Lewis Still Unpopular

Thursday, 13 February 2003, 0:00
3 mins read

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Exeter Express & Echo – Thursday February 13th 2003
Two major fans’ groups have joined forces to draw up a list of 10 questions they urgently want to put to Exeter City owners John Russell and Mike Lewis. The Supporters’ Club and the Supporters’ Trust – who boast a combined membership of around 500 – have urged the duo to answer their growing concerns over the financial future at debt-ridden St James’s Park. The two bodies have offered to host a public forum "anytime, anywhere" ??? to give Russell and Lewis the chance to lay fans’ fears to rest. The Grecians banked an unexpected £250,000 in television revenue, gate receipts and prize money earlier this season thanks to their run into the third round of the FA Cup. Supporters’ club chairman Dave Bennett said: "We’ve had a lot of money come into the club in the past eight or nine months and we want to know which creditors have been paid off with this money. We want to know exactly what’s happened to the extra money that’s come in." And Trust chairman Dave Treharne added: "The time has come for some serious answers to some serious questions. These are things that, at the end of the day, affect the future viability of the club. "The supporters care passionately about the club and want it to survive and this is a case of the fans’ bodies acting together." The two groups are anxious for answers to the following 10 questions: Uri Geller is listed as a director in the matchday programme, but not at Companies House. What is his position within the club and, if he is going to become a director, what would be his financial input? Exeter City AFC Ltd should have held an AGM in October. Why hasn’t there been one and when will it now take place? Why does the board of directors currently meet on such an irregular basis? Hotel bills run up apparently by certain members of the board have allegedly been settled with club cheques. Is this the case and, if so, would the board describe these as legitimate expenses? Up until the end of May 2002 there was an agreement in place entitling Mowlems to £9,000 per month. Are these payments still being made and, if not, what is the current arrangement with the company? When does the board intend to appoint a commercial manager to arrest what appears to be a steep decline in the club’s commercial activities? Mr Russell and Mr Lewis have recently returned from a trip abroad presumably to secure investment from Spain. Are these the same parties that Mr Lewis failed to persuade to invest in his previous club, Swansea City, and, if so, why does he think they will invest in Exeter City? The standard of corporate hospitality on match days at St James’s Park seems to have declined. Why has this been allowed to happen and what steps are being taken to redress the problem? We are informed that representatives from the FA have now paid two visits to St James’s Park this season. What are the reasons for and ramifications of this? We have been led to believe that players currently on the payroll but not in the squad have had some difficulty receiving their monthly wages. Why has that been allowed to happen? Russell today confirmed he would be prepared to take part in a public forum organised by the two fans’ bodies. But he added: "We’d rather the Supporters’ Club and the Trust would get in touch with us direct than going through the press. "We could maybe have a public meeting later on but, with all due respect, we do have more pressing matters what with a squad that needs to get out of relegation trouble and the situation with (major creditors) Mowlems that we’re trying to address."

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