Exeter City fans have clubbed together to sign a new player for the Club for the fourth year running – funding the arrival of striker Elliott Chamberlain.
The Wales Under-21 international, 20, who started his career as an Apprentice at Leicester City, began last season at Stockport County before spending time on loan at fellow Blue Square Premier outfit AFC Telford.
Chamberlain’s wages will be met by a group of around 60 Grecians supporters.
They will make contributions to the Club via the Exeter Exiles 1931 Fund, whose investment now tops £50,000.
“This is the 10th season in which City fans have been proud to boast that they own their Football Club,” said Exeter City Chief Executive Julian Tagg.
“This signing is further proof that we’re all still pulling together to make our Club a success.”
“Just as 1931 was a special year for Exeter, with our FA Cup run and record crowd, so the number 31 shirt has become one that the supporters regard as special. We all want Elliott to be a big success here, and hopefully being the ‘fans own player’ will inspire him to do just that.”
Exeter Manager Paul Tisdale is also delighted the fans have helped the Club bring in Chamberlain following his release by Leicester earlier this summer.
“In 2009, they first asked about funding an extra player,” said Tisdale. “We’d just been promoted to League One and they wanted to help us cope with the step up.”
“Now that we’ve had to take our first backward step with relegation to League Two, they’re doubling the money they’re putting in because they appreciate how we need their backing now.”
“The key qualities you want from supporters are loyalty, an understanding of the position the Club is in, a genuine will to win and a ready eagerness to provide whatever support they can to help their team.”
“As everybody knows by now, Exeter City followers do not lack those qualities.”
Alan Crockford of the Exeter Exiles urged any fans able to help finance this season’s number 31 to contact the 1931 Fund at [email protected] or via Exeter City FC.
He admitted: “We may have pledged £18,000, but we need to do some fundraising and find more people willing to pay £19 per month in order to achieve that.”
“A dozen new members would make a huge difference to us and we’re begging any fellow fans able to spare the cost of a pint or two each week to help us pay for our most exciting number 31 yet.”