Newcomers to Exeter should be invited to join Supporters' Trust
One of the major handicaps that Exeter City face compared to nearly all of their League Two rivals is investment. The Grecians are not blessed with a "sugar daddy" who can supplement income, invest in players and facilities, or hand out blank cheques to fund anything else that needs addressing at the club.
In the current economic climate, money is tight for everyone and football is no exception. Especially at St James' Park. There was a real need for the club to enjoy some success from cup competitions this year, but it wasn't to be as they exited at the first-round stage of the League Cup, Johnstone's Paint Trophy and the FA Cup.
Prize money for winning a cup game may be seen by many clubs to be a drop in the ocean, but to a club like Exeter, it would be a welcome windfall.
To be fair to the supporters who own the Grecians, they certainly try and do their bit. Not only has the Supporters' Trust pledged over £1.5 million to the club since taking over in 2003, but there are things such as the 1931 Fund, which aides with the financial running of the club.
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Of course, the more fans who sign up to such schemes the more money the club gets and that is also the case with the Supporters' Trust.
More than 4,000 City fans are now members of the Trust and this week they have launched a campaign to try and swell those numbers. It is good to see that they are not resting on their laurels and waiting for people to come to them asking to sign – and at the head of this drive is the manager himself, Paul Tisdale.
Tis renewed his Trust subscription this week and it is heartening to see influential people at the club on the membership list. But perhaps anyone who comes to Exeter should become part of the Trust movement.
Whether it be a new player, a member of staff or whatever, it is important that they buy into what the club is about and understand its ethos.
There are some players (and former players) who are members of the Trust, but it would help to improve relations between fans and players to know they too buy into what the Trust is all about and its future plans. Perhaps a new player should be presented with a Trust application form at the time they pen a contract, committing them to the club for X number of years.
Of course, you cannot tell someone to do it, but for a minimum payment of £2 a month, it's hard to believe it would have much of an effect on anyone's finances.