Monday, June 30, 2008

News Round Up

Ex-Bull Neil Mackenzie will again be on Countdown today (3.25pm) after winning yesterday's show. MK Dons are expected to name Roberto Di Matteo as their new manager. The former Chelsea midfielder, 38, retired through injury six years ago and has been running a string of restaurants since then.

Leicester have made Cambridge defender Micheal Morrison their first summer signing for an undisclosed fee. The 20 year old is the U's latest departure after coming through the youth ranks. He is followed by MK Dons winger Lloyd Dyer, who signs on a three year deal after his deal at Stadium:MK ran out, and Bury midfielder Nicky Adams who rejected a new deal at Gigg Lane.

Tranmere have been dealt another blow with another out of contract man opting for League Two rather than staying at Prenton Park. Following Shane Sheriff out the door is Paul McLaren, who has opted to join Bradford over a new deal. McLaren was former Bulls loanee Stephen Jennings' central midfield partner for most of last season. Leyton Orient have signed goalie Jamie Jones from Everton. The 19 year old never made the first team at Goodison Park after 12 years there. They have also signed 20 year old full back Andrew Cave-Brown following his release from Norwich.

Chester have signed striker Paul Taylor from Vauxhall Motors... on loan. Taylor rejected a move earlier in the summer over personal terms after a second bid was accepted by his club. Forest Green have signed an undisclosed sponsorship agreement with a Dubai based business consultancy that is claimed to be one of the biggest ever in the Conference.

Southend are set to lose senior keeper Daryl Flahavan with Crystal Palace his likely destination. He has played over 200 times in five years at Roots Hall but was only offered a one year deal to stay. The Shrimpers have also received final planning permission for their new stadium. The 22,000 seat arena will include a hotel and retail outlets and is expected to be ready for the 2010/11 season.

Leeds have nicked Leicester full back Alan Sheehan, with the fee to be decided. The out of contract 21 year old has signed a three year deal at Elland Road. Hartlepool are the latest side interested in Hibs striker Clayton Donaldson. The former York striker scored 24 goals in a single Conference season before securing the move to Hibs, but he was quickly out of the first team picture and is believed to be available on a free with Oldham and Darlington also interested.

Shrewsbury have confirmed that, despite previously stating otherwise, they will not get £500,000 for Joe Hart's England debut. The bonus is only for a place in the starting XI, but it has taken the club nearly a month to confirm. Walsall have made released Doncaster defender Steve Roberts their first summer signing.

Peterboro have placed Aaron McLean on the transfer list after he handing in a transfer request after being offered 'the most lucrative contract in the club's history'. The asking price is £3million plus clauses, as quoted to Wolves last week. Stockport have agreed to sell striker Liam Dickinson to Derby for a deal that could reach seven figures. The 22 year old has agreed a four year deal with the Rams.

Bournemouth's Administrator has confirmed a second bid for the club, but that existing bidder - and current chairman - Jeff Mostyn still has exclusivity on concluding a deal. The second bid will be considered if Mostyn fails in his bid. Mostyn has appointed Alistair Saverimutto as the new Chief Executive. Saverimutto was fronting a bid to buy Chester in December by venture capitalists.

Huddersfield's final pre-season match with Arsenal will be screened live on TV by Setanta.

Bulls News 08/09 Ground Guide Preview (Final Part)

Swindon Town

Swindon are, of course, a massive club. Strange therefore that not much over a thousand visitors from The Shire should cause such apparent chaos at the turnstiles when we arrived at The County Ground the season before last. Maybe they should take some lessons from Forest Green on how to cope with our travelling throng or, perhaps, hope that some of the "magic" from the nearby roundabout will rub off onto their stewards and gate operators. The appointed visitors Pub was fine and the chip shop on the way back to the ground was very good. Perhaps the local Plod will frogmarch us to the ground in time for the kick-off this year? One thing's for certain, I don't want to be sat out on the Stratton Bank in mid-March!

Tranmere Rovers

Prenton Park is another of the stadiums that has seen The Bulls earn praise for their Cup exploits in recent years. The draw there before the win in the replay at Edgar Street last season certainly ranked as one of the better days out in 07/08. Rovers reported a visiting attendance of 1643 excluding a number who failed to make it into the ground due to being under the care the local constabulary. So, a word of warning, go to Tranmere, but behave because the Plod do not take kindly to those who indulge to excess. The visitors end is seated and offers a great view of the proceedings as well as providing a bar and the usual food and soft drinks.


