Are we approaching a Crossroads

grecian-near-hell

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Now that all the excitement of promotion is dying down, and the doubters have been proved wrong in that we do want to progress in the EFL reality is starting to kick in.

Firstly the reality of being a supporter owned club in League one (division 3 old money) in 2022. Whilst you expect the big boys to outgun us for players, however we are seeing the "minnows" with purportedly wealthy backers to attract "star names" or quality players who we may or may not have been interested in, despite record season ticket sales and the attraction of playing in a higher division and again the opportunity to live in God's own County. I know this has always been the case but this season it is more apparent with the likes of Crawley signing Telford, and when we were in the fourth division we could get by with what we had and functioned as a team. However up a league we will need more quality in the squad, and I am sure that there are a number of players whose agents are overpricing their talents (similar to the current housing market) and their demands will reduce as the season encroaches. But it is a problem

Secondly, the initial talk is retaining and consolidating our position in League one, I feel that our current squad with a couple of additions should hold their own in the division, however over time what is the future? We have relied on a mix of seasoned pros, mixed with perceived average signings and academy players to form a cohesive successful squad, which again has worked well over the years, the future will be different. Will we be getting the number of academy products through the system, with the increase in quality in the division, as we are finding will we be able to attract the seasoned pros that can also help support our system. How imperative to our survival is project 6000 (or whatever it's called), do we need this many supporters for every game to balance the books.

Thirdly what are our ambitions now that we have left the fourth division behind us, do we want to progress to the second division, and all the extra cost that that would bring, or is it just a case of consolidating in league one until the time comes for us to return to the fourth division. If we stagnate in division three, then will supporter interest wane as this could be perceived as no ambition, therefore causing more pressure on the budget. How much longer have we got of the Ollie monies to support the club infrastructure, as Matt has said if we had all our academy products in the one team it would be one helluva team, but there would be no club so we will still need to sell

It is a fine balancing act and I would like to think that we could dip our toes in the waters of the championship just once in my life time but not at all costs, as with everything in this world money seems to be the major problem to progress so what are the ways forward?

Where will we be in 2027
 

SEA Grecian

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Now that all the excitement of promotion is dying down, and the doubters have been proved wrong in that we do want to progress in the EFL reality is starting to kick in.

Firstly the reality of being a supporter owned club in League one (division 3 old money) in 2022. Whilst you expect the big boys to outgun us for players, however we are seeing the "minnows" with purportedly wealthy backers to attract "star names" or quality players who we may or may not have been interested in, despite record season ticket sales and the attraction of playing in a higher division and again the opportunity to live in God's own County. I know this has always been the case but this season it is more apparent with the likes of Crawley signing Telford, and when we were in the fourth division we could get by with what we had and functioned as a team. However up a league we will need more quality in the squad, and I am sure that there are a number of players whose agents are overpricing their talents (similar to the current housing market) and their demands will reduce as the season encroaches. But it is a problem
There are always going to be clubs who outbid us for players. However, our next step is to stay in League 1 so as long as we are able to compete financially with our immediate rivals like Morecambe and Cheltenham then that should give us a fighting chance of staying up.
 

MJP_Exeter

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Football seems to be going through another drive of particular lobbing cash at it and unsustainable spending again which is daunting and problematic for all clubs trying to work within a budget. The question is how many will go under as a result. Football needs much tougher rules around spending and sustainability for clubs. I personally am in favour (like Rugby Union) of wage ceilings at each level and punishment should they be broken.
 

elginCity

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What's the longest period we've spent in the third tier - six seasons or so ? Sustaining our place in L1 should be the target, with an occasional flirtation with the playoffs and cup runs to maintain interest because crowds will naturally go down after the promotion bounce. Serious Championship aspirations once we'd gained a foothold in L1 over the long term would be my ideal, small steps.
 

Boyo

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Good OP.

I started an thread a while ago about playing budgets in L1. It feels like we'll be in the bottom 4-6 in terms of budget, which is particularly challenging when 4 go down https://www.exeweb.com/forums/threads/l1-playing-budgets-22-23.63756/ I'm reassured however that at this time last season, Nombe, Jevani, Dieng nor Dawson had signed for us, so hopefully as time progresses our offers to players will become more attractive.

