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Last Updated: Friday, 5 September, 2003, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Fans take over struggling club
Exeter City's St James' Park ground
The club is set to talk to creditors over the next couple of months
Supporters of Exeter City Football Club have taken full control of the club and are promising to save it from extinction.

The Exeter City Supporters' Trust has taken over following the transfer of a majority shareholding from the club's former chairman, Ivor Doble, for an undisclosed fee.

The club has debts of 3.5m and was facing a winding up order next week.

The club now wants a Corporate Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors, which will offer most of them 10 pence for every 1 they are owed.

Former chairman Mr Doble transferred his majority shareholding to the supporters' trust, which took over the day-to-day running of the club in May

Outstanding bills

People who are owed money include construction company Mowlem, which is owed about 500,000, and some of the club's former directors are owed about 900,000.

There are also outstanding Inland Revenue and VAT bills of almost 450,000.

Club financial advisor Stephen Allinson said: "Exeter has realised it can't go on like this, as other clubs have done."

"I am confident that this will be the final bit of financial difficulty."

Exeter City Supporters' Trust
The supporters' trust has been running the club since May
Club Chairman Ian Huxham said: "We represent the people and the community.

"So, apart from individual and private donations, we're looking for support from business, perhaps also local authority grants and government funding.

"Being a trust, we think that we're going to attract a lot of support from a number of areas."

Even if the arrangement is accepted, the new directors will still need to find 750,000 over the next five years in addition to day-to-day running costs.

A winding up order due next week is now likely to be put off and the plan will be put to creditors in the next couple of months.

However, if they reject it, liquidation is likely to follow.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Hamish Marshall
"Even if the arrangement is accepted, the new directors will still need to find 750,000."



SEE ALSO:
Exeter name new manager
09 Jun 03  |  Devon
Club's debt case adjourned
05 Jun 03  |  Devon
Club extends 100,000 deadline
30 May 03  |  Devon
Supporters set to take control
20 May 03  |  Devon
Club chairman may quit
15 May 03  |  Devon


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