The Bescot is now officially The Banks's Stadium. If nothing else, it has the honour of being named after probably the finest pint of mild in the country. This, again, is one that I will look forward to as the previous visit was by rail and included a "full English" just outside New Street station and a protracted visit to one of Birmingham’s finest Real Ale houses before the onward journey to the ground. I fully expect to follow a similar course this year. Once again, visitors are accommodated in a seated end stand which provides a good view of the game despite a few supporting pillars. The club at the ground usually allows in visitors although it can fill up well before kick-off time.

Yeovil Town

Well, what can one say? Village team, over blown Conference team or simply the ones who "stole" our players when we were skint? However you measure it, there is certainly a bit of "history" between the two clubs going way back. The excellent Ciderspace site gives us plenty of stick including the claim that we have never won anything. They must have missed the League Championship win in 75/76 that took us to the second tier of English football. Still, it's easy to understand how the local inferior cider could blur their vision. I may be mistaken but I think this is our 28th season as a League team whereas our West Country friends are just about to start their 6th! The truth is, there are many similarities between the clubs. Proud non-league histories, both renowned giantkillers and both now in League 1. I've not been to Yeovil since the days of the slope at The Huish so this will be another box-ticking for me. The stadium looks to be along the lines of what could be needed at Edgar Street although one end is still uncovered. Unfortunately, this is the end that is allocated to visiting fans so our early March visit had better be dry!

So, plenty to look forward to. Enjoy 08/09.

News Round Up

Ex-Bull Phil Robinson is assisting Keith Downing at Cheltenham after usual assistant Bob Bloomer suffered achilles damage playing in the Masters tournament. Robinson, who succeeded Downing as coach at Edgar Street, has been out of work since leaving Stafford. Another former Bull, Gareth Sheldon, has signed a new one year deal at Tamworth after being voted their player of the year last season.

Halifax boss Chris Wilder has quit the club, and is expected to be installed as Bury's new assistant boss later today. The reformed Halifax club has been accepted into the Unibond League and will confirm it's name shortly, with the Administrators still trying to sell off the assets of the old club - including the Halifax Town name. Brighton have signed defender Adam Virgo on a free transfer three years after selling him to Celtic for £1.5million.

Crewe have taken forward Eddie Johnson on trial after his release from Bradford, turning down a two year deal at Chester in the process. Peterboro boss Darren Ferguson has announced his retirement from playing the game. The Posh have also announced squad numbers for their 26 contracted players, of which five are on the transfer list.

Scunthorpe will not be continuing their interest in Cheltenham's Steven Gillespie after being quoted a £500,000 asking price. Brighton have named a local IT firm as their new sponsors after Skint Records pulled out after nine years.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Transfer Activity will increase this week

Last season's contracts for Football League players end today so an increased amount of transfer activity is expected this week.

Nothing about new deals has come out of Edgar Street since June 17th when it was announced that Matty Done has joined Hereford United and both Richard Rose and Simon Johnson had signed new one year deals.

However with manager Graham Turner returning from holiday and the players, already signed, returning to training there will be increased activity around the Edgar Street ground.

First news about signings could come as early as tomorrow. Speculation continues that both Dean Beckwith and Toumani Diagouraga will agree new deals. And Turner may be preparing to pay Southend for Gary Hooper.

However the fate of Trent McClenahan remains unclear. He will know on Friday if he has been picked for the Olympics and may gamble that the resultant publicity could mean more interest in his future by Australian football managers.

Revised ESG Masterplan Launch Event

The revised Edgar Street Grid masterplan is to be launched at The Courtyard, Hereford on Tuesday July 8th from 8.30am to 1.00pm.

A year ago ESG Herefordshire unveiled the draft Masterplan for the redevelopment of 100 acres close to the City Centre. Hereford United's football ground is at north end of the area.

ESG Herefordshire say that after taking account of the views expressed by the public and making several significent changes, the revised Masterplan will be launched at a further public meeting at the Courtyard. Anyone can attend to find out how Hereford's regeneration plans are progressing.

More details on or from Julia Lawrence on 01432 370681 or email

Bulls News 08/09 Ground Guide Preview (Part4)

Peterborough United

Not a pie to be seen...Barry Fry, Barry Fry! What a character that man is. N€ver short of something to say and always in the headlines. £ove him or hate him, football would be a far le$$ interesting place without him. Doshborough is one of my favourite away days simply because of Charters, the former Dutch barge that is moored on the canal/river (?) close to the London Road ground. There are several other "special places" that I shall be boring you with nearer the time but for any fans who have not been before; this is definitely a box to tick. Whilst the stadium is not the best, it does have the redeeming feature of a traditional terrace for visiting fans and a more than decent atmosphere. Enjoy.

