion to the Championship with the comprehensive 31-7 victory over Redruth on Saturday that also brought them the National Two title. But they now need Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to give their consent to the planning application that would allow them to sell their Sharmans Cross Road site for residential development and move in with Solihull Moors Football Club at Damson Parkway.
The man who masterminded a first league crown in a generation expressed his hope that the groundshare arrangement comes to fruition. “I hope the decision goes our way for the good of the club and the area because we want to be one of the top 24 sides in the country,” said player-coach Russell Earnshaw.
“Allowing us to move would be a really positive decision although, having said that, if it doesn’t happen, me and a few of the older-school forwards really enjoy playing here.
“If we have ambitions to play at a higher level, part of that is being about to generate income and we just can’t do that at Sharmans Cross.”
Earnshaw also revealed he had made considerable progress towards retaining the current squad with key players having rejected overtures from Championship rivals.
“We will keep the squad together, 23 guys have agreed to stay and they are people who fit into how we want to play and the culture we are trying to bring to the club,” he said.
“Shaun Pammenter told me he wants to stay which is music to my ears and Chris Brightwell and Rob Connolly have had pretty serious offers from other clubs but they have turned that down to be part of what we have going.”
Meanwhile, Moseley secured their status in the second tier of rugby with a 50-12 victory in Manchester.