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💬 Nick Hawker: "I don’t think football has covered itself in glory, over the last few weeks, so let’s do what people would look at as being fair and sensible.”

Exeter City Supporters' Trust chairman offers update on finances, fundraising supporters and this week EFL meeting

12 May 2020

Exeter City Supporters’ Trust chairman Nick Hawker gave an on a number of issues with regards to the governance of the club.

Speaking to marketing manager Scott Palfrey, he touched on the finances and how both the Trust and Club boards had agreed a strategic aim to keep three months’ working capital in the bank some time ago, which helped when the crisis hit.

“We are keeping a close eye on that red line of three months’ working capital,” said Nick. “It is interesting that you say this situation is especially difficult for us, because we actually started this in a much stronger position than most clubs.

"That is because of the cautious way we apply finance, and the way that we govern it. We had an amount of money in the bank that meant we didn’t have to start panicking and that gave us time to think really carefully about the finance. It would be stupid of me to say that it is not problematic because we have had X number of games postponed, where we would have got decent revenue and we are going to lose that revenue. So, it is difficult but it is not terminal.”

The club have also been helped by a number of fans who have started fundraising initiatives, bought season tickets for next year and upped their Trust membership fees. Nick admitted that the commitment of our fans, is staggering.

“Every football team, I’m sure, has supporters that raise money but the money our supporters raise actually runs the club,” he said. “And the willingness of people to put their hand in their pocket time and time again is absolutely phenomenal. I hope that they feel that they are contributing to something that is really, really worthwhile to them and then community. I’m sure they must to.”

As well as touching on the wage deferrals of players and senior staff, Nick also touched on the rumours circulating that there will be a vote on Thursday about the outcome of the League One and Two seasons at an EFL meeting. He said the Trust and club’s position hadn’t changed and they wanted the season to be completed but he had some sympathy for the EFL who have a difficult job trying to manage every club's expectations.

“The EFL, I know they have got their critics, have an incredibly hard job to do because they are trying to manage a competition of 71 clubs, that starts with Leeds United – who clearly feel they should be in the Premier League – right down to ourselves, Plymouth and Macclesfield. How you cut a line that suits everybody is almost impossible.

“I think you would want to finish the season because actually that is the least controversial thing to do. The reality I think, and I don’t have any insider information on this – when you look at the problems and the cost of finishing the season and the potential danger you are putting people in – the sensible thing to do would be to end the season now.

“And that is as much as the EFL and ourselves are desperate to finish the season, because we are fourth not third and that matters. We should want to finish the season, but we should want to finish it safely.”

Speaking about the relegation and promotion issues surrounding the ending of the season now, Nick added: “The thing that we have discussed more than anything, and the general consensus, is as long as it is fair that is what you hope for. What is fair for Leeds United and West Brom? What is fair for Macclesfield and Stevenage? And what is fair for us and Plymouth Argyle? They are completely different things and that is where the dilemma is, I think. We know that there is going to be an (EFL) meeting. We don’t know that there is going to be votes, I know it has been reported that there is going to be a vote. However, I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to vote in this. The line we should take I think, as a supporter owned club, is to vote for what is fair and what is in the greater good for football. I think we should protect our game and the integrity of the League. I don’t think football has covered itself in glory, over the last few weeks, so let’s do what people would look at as being fair and sensible.”

You can watch Nick Hawker’s full interview here:

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