Scunthorpe United

Glanford Park has been the home of The Iron since 1988 following their move from The Old Showground and this will be a first visit for myself. Apart from a brief spell in the late fifties/early sixties, they have spent their entire history in the lower leagues. Naturally, their time has been hampered by the usual financial ups and downs but the last couple of years has seen them earn £600k for Andy Keogh (Wolves), £1m for Martin Patterson (Burnley) and £2m for Billy Sharp (Sheff. Utd). The ground is said to be totally enclosed with the corners filled by advertising boards. I shall look forward to this one.

Shrewsbury Town


Southend United

Roots Hall is another of those grounds that has an air of "properness" about it. However, there is a scheme afoot to re-locate to a new 22,000 all-seated affair within the next year or two so long as the usual planning arguments can be resolved. A visit to Saafend is generally considered to be without hassle and enjoyable. HUFC fans will find themselves in the North Stand which seats up to 2000 supporters. The acoustics are very good so it's possible to create some serious volume with even a small travelling army and there is a good selection of welcoming alehouse around the ground.

Stockport County

We have to wait until the end of January before collecting our now traditional three points at Edgeley Park. The uncovered visitors end is close to appalling offering barely enough legroom for a dwarf frog but this is tempered by a day on the Robinsons Best and the rolls in the Labour Club next to the visitor's entrance. There is a rumour that if it pours with rain, they may allow us into part of the Popular Stand. Care will need to be taken to avoid being above them in the League otherwise manager Gannon might be tempted to suggest that "the pressure is on us". I shall miss booing Anthony Elding.

News Round Up

Former Bulls target Kevin Ellison has turned down Stockport for a second time, three weeks after Chester accepted a bid. He snubbed a bid in February after what Stockport claimed were 'contractual issues', while he rejected the latest move after Chester were claimed to be under a transfer embargo by the PFA. Claims that Chester have been repeatedly late in paying wages continue to circle the club.

Stockport are claimed to be in receipt of a second bid for striker Liam Dickinson from Derby. An initial £250,000 offer was branded 'derisory' but Rams boss Paul Jewell has confirmed to the press he is waiting for an answer on the second offer. Blackpool have incurred the wrath of supporters by upping ticket prices by as much as 50%, bucking the general trend this summer of price freezes. Away fans will pay more than home supporters with a £20 membership saving £5 a game for locals.

McClenahan waits for July 4th

Hereford United's Trent McClenahan will have to wait for July 4th to see whether he has been chosen for the Olyroos squad for the Beijing Olympic games.

He featured for the full ninety minutes in the Olyroos/Chile game earlier today after being dropped for the previous match. The encounter finished 1-1.

"Our players again performed well up against very good opposition tonight," said Olyroos coach Graham Arnold

"The purpose of this camp was for me to make critical selection decisions and also to prepare the players for the Beijing Olympic Games.

"Based on that, this camp has been extremely successful, we have been very well looked after by everyone here in Darwin and the effort of all the boys could not be faulted.

"Now my coaching staff and I have a very difficult task in selecting the final squad that will go to the Olympic Games," concluded Arnold.

Meanwhile news about whether McClenahan has agreed a new deal at Edgar Street should emerge this week as manager Graham Turner returns from holiday.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bulls News 08/09 Ground Guide Preview (Part3)

Leyton Orient

What an opening fixture this is! The playing surface has the reputation for being one of the best outside The Premiership and the visiting fans' accommodation is usually provided in part of the main stand. To all intense and purposes, they are owned by Sports Promoter and former accountant, Barry Hearn, who made his name with the Matchroom snooker organisation as manager of, amongst others, "interesting" Steve Davis. His involvement with boxing has included promoting events for Chrith Eubank and Nigel Benn. The man is clearly a flawed genius...anyone who can create a major TV spectacle from snooker, darts and fishing but still end up at Brisbane Road has to be questioned. Oh, did I mention that they have a central defender called Tamika?


