Tag: Exeter City

A Matter Of Trust: Some Supporter-Owned Highlights From 2011

It is the end, then, of another long, hard season, and perhaps now is an appropriate time to be looking at how those clubs that are owned and run by their supporters trusts this season managed to fair. As AFC Wimbledon paraded the trophy that confirmed their accession into the Football League nine years after their formation, the words of the FA’s committee, that a new club in the borough would be, “not in the wider interests of football”, have never sounded more hollow. Wimbledon, however, are just one of nineteen clubs in England, Scotland and Wales that are owned by supporters trusts, and they are not the only one of these to have had some degree of success this season. It is worth, then, taking a moment to reflect upon some of the other Supporters Trust-owned clubs that have had cause for celebration this season. Gretna FC 2008: Gretna FC were a prime example of how the sugar daddy model of football club ownership can fail. Funded by Brooks Mileson, the club rose swiftly through the ranks of Scottish football, played in the UEFA Cup and competed in the 2006 Scottish Cup final, where they only lost on penalties to Heart of Midlothian. However, promotion to the Scottish Premier League meant that the club had to abandon its home, Raydale Park, and play its home matches at Motherwell....

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Match Of The Week: Exeter City 1-2 Brentford (Brentford Win 3-2 On Aggregate)

If the Premier League is now, for many, something approaching the ultimate footballing experience, there is probably something to be said for the argument that, in its quest for purity, quality, our game has lost something. The idiosyncracies of football at or near the top have been whitewashed out of sight over time, to be replaced by a scrubbed up and sanitised version of what we might call The British Football Experience. This is not only true at the top end of the game. The prediliction of smallers clubs to leave their ancestral homes for identikit stadia (for these, in spite of their modest proportions, lean more closely towards being “stadia” rather than “grounds” – or, at least, that is how they wish to be perceived) has been one of the defining characteristics of lower league football over the last two decades or so. It’s a selfish pleasure, for sure – after all, it fails to take into account the match day comfort of those that are its regular visitors – but there remains something aesthetically pleasing about Exeter City’s St James Park. The line of houses that run a third the length of the touchline on one side of the pitch with people hanging out of the windows enjoying the free view, the small open terrace for away supporters away to the left, the red and white chequered...

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Adam Stansfield: 1978-2010

Sad news reached us last night with the death of the Exeter City striker Adam Stansfield at the age of thirty-one, after a four month battle with cancer of the bowel. Born in Tiverton, Stansfield spent the whole of his nine years as a professional player in the South-West and West of England. Having started out in non-league football with Elmore, he went on to play for Yeovil Town, Hereford United and Exeter City, where he had been a valued member of the first team squad since 2006. Former manager Gary Johnson, who gave him his opportunity at Yeovil, described him as, “probably one of the hardest working footballers I’ve ever worked with”, a strong tribute indeed for a coach that is renouned as a hard task-master. No official announcement has been yet over whether Exeter’s match at Dagenham on Saturday will go ahead. Whether to go ahead with the match or not under such circumstances is always a difficult judgement call to make, but perhaps the best tribute that can be laid on by the players is to out on Saturday afternoon and play their hearts out for his memory. Supporters’ tributes have, of course, already started to arrive at St James Park. Significantly, there have also been fulsome and heartfelt tributes left on the forums of other clubs. To lose an athlete, until recently presumed to be in the fullest...

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Supporters Direct Arrive At The Crossroads

The annual Supporters Direct conference was held at the NEC in Birmingham on the 16th October. There was the usual informed debate about issues relating to supporter empowerment and a slightly worrying speech from the Football Association’s new Chief Executive.

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Match Of The Week 2: Exeter City 1-0 Wycombe Wanderers

It’s Easter Monday lunchtime, and the tension at the top of League Two is close to bursting point. Results over the weekend have ensured that, with four matches of the season left to play and energy levels running close to zero, there are still six clubs in with a chance of making the three automatic promotion places. Given the nature of football supporters, there are going to be a lot of very disappointed supporters of League Two clubs by the end of today. The television cameras are at St James Park today, but there is no match being played at Newcastle United today. The cameras are at the other end of the country, at St James Park in Exeter for the match between Exeter City and Wycombe Wanderers. Exeter are back in the Football League after a short break. They beat Cambridge United in the BSP play-off final at Wembley last May to end a six year long holiday in non-league football, and they started this season comparatively slowly which has seen them shoot up the table and into the automatic promotion places. On Saturday, only a last minute equalizer prevented them from taking all three points from an away match against the divisional leaders, Brentford. Wycombe Wanderers, conversely, were an archetypal non-league club before they suddenly shot into the Football League in the early 1990s. They remain the...

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