Striker joins with helps from fans' fundingExeter City have completed the signing of striker Graham Cummins after a group of supporters agreed to pay around half his wages. A pledge of £20,000 from the 1931 Fund has enabled the deal to be finalised.
City’s new signing will wear the number 31 shirt, a reference to the supporters group whose name is derived from the year of Exeter’s most famous FA Cup run and record attendance at St James Park.
Manager Paul Tisdale said: “This is a club where the supporters are the majority shareholder and they know they have a huge part to play. I am very grateful to them.
“Graham Cummins will be a very useful signing for Exeter City, but we simply couldn’t have afforded him within our extremely tight budget. We asked the 1931 Fund if they could bridge the gap, and I’m delighted they’ve stepped in to get Graham signed.”
Former Preston and Republic of Ireland Under-23 striker Cummins made 31 appearances on loan at Rochdale last season, where he scored four goals – including one against the Grecians - to help Dale to promotion.
Prior to moving to England, Cummins was twice top scorer for Cork City, netting 42 goals in just 62 appearances. He won the Irish PFA First Division Player of the Year award in 2011 when he scored 24 goals, including an injury time header in a 2-1 win at Shelbourne which enabled Cork to pip the home side to the first division title.
This will be the sixth season in which the 1931 Fund has financed an Exeter City player, either in total or in part. Around 60 members of the fund donate £19 per month each to finance City’s number 31, and, having paid £55,000 to Exeter City since 2009, this season’s pledge will take their total contribution to £75,000.
1931 Fund organiser, Alan Crockford, said: “In previous years we’ve paid for the total cost, or a sizeable part of the cost, of a young, cheaper player for our number 31 shirt. This year, it’s clear that the priority addition to our very young squad is an experienced striker, and it seems sensible to agree to fund around half the wages of this key player.
“With our current membership numbers, we’ve got some work to do to reach the £20,000 that we’ve pledged, but it has to be done and we’ll be looking for other fans to help us. There’s no sugar daddy at Exeter City. It’s our club and we fans have to keep stepping forward to give what time, energy or money we can reasonably afford to make our club as strong as possible.”
The 1931 Fund is part of the Exeter Exiles group of fans, most of whom live outside of Exeter, and makes its payments to Exeter City on behalf of the Exeter City Supporters Trust which is the majority shareholder in the club. For further details of the 1931 Fund, please visit www.exeterexiles.co.uk or follow the group on Twitter @ecfc1931fund
Interview facilities with Alan Crockford of the 1931 Fund are available. Please call Alan directly on 020 8444 8533 or 07946 397269.