Firstly, it's important to note that Millwall are not in Millwall and haven't been since they moved from their original dock area home to New Cross in 1910. At least they haven't called themselves New Cross Dons. Their stay at The Den saw the club attract a fearsome reputation, particularly in the eighties, for violence. Although a further move to The New Den in 1993 has seen a dramatic improvement, the stigma survives to this day. In truth, the stadium itself is well organised and real fans of The Lions have made a visit to Millwall FC a lot more pleasant than it used to be. Best advice is still to not drink in Pubs around the ground. Go to the stadium, watch the game and go home.

Milton Keynes Dons

Ah...The Franchise! Probably the only club in the world to start their life halfway up the football pyramid. If I live to be a hundred and The Dons reach the Premiership, this will still be wrong, wrong, wrong. That said, Stadium MK is a good day out with first class seating, view and organisation. (assuming they have more than one person selling tickets). The ground is away from the centre of MK and lacks the traditional local alehouses but a bit of forward planning should ensure that your every need is catered for. The Bulls visit MK at the end of November.

Northampton Town

My first visit to The Cobblers was back in 70/71 when we beat them 2-1 in an FA Cup replay. A crowd of over 10,000 had watched the first match at ES. Strange that we should draw them again in 71/72 drawing both at home and away before securing the Newcastle tie in a "neutral ground" victory at WBA's Hawthorns ground. Anyone remember George Best sticking SIX past them a couple of years before? That was back in the days when they shared The County Ground with Northants County Cricket Club. Nowadays, they occupy the custom built Sixfields Stadium (surely one field would have been enough?) which offers the usual, all-seated modern small stadium facilities.

Oldham Athletic

Yet another of those ground names that conjures memories from decades ago...Boundary Park may well be a first for some of our younger fans but it has been home to The Latics since 1906 and is a true traditional football ground. Their relatively recent history includes time in The Premiership, as they were a Division 1 club at the time it was formed. Life in the top flight did not last long however and the 96/97 season saw them relegated for the second time to what is now League 1. Visiting fans often share the Rochdale Road End with home fans separated by a moat. Plenty of good-natured banter can be expected if this is the case when the Bulls visit in October.

Husbands to trial with Robins

Michael Husbands has been offered a trial at Cheltenham when their players return to training next Tuesday.

The 24 year old striker has played for both Hereford United (on loan from Aston Villa) and Bristol Rovers but has recently been with Telford.

In other news Shrewsbury have signed Shane Sheriff on a free transfer from Tranmere. Ronnie Moore had offered Sheriff a two year deal. Shrewsbury now have a squad of 25 players.

Chairman Roland Wycherley has told the Shropshire Star that the club's record-breaking transfer splash "shows our intent."

"I’m not going to make any predictions but it shows nobody should doubt the intent to reach League One as soon as possible," he said.

Former Leyton Orient defender Clayton Fortune has completed a move to Darlington.

Paint Trophy Dates

The Football League has released the dates for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy for the coming season.

Round One - week beginning Monday 1st September.
Round Two - week beginning Monday 6th October.
Area Quarter-Finals - week beginning Monday 3rd November.
Area Semi-Finals - week beginning Monday 15th December.
Area Finals (two legs) - weeks beginning Monday 19th January and Monday 16th February, 2009.
Final - Sunday 5th April 2009.

Hereford United enter in Round One, the draw for which is on Sky's Soccer AM on the first Saturday of the season, August 9th.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Radford and George changed my life - Motson

Sheepskin coated John Motson will end his international career with the Euro 2008 final tomorrow. Although the BBC commentator will still be heard on Match of the Day, the game between Spain and Germany will be the last 'big' game he will cover.

"It will be the end of my international career," he told the Times.

"Eighteen major championships, nine World Cups, nine Europeans, the final itself in six World Cups and nine Europeans if I’m still standing on Sunday," he said. "My first European championship was in 1976 in Belgrade when there was only four teams in the finals."

And that first championship came four years after he made his mark as a young commentator at Edgar Street when Hereford United defeated Newcastle United in that world famous FA Cup replay. The astonishing result turned what had been a “sweeping-up job” into the main event on Match of the Day that evening.

"Those goals by Ronnie Radford and Ricky George changed my life," he said. "I was only on a year’s probation. I could have been sent back to my old job.

"Anyone could see it was a huge story when Hereford won 2-1, but it was still incredible to hear my commentary at the top of the show. Sam Leitch must have thought I did all right because I got a contract soon after that."

In the Independent Motson recalled how he first got hold of a sheepskin coat.

