Exeter City has welcomed the sale of Ollie Watkins from Brentford to Aston Villa.
The 24-year-old, who came through Exeter City’s Academy was sold by the club to Brentford in 2017. The deal with Brentford included a sell on clause of 15 per cent of the profit of any future sale.
Julian Tagg, club president and director of external affairs and football, welcomed the news. He said: "This is fantastic news for our club and an amazing opportunity for Ollie to play football in the Premier League. There is no doubting this is a large amount of money, but we have been through, and continue to be in, an extremely tough period where we have had to utilise significant financial reserves. The reality is that this puts us in a good position to get through this next period and secures the club’s future for a number of years.
"‘It should also be acknowledged that we do not receive a lump sum and we will receive the income in instalments, the details of which we do not yet have possession of."
Julian added: "Ollie and so many others have come through our Academy system and I think it’s important to recognise the amount of work which goes in to producing players of this calibre. It is a huge team effort, from the person who makes the teas through to the coaches, and the staff, we have created an academy to be proud of which creates quality, talented players and well-rounded individuals.
"We would also like to pass on our thanks to Brentford for the way in which they have handled both this and the original transfer."
Nick Hawker, chair of the Supporters’ Trust, said: "This is excellent news for our club and it comes at a time when we, like clubs all over the country, have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Essentially it means we are secure for a number of years, but it is our responsibility, as owners of the club, to be prudent with this money and ensure it provides much needed stability and helps us to create a sustainable future for football in Exeter."
Nick added: "We would like to wish Ollie every success at Aston Villa, we’ll be keeping a close eye on him – he’s one of our own, after all."
Ollie, who was born in Torquay, scored 26 goals for Exeter before his transfer to Brentford where he scored a total of 49 goals in all competitions, including 26 last season.