I don't think I've ever seen L1 look so strong, with so many "big" teams (and argyle). So honestly, if you offered me 5th from bottom now, I'd take it. Clearly the ambition for the next few years is to not get relegated and try to consolidate ourselves in L1. The challenge off the pitch is arguably even greater. We need to maintain and grow income streams once the novelty of L1 begins to wear.

It goes without saying that we need to keep the academy production line going. We need youngsters to be given opportunities and we need to generate income through transfer fees. That's the bedrock of who we are and why we have the resources to get to where we are. But the standards in L1 are higher so it will be more difficult for the likes of Sonny Cox to break through.

A crossroads indeed and many choices to make.
 

ExmouthMart

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Does it really matter what happens next season as long as we dont get turned over by Argyle?! That’s the benchmark for a lot of people. Seriously though we all know playing in a higher League is always a bonus for us because we don’t have the money to genuinely go for it as some supporters seem to want. Hopefully we can survive but that’s surely got to be the bare minimum requirement?! A few quality signings to add to what we have would be ideal but what sort of gamble that would be who knows…..
 

Avening Posse

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Under Tis we managed to push up to 8th which with our resources was amazing, but inevitably the better players leave either for better money or for understanding their career would not progress upwards beyond a certain point by staying here. Way of the world. I think Matt has done an amazing job bringing together a young team who look like they love playing together and have a lot of spirit and I’m hoping we are in for another good season. Attractive to watch too. The increase in gates in his time in charge clearly demonstrates that. We are definitely stronger in terms of cash and infrastructure than last time, but we have to be honest and accept there are much bigger fish in this division. Medium term I expect us to drift back down for the same reasons Tis’s team did, but you can bet I’m going to enjoy the good times whilst they last. And if he is really successful in this division I suspect he will learn from Tis’s error of hanging around too long, and not turn down a decent offer from a bigger club, and thus the cycle begins again. Anyways, very excited about the new season !
 

JCWhoosh

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Investment in pitch and new training facilities will help both attract new players / youth products and see better quality football on the pitch. We are moving in the right direction but at a pace that is manageable for our income which unfortunately is not as quick if we had a bank roller. Consolidate in league 1 has to be the aim with the hope of attracting new fans and pushing the gate numbers up.
It's a roller coaster being a City fan but wouldn't want it any other way.
 

IndoMike

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Under Tis we managed to push up to 8th which with our resources was amazing, but inevitably the better players leave either for better money or for understanding their career would not progress upwards beyond a certain point by staying here. Way of the world. I think Matt has done an amazing job bringing together a young team who look like they love playing together and have a lot of spirit and I’m hoping we are in for another good season. Attractive to watch too. The increase in gates in his time in charge clearly demonstrates that. We are definitely stronger in terms of cash and infrastructure than last time, but we have to be honest and accept there are much bigger fish in this division. Medium term I expect us to drift back down for the same reasons Tis’s team did, but you can bet I’m going to enjoy the good times whilst they last. And if he is really successful in this division I suspect he will learn from Tis’s error of hanging around too long, and not turn down a decent offer from a bigger club, and thus the cycle begins again. Anyways, very excited about the new season !
I agree with virtually all of your post. The crossroads were met in 2010-2011 after our excellent 8th place finish in Div 1. We lost the spine of our team thereafter and went down the following season. It's hard for us to keep progressing at a higher level purely because of financial restraints. I still think we'll survive this season with a little bit to spare.Who knows what will happen after that : it might just depend on any large sums of money received in transfer fees.
 

DJG.ECFC

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I think off the pitch and as a club as a whole, we are stronger than we’ve ever been. Yes we have big financial limitations but We are doing it the right way and building from the bottom up, investing in the academy and the training ground. I refuse to believe we can’t make it to the championship when the likes of Yeovil, burton, Luton, Wycombe etc have been there recently. Yes we could come straight back down but I think our academy is now at a level where we will always have a chance to progress as we have that to fall back on these days.
 
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