"I was at a party at Chelsea and the hostess, who was a furrier, said she wanted to take me to the garage. I was still quite young then, and I wasn't quite sure what was in store. In the garage I saw a lot of coats laid down on the floor. She suggested that I try one on. That was the start of it. Later a man from Hornchurch made me four coats and then disappeared. Now I go to Savile Row. I reckon I'll get one more sheepskin before I finish."

Bulls News 08/09 Ground Guide Preview (Part 2)

Crewe Alexandra

For donkey's years, Gresty Road was the sole stamping ground of a certain Dario Gradi but recent times have seen a "change at Crewe" as their head train spotter has taken a somewhat removed position as Technical Director. It is uncertain at this stage if they will continue the tradition of producing such talents as David Platt, Geoff Thomas and Matt Bailey. The drive to Crewe provides the delight of knowing that we pass through Shrewsbury safe in the knowledge that, this season, we don't have to stop to watch a match. The all-seated stadium holds around 10,000 of which 7000 are in the recently built Air Products Stand. You can therefore imagine that the remaining parts of the ground are best described as "homely".

Hartlepool United (The other HUFC)

As far as I'm aware, there is no zoo in Hartlepool, which is a great shame as I'd be interested to inquire after the well being of their monkeys. This is another long trip and fans are to be reminded of the old saying "when the north wind doth blow, wear two coats" is ALWAYS cold at Victoria Park and I wonder if housing visiting fans in The Rink End is a warning? Having said that, the atmosphere is generally good, their fans are welcoming and the view is good. The seafront provides a good range of alehouses and food outlets while the Corner Flag Club at the ground allows visitors for 50p.

Huddersfield Town

Now then, this is a stadium that will bring out the looks of envy! Relatively close to the site of their old Leeds Road ground, it is a million miles away in design. It's one of the few new facilities that I actually like. Originally named the Alfred MacAlpine Stadium, it was renamed The Galpharm in 2004 after the new sponsors and offers the finest facilities we are likely to come across this season. Take your cameras and send the photos to our local council.

Leeds United

The scene of last season's stroll through the FA Cup 1st round, Elland Road is due for re-visiting in late September. They will be one of the bookies pre-season favourites and doubtless, by the time we arrive, their ever tolerant fans will have expected them to have won the League. Whilst I'm no Leeds hater, I would take great pleasure in witnessing another Lionelesque victory just to hear the lame excuses from "Revenue expert" Bates (how the hell do you lose £35m of debt and then carry on as if nothing was wrong?). However, it was nice of them to name a Stand after our former Player Manager. Those of us who missed the start (and goal) at last year's event will be taking care to allow more than sufficient time for the journey.

Leicester City

The Walker Stadium is home to another fallen giant and will evoke memories of "that day". Ten thousand travelling support this time? I think not. However, after a couple of days of eating, drinking and smiling at the mother-in-law, this could be the perfect post Christmas escape as we travel to our Resurrection home on the last weekend of 2008. For all the fond memories, "The Walkers" is actually a boring, characterless superstructure that should be launched into the Atlantic at the first opportunity. Personally, I shall be taking several varieties of Tyrrells to enjoy and will leave the empty packets in clear view in the hope that they learn from their mistakes. Just think, they probably paid some fat Architect a fortune to design it!

Cheltenham may move to Racecourse

Cheltenham Town are considering moving from Whaddon Road to the nearby racecourse if a proposal can be agreed.

The owners of the racecourse at Prestbury Park are likely to build permanent stands to replace 'tented' accomodation as they are concerned about safety after high winds caused problems at last years National Hunt Festival.

The proposals, which are reported to include a 'back-to-back' grandstand, facing the finishing straight on one side and the new football pitch on the other, have been put forward by the course's managing director Edward Gillespie who has approached Robin's chairman, Paul Baker, about the plans.

Ex-Bull Gets On... Countdown!

Former Bulls youth player and loanee Neil Mackenzie is to attempt to dispel rumours about footballers intellectual capacity by appearing on Countdown.

Midfielder Mackenzie appears on Monday's show, the first professional footballer in the programme's 25 year history after passing auditions for the 59th series. A programme spokesman said: "It was great to have Neil on the show. He was a good sport and we hope this encourages other sportsmen and women to have a go."

Mackenzie started as a youth player at Edgar Street, but quickly moved on before making a loan return from Scunthorpe in October 2006. He is currently with Notts County. The programme can be seen on Channel 4 on Monday at 3.25pm.

