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Exeter City: Celebrating 20 years of fan ownership

Exeter City recently marked the 20th anniversary of becoming a supporter-owned club and the FSA was invited along to the League One side’s celebratory dinner, where we were represented by our community-owned club network manager Richard Irving and head of supporter engagement and governance Ashley Brown. Here chair of the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust Nick Hawker tells us more about the successes of the last 20 years…

This September the Exeter City AFC Supporters’ Society Ltd (the ‘trust’) celebrate 20 years of supporter ownership. Naturally, there are numerous activities and events planned to honour and thank all of those who have been on the journey with us, who have and continue to contribute positively to our success. And we have been successful.

Success can be determined in so many ways – through financial performance, community engagement and above all else, performance on the pitch.

Whilst the trust are very clearly the legal majority shareholders of the club, the ownership model involves and requires a collaboration of people and organisations.


After years in League Two, during which we constructed a new grandstand, away end, and training facility, we have frequently been asked if the club, under its current ownership has reached its peak… the best answer to which is getting promoted, which we duly did in 2021-22.

The club and trust will continue to evolve and grow through dedicated volunteers, experts who give their skills free of charge for our benefit, and a steady stream of trustees, drawn from the membership who do not seek to run the club, but to guide and determine the ethos under which it is.

Community and supporters first, sustainability critical, and strong ethics at our core.



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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball