Following the sale of Ollie Watkins to Championship side Brentford, for a club record fee, Exeter City chairman Julian Tagg has issued the following statement to help keep supporters informed.
“The club is delighted to have produced yet another fantastic player who has gone on to greater things and secured a substantial financial benefit for the club,” said Julian. “It is a reward for not only Ollie’s hard work, but the phenomenal job that the coaching and academy staff continue to do.
“The importance of such player sales is hugely significant as it underpins our very unique ownership model.
“In order to communicate with the fans, it is important to understand that, in the same way the money from the sale of Matt Grimes was used to not only improve infrastructure but to support a competitive playing budget, the fee for Ollie will be directed in the exact same manner. The money we got for Matt culminated last season in an ultimately unsuccessful, but nonetheless fantastic trip to Wembley.
“Whilst the money for Ollie Watkins will be received over time, in tranches, much will be committed to ensuring and underpinning the football budget for the next four years. However, it will of course be used, not only towards that purpose, but to improve the general infrastructure of the club as well.
“The board sees the need to ensure not only competitiveness but financial security over the next period facilitating an opportunity to investigate and understand how our Trust model can be taken to the next level of competitiveness.”
The club has also received many questions about the fee and possible sell-on benefits should Ollie prove to be successful at Brentford and be sold by them.
Julian said: “Brentford have requested that the transfer fee be undisclosed and therefore we are not at liberty to divulge details with regards to the percentage of any sell on clause. However, there are further possibilities for us to benefit should Ollie go on to do particularly well in the future.”
Tom Nichols was another player sold by City, in February 2016, to Peterborough. He has recently moved to League One rivals Bristol Rovers. However, having received around £400,000 in total for the striker – based on the initial fee and Tom’s appearances for the London Road club – any sell on percentage due to City would have been based on profit made by Peterborough themselves.
“We are delighted that Tom is furthering his career at Bristol Rovers,” said Julian. “However, there is no financial advantage to Exeter City as a result of his move. This is because, as in almost every contractual agreement in football, further percentage finance is only received over and above profit made by the original buying club.
“However, we wish him well and we hope he continues to spread Exeter City’s reputation for producing talent professional footballers.”
Supporters have also been keen for an update on the negotiations with Chelsea for a fee for Ethan Ampadu. However, Julian says the club has little to report at this stage but will inform fans of any developments.
“We have recently received correspondence from Chelsea which is being considered as to whether there are any further steps that need to be taken,” he said. “As soon as that decision is clear we will make sure that is communicated to the supporters.”