Gallagher Premiership finalists Exeter have had an unusual off-season match to deal with this weekend at their Sandy Park home – travellers who set up camp in the club’s car park and demanded £1,500 to move.
The fixture began in the early hours of Saturday morning when two caravans, a motor home and three vehicles were first spotted in the club’s car park.
The weekend intrusion led to the Chiefs using club vehicles to block entry and exit points to the car park for fear that other travellers would arrive on the land.
Then, rather than pay the demanded monies directly to the travellers, club bosses spent £1,500 on obtaining a high court enforcement order from a company in the English midlands to evict the travellers from Sandy Park.
Tony Rowe, Exeter’s chief executive and chairman, told devonlive.com: “We got a decent agent in who deals with travellers and they were all gone by 8pm.
They were extremely aggressive, say Exeter Chiefs https://t.co/IM3ocfZvQa
— Devon Live News (@DevonLiveNews) June 23, 2019
“They were a bit aggressive and threatening when they left as we chucked them off so quickly and they threatened to come back.
“We have security there until tomorrow when will put in some anti-traveller devices,” continued Rowe, who added that the rubbish left behind by their fleeting visitors was an eyesore.
“Considering they were only on site for less than 24 hours they left a ton of mess which have to be cleared up. What they left was disgusting.”
— Devon Live News (@DevonLiveNews) June 22, 2019
Prior to the eviction, Rowe had said: “We have had conversations with them and they asked for £1,500 and have made idle threats.
“They were slightly hostile with myself when I challenged them to move on and when we refused to pay them money. They know the law and that because it is private land it will take 48 hours to obtain an order to remove them which will cost us £1,500.
“I would rather pay for the order. If you pay them cash directly they will come back as they will think you’re a soft touch.
“I’m not angry because there’s nothing you can do about it. We will have to sit down next week and work out how to stop it happening again in the future.”
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