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Exeter City receive £100,000 loan from Supporters’ Trust to purchase freehold of training ground

Exeter City have bought the freehold of the Cliff Hill Training Ground thanks to a £100,000 loan from the Supporters’ Trust. The Supporters’ Trust own the Grecians and believe the investment will help the club’s “long-term commitment to player development”.

Supporters’ Trust fund training ground purchase

The training ground, located on the outskirts of Exeter, has now been officially purchased. It has been leased for more than 20 years, but the investment from the Supporters’ Trust has finally allowed Exeter to buy the freehold for the land. The Supporters’ Trust has loaned £100,000 to Exeter to fund the purchase. In the club statement on the Exeter website, they said, “The loan will be repaid by the transfer of the training ground to the Trust once all arrangements have been finalised and approved. These arrangements will include the lease of the ground back to the Club.”

Nick Hawker, chair of Exeter City Supporters’ Trust, said: “This is a significant and important step for Exeter City Football Club, securing the training ground for the long term. This season has seen the club make huge strides in relation to its structure and staffing and to end the season with the news that the Supporters’ Trust is making this purchase possible is something to celebrate.

“We have known for a short while the potential of the land becoming available but, on advice, have maintained confidentiality around it due to the potential for other interested parties becoming involved. We believe this is a major step forward for the Club and Trust.”

The history of the Exeter City training ground

Former Exeter chairman Clifford Hill first bought the training ground in 2003 and leased it to the club for a small rent. Hill died in 2012, which meant the land was given to his wife, Jean. However, she also sadly passed away in March 2023, resulting in the land becoming available to purchase by Exeter.

St James Stand
Exeter City finished 13th in the League One table – Photo by Icon Sport

Hawker added: “We are extremely grateful to both Cliff, and later, Jean Hill, for their generosity when we were a club in desperate need 20 years ago and for their continued support over the last two decades.”


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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