‘Gives me discipline’ - Derby star makes admission as Exeter reveal profit despite £1m wage rise

Portsmouth face promotion-chasing Derby on Tuesday in a crucial title-deciding clash
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Portsmouth are edging closer to their automatic promotion dream after securing a crucial 3-1 away victory over Wycombe Wanderers.

The result leaves John Mousinho’s men needing a maximum of eight points from six games to secure promotion, although that figure could drop depending on results in the other games involving rivals Bolton Wanderers and Derby County.

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Theoretically speaking, Portsmouth could even have promotion in the bag when they make the trip up north to Bolton’s Toughsheet Community Stadium on Saturday 13 April. Ahead of a crucial round of League One fixtures we take a look at all of the main headlines from around the division.

Derby star relishes the challenge of playing football during Ramadan

Derby County midfielder Ebou Adams says that he is relishing the challenge of playing football during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The Gambian international bagged the winner in his side’s 1-0 victory over Blackpool, his first strike since signing for the promotion-chasing side.

Adams played the full 90 minutes, despite fasting from sunrise to sunset, and is once again expected to feature against Portsmouth in tomorrow’s crucial title-decider at Fratton Park. The 28-year-old said: “There are times when I think I’m done here, but someone gives me a little push and I get through it. It’s my religion, it gives me discipline. It’s what makes me who I am and I’m happy with that.

“It’s a lot more than just not eating and drinking. It’s looking after yourself, reflecting how you are as a person, how you treat other people and giving to charity. I’m enjoying Ramadan and playing football. It’s not easy, it’s difficult, but I’m getting through it.”

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The midfielder insists his side are focused on the title rather than looking over their shoulder at Bolton’s results. Ahead of the trip down south, he added: “I’d rather chase than look behind us because if you do that, you end up slipping up. If we keep looking forward, we’ll be looking to attack the game, especially on Tuesday.”

Exeter City remain profitable despite huge rise in wages

Exeter City continue to be profitable despite a £1m rise in wages. Figures from 30 June 2023 show the Grecians made £312,000 profit from their first season back in League One. The supporter-owned club remains one of the few sides in the English Football League to regularly make a profit. In 2022 they made around £1.5m and in 2021 they boasted a profit of nearly £3m.

Statistics from their latest accounts show that the club’s turnover has risen to more than £5.8m due to an increase in attendances, although wages have risen from £3.974m to £4.9m following promotion to League One.

A statement from chair Nick Hawker said: “We continue to increase the playing budget based on affordability within our financial model and forecasts available. Our strategy, via our three-year business planning process, is to fund further year-on-year improvements to the first team in a sustainable fashion, by allocating some of the increased turnover and profitability into the playing budget.”

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