Giles joins Newport County

Former Hereford United defender Martyn Giles has joined Newport County.

On 27 July 2006 he signed for the Bulls after leaving Carmarthen Town. He was a first team regular in the Bulls defence, and was named Fan's Player of the Month for September. However his season was effectively over by the end of October when he suffered two long-term injuries, initially suffering dizziness from a head injury sustained in a game against Darlington.

Once he had recovered he then had a back injury which ensured he did not play again in the 2006-07 season, and he was released at the end of the season.

25 year old Giles has played for Wales at U17, U19 and semi-professional levels.

Meanwhile another former Hereford United defender is on the move. Darren Blewitt is moving to Heybridge Swifts from Ryman League Premier Division neighbours Billericay Town.

Blewitt, formerly at West Ham United, had loan spells at both Southend United and Hereford United.

His spell at Edgar Street was for the first half of the 2005/06 season.

"When I first went there my first question was - Hereford where is it? Is it in England? Well Hereford is in England but only just isn't it? It's on the border but they are great people, I was a bit unsure at first but I found the locals really easy to get along with. The players were a bit of a mixture to be truthful, a few local boys; a couple of northerners and a few London lads so there were a lot of different accents going around obviously. But my accent was the best and in the end they all tried to copy me, but as for the locals well I can tell you there were a few interesting people down there that's for sure - but overall some great people," said Blewitt in an interview after his return to West Ham.

News Round Up

Southend have lost the services of midfielder Mark Gower, with the ex-Barnet man choosing newly promoted Swansea over a new two year deal at Roots Hall after four years there. Bristol Rovers are on the verge of signing Swansea striker Daryl Duffy for £100,000 according to the local press. The 24 year old Scot scored just twice in 31 games after a £200,000 move from Hull last summer but was prolific in previous loan spells at Hartlepool and the Swans.

Notts County are signing up supporters to £15,000 tickets for life and beyond. The 'Ambassador' status gives the holder executive seating for life, and the seat can be passed on after death. The Bulls did a similar scheme in the early 80's offering tickets for £500, but the deal was not transferrable. Those still holding the 21 sold get £550 VP Club membership for free for the single fee that is around £1,500 in today's money.

Exeter have announced that their Supporters Trust has passed the 2,500 member mark. The Trust has pledged to donate £65,000 to the club over the coming season. Oldham striker Lee Hughes is the target of a bid from Dundee United. Rotherham face a creditors meeting today, needing 75% of them to agree to a CVA and avoid a further points deduction. They are expected to fail with the Inland Revenue likely to vote against any proposal.

Leicester are to appoint West Brom coach Craig Shakespeare as their assistant boss. The former Walsall player worked with manager Nigel Pearson at the Hawthorns. The club are to rename the South Stand at their home to the Spion Kop, the home end of their Filbert Street stadium. MK Dons midfielder Keith Andrews is being targeted by both Blackburn and Watford.

Leeds will not get striker Dougie Freedman back on loan, but he will consider a permanent move to Elland Road. Scunthorpe have confirmed defender Andy Butler will be leaving the club after he chose to reject a new deal. His destination, on a free transfer, has not been revealed. Yeovil have sold midfielder Marvin Williams to Brentford for an undisclosed fee.

Crewe are to complete the signing of Tranmere striker Calvin Zola after being granted a work permit. The 23 year old joins for £200,000 after four years at Prenton Park and 18 goals in 107 appearances.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Icke to stand in By-election

Not too many ex-Hereford United footballers have gone into politics, but one former goalkeeper, David Icke, has put his name forward as a candidate in the forthcoming by-election at Haltemprice and Howden on 10 July.

The election takes place as former Tory deputy leader David Davis recently resigned his seat so as to make a stand about civil liberties.

Icke hasn't yet declared what 'party' he is representing but he joins 25 other candidates trying to topple Davis.

Icke has made a name for himself by researching "who and what is really controlling the world." Since giving up football he has been a reporter, television sports presenter, spokesman for the Green Party, and the author of 20 books explaining his views.

No doubt he will lose his deposit but the publicity he will receive by standing will probably outweigh the £500 outlay.

Icke moved to Hereford from Coventry in August 1972 but his spell at the Bulls was ruined by injury. He had rheumatoid arthritis but played on until the end of the 1972/73 season.

"I was in agony every morning at training until my joints were warmed up and loosened a little," said Icke.

