Exeter City 'should follow Exeter Chiefs example'

Exeter CEO aims to boost attendances

New Exeter City chief executive Guy Wolfenden says he wants to emulate the success of the city's rugby club as he begins his role at St James Park.

Exeter Chiefs play in the Premiership, English rugby's top tier, and have also competed in European competition in the Heineken Cup for the last two years.

"The challenge here is fantastic," he told BBC Spotlight.

"The rugby club's in one place and Exeter City really should be in a similar position."

The Grecians are in League Two, where they have been since relegation from League One at the end of the 2011-12 season.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge of helping to develop the ground and fanbase," added Wolfenden, who previously worked at Warwickshire and Somerset County Cricket Clubs in commercial roles.

"It will be great to work with [manager] Paul Tisdale and the team to develop the best football and the stadium for fans to come and enjoy the game here in Exeter."

Exeter are owned by a supporters' trust, meaning Tisdale - the longest-serving manager in the Football League - has had to operate within strict financial limits in terms of strengthening his squad.

Wolfenden said one of his main priorities would be on boosting attendances - Exeter averaged gates of 4,141 last season.

"It's my job to work on the finances to help Paul do his job," said Wolfenden.

"Not having any debt is huge - working with the supporters' trust and the fans, there's a huge opportunity in making sure we have more people coming down to watch.

"The style of football here is fantastic and Paul's very determined that the players keep the ball on the ground and play entertaining football. The vast majority of games are Saturday afternoons so the opportunity to get people here is very exciting.

"We're always looking to strengthen but we've got to make sure the finances are in place for that. We wouldn't want to put ourselves in the position where we overstretch and not be able to deliver."

Wolfenden said he would also look to develop the ground but only within the club's means.

"There's no desire from me to go out and get huge bank loans to make it happen, that's not how's it's going to happen," he said.

"There's no goldmine or easy win - it's a matter of putting in some hard work to make sure we deliver the most sustainable club that we can."

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