Today I went on a demonstration.

There are many bad things in this world fit to be demonstrated against, so which did I choose this morning? Why, the proposed deduction of 12 points from Exeter City by the Nationwide Conference, of course.

I have to confess that initially I felt a little sheepish standing there because I don’t disagree in principle with the concept of punishing teams for entering debt-cutting arrangements. Still, I wanted to show my support for the folks now running the club and I figured that since I lived in London it was the least I could do to stand in the cold for an hour.

As it turned out, I had a terrific time. I grudgingly spoke to a nice lady from Radio 4 then politely demurred when asked to provide some vox pop soundbites for South West TV. We chatted to members of our Board and to Steve Perryman (Exeter’s Director of Football) who seemed like a tremendous fellow. A fair number of passers-by took a passing interest in what we were up to. Apparently someone reported our little group to the Police, who turned up and agreed with us that we were doing nothing whatsoever wrong.

Most weeks the Non-League Paper prints someone or other saying we should shut up and take our medicine. I have a certain amount of sympathy with that view, but still I feel like Exeter are being harshly treated. We appear to be taking blow after blow and it seems that everyone knows that the 12-point deduction won’t be in place past the end of the season.

If the points-deduction rule is to stop clubs from ‘doing a Leicester’ (i.e. running up huge debts and then using administration to walk away from their creditors while retaining their assets) then it has to be applied with sensitivity to the particulars of each individual case, and our case is certainly very different to Leicester’s. It seems wrongheaded to punish a club like ours when we’re doing everything in our power to set right what has gone wrong under the previous regime(s), and to run ourselves for the benefit of our community.