I was down at Exeter City today to referee an academy game v Southampton and I asked a few of the coaches: they confirmed that Taunton and Tiverton are both strong, well-funded local non-league teams who are paying players good appearance money.
We got talking about how Exeter City are funding their training centre - apparently it was paid for wholly by the fee they received when they sold Matt Grimes (to Swansea?) and improvements since have been by the sale and later bonuses from Ethan Ampadu going to Chelsea. Ollie Watkins’ move to Brentford paid for improvements to St James Park and funding the first team.
It’s a great business model they have and it shows - 4 separate coaches for each academy age group, they hire out the 4G floodlit pitch at their training centre and it’s fully booked 7 nights a week. They’ve kept players’ wages realistic but entice new players into the area with a good relocation fee funded by the directors.