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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 October, 2003, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Club's immediate future secure
Exeter City's St James' Park ground
Exeter City has estimated debts of more than 3.5m
Exeter City Football Club has successfully reached an agreement with its major creditors which ensures the immediate future of the club.

The club - known as the Grecians - has estimated debts of more than 3.5m and representatives met creditors on Thursday and thrashed out a Corporate Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

Under the terms of the CVA, those owed money will receive 10 pence in the pound, to be paid off over the next five years.

Among the creditors are former members of the board - including ex-chairman Ivor Doble - the Inland Revenue and building firms who worked on redeveloping the St James Park ground.

This is the start, not the finish
Stephen Allinson,
Club financial advisor
If the deal had not been struck the club, which celebrates its centenary next year, could have gone insolvent.

And even though the creditors have agreed to write off most of the debts, it still leaves the club needing to find 10% of the money owed - as well as the ongoing week-to-week running costs.

The club's financial advisor, Stephen Allinson, said: "The important thing for everybody to realise is that this is the start, not the finish.

"The creditors have given the club a chance, but the club is committed to raise 300,000 to at least pay these creditors."

But entering into the CVA could see Exeter have 12 points deducted by the Nationwide Conference, which would effectively spell the end of their hopes of an immediate return to the Football League.

Contract commitments

Fans seized full control of the club early in September when the Exeter City Supporters' Trust took over the majority shareholding of former club chairman Ivor Doble for an undisclosed fee.

Exeter Supporters Trust's vice chairman David Treharne said: "We've got to try and narrow the gap between our expenditure and income.

"We're committed in the short-term, say over two years, to various people we have contracts with in the club.

"But as we get our own players coming through from the youth system, I think things will improve.

"We're also hoping to renegotiate some deals which have given us some problems during this season."




SEE ALSO:
Fans take over struggling club
05 Sep 03  |  Devon
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


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