Towards the end of the season, the pain disappeared for a month but one morning he woke to find that every one of his joints was hurting. He quit immediately, but is remembered by Hereford fans for never losing at Edgar Street. He played in 37 games for the Bulls.

Bulls News 08/09 Ground Guide Preview (Part 1)

BN takes an alphabetical "off the wall" look at what the coming season holds for travelling Bulls.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Well, here's an interesting one to start with…not exactly our most favourite opponents for obvious reasons. After years of playing at The Goldstone Ground, they were "on the streets" in 1997 and took up residence at Gillingham for what was expected to be a couple of years away while a new stadium was built. This was followed by a move to the Withdean Athletic Stadium where they have remained until this day. Plans for a new stadium at Falmer, on the outskirts of Brighton, have finally been approved but it is The Withdean that will welcome Bulls fans this season. Just one stand shows any semblance of being permanent with the other three sides being open to the elements. Should be luverly in late October!

Brizzle Rovers

Bath City? Nope. Swindon? Nope. Cheltenham? Nope…still The Memorial Stadium. The on/off redevelopment of The Mem is once again in doubt so it's Horfield (careful Ex) again for The Bulls in the third week of August. At least there's a sporting chance of fine weather as we stand on the uncovered terrace trying to squint around the corner to watch the nearside distant touchline while the locals croon about some old women called Irene. Fortunately, there's a decent boozer and it's a short journey back to civilisation.

Carlisle (Follow signs for North Pole)

Brunton Park is in Warwick Road! What on earth has Warwick got to do with this frost-ridden outpost? More to the point, who the hell is the humourless fixture clown who sends us to the end of the earth on the first Tuesday in February? Joking aside, this is a proper football ground… none of your plastic out of town Lego set-ups in Carlisle. For all the apparent disadvantages of being force-fed Haggis for breakfast, this is actually one to look forward too although I fear a less than packed "Waterworks" end when The Bulls INVADE Hadrian's territory.

Cheltenham Town

I have fond memories of Cheltenham although, unsurprisingly, they have nothing to do with watching football. The only worthwhile things to come out of Cheltenham were the occupants of The Ladies College unless you consider the fact that Ronnie Radford did, for a short time, give them some credibility. Whaddon Road is a pleasant enough set-up for a misplaced Conference side and will provide decent accommodation for what is likely to be one of our larger away followings. The day is expected to cause some confusion amongst Robins' fans, as they will have to adjust to not peering into the sky for ninety minutes if they are to "spot the ball".

Colchester United

This has to be one of the disappointments of the season. Layer Road was about as "proper" as it got and ranked alongside Chesterfield's Saltergate in football stadia folklore. The tiny Layer Road away terrace was perfect for visiting fans to create their own home from home. Alas, we will be most likely be strapped into our polished plastic tip-up comfort zone while being videoed for posterity by those who must be obeyed in a new state of the art torture chamber called Cuckoo Farm. Will there be a clock? It's just as well that I have an aging list of Pubs and chip shops that will soften the blow on the first weekend in December.

More to follow over the coming weeks (subject to sleep patterns and visits to the Jalsagor).

News Round Up

Non-League stats legend Tony Kempster has been diagnosed with cancer. His excellent stats site is the fountain of knowledge of all things non-league with the most comprehensive results database in existence. Bulls News wishes him all the best.

Ex-Bull Karl Lewis has left Bromsgrove following their relegation from the British Gas Premier, opting to join Evesham instead. Peterboro have agreed loan deals for two Premier League starlets, but will only sign one due to wage capping rules. Barry Fry says the midfield pair are similar players but it will be manager Darren Ferguson's choice which one goes to London Road.

Millwall's board face an EGM this week as rebel shareholder Graham Ferguson Lacey tries to force every major decision to be put to shareholders. If he wins, each meeting would cost the club £50,000. The board have reinforced their position by converting £2.5million in loans to the club into additional shares, reducing Lacey's power as a result.

Leeds boss Gary McAllister has blasted the football authorities for having 'no consideration' for supporters. Four of their first five away matches have been switched to lunchtime kick-offs, with only a trip to Swindon currently untouched. The club are also looking for new investment, with former Newcastle supremo Freddy Shepherd ruling himself out.

Cheltenham have confirmed the rejected offer for striker Steven Gillespie as being £350,000 plus £50,000 if Scunthorpe won promotion and a sell-on clause.

Edgar Street Grid Discussion next Wednesday

The Hereford Civic Society is to hold a discussion on the Edgar Street Grid next Wednesday July 2nd at the Courtyard Film Theatre commencing at 7.30pm. The aim of the event is to examine the current state of Hereford and explore what is really needed to regenerate the city.

The meeting will commence with a video survey and interviews gathered in High Town, followed by a 'Question Time' with a formidable panel consisting of Mark Pearce from Advantage West Midlands, several Hereford councillors, Johnathan Bretherton, chief executive of ESG, and two specialists from Stanhope, the chosen developers for the retail quarter of the ESG.

The meeting will be chaired by Matthew Engel who writes for the Financial Times.

"There are still many members of the public who are either uncertain about the plans or even entirely unaware of what is in store for our city," sain Councillor Mark Hubbard who will be on the panel.

"We can't just sit back and let Hereford become a ghost town."

The meeting takes place with the closure of Chadds and part of Symonds & Co no doubt in mind. It will also offer an opportunity for Hereford United supporters to quiz the panel on their views about the Edgar Street Stadium which is in desparate need of improvement.

Entry to the meeting is free - more details on

Thomas Cook Cutbacks could lower Stanley's Gates

Thomas Cook, the holiday company that is featured on many football club official websites including that of Hereford United, is looking to close their Accrington call centre.

Some 260 staff are expected to lose their jobs and in an area like Accrington there isn't much alternative work. The knock-on effect of so many job losses could mean a drop in gates at the Fraser Eagle stadium which are already the lowest in the Football League.

"We are very concerned about the effect on an area like Accrington - it will have a huge impact on the regional economy,” said TSSA regional organiser, Kevin Lucas.

A Thomas Cook spokesperson said: "Thomas Cook would like to confirm that the proposal to close part of our operation at the Globe Centre in Accrington is not related to our trading or financial performance."

The company made a pre-tax loss of £163 million in the six months up to April 2008.

Mick Hill 1947-2008

Mick Hill was born in Hereford in 1947 and played local football and at Bethesda before moving to Sheffield United in 1965. He netted his first senior team goal for The Blades in a 2-2 draw with Leicester in April 1967 and followed that with another in his first Sheffield "derby" four days later. Hill scored nine goals before a £33,000 move to Ipswich in October '69 from where he gained two full Welsh International Caps through his father's parentage.

By strange coincidence, one of Mick's notable games was in an FA Cup match against Newcastle in 70/71. Following a 1-1 draw at St James Park, Mick struck the winner in the replay at Portman Road as the Town side ran out 2-1 winners. Later in the year, Hill went on a scoring streak which is still talked about in Ipswich to this day. He banged in goals in consecutive games against Everton, Stoke (2), Arsenal and Wolves in the top division of English football playing alongside the likes of Trevor Whymark, Mick Mills and Kevin Beatie.

In later years, Mick was often seen watching local football around the county. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. Mick Hill was a Hereford football man. He was 60 years old. RIP.

The funeral will be held next Friday, July 4th, at St James' Church, Green Street, Hereford at 1.30pm.

Police asked for Swindon date change

Hereford United's secretary Joan Fennessy has told the Hereford Times that the Police have only asked for the Swindon game to be moved.

"This is the only date that the police have pressed for a change on," said Mrs Fennessy.

She also said that "season tickets and advertising boards sales are also going well."

Players return for training next Wednesday.

Meanwhile the paper has an article on the death of Welsh International Mick Hill who was born in Hereford.

News Round Up

Leeds have had a second pre-season friendly cancelled due to Police concerns. A trip to Rotherham's new Sheffield home has been cancelled at the request of South Yorks Police. Peterboro have cancelled their game with Cambridge due to poor ticket sales. The high cost of policing the game is blamed after 'only' 400 tickets were sold in advance for the friendly.

MK Dons striker Jemal Johnson is being linked with a move to Watford. The Dons have also released four other members of their backroom staff, including the masseur, with all four expected to join Paul Ince and Ray Mathias at Ewood Park. Southend have accepted a third bid from Brentford for striker Charlie MacDonald, and dismissed speculation linking manager Steve Tilson to MK Dons.

Shrewsbury have had a bid accepted by Rotherham for Captain Graham Coughlan. The Dublin born defender was a free transfer signing last summer after being released by Sheff Weds. Leicester have sold striker Ian Hume to Barnsley for £1.5million, bringing their total income from sales to around £4million since the end of the season.

Scunthorpe's rejected bid for Cheltenham's Steven Gillespie is rumoured to be around £300,000. Oldham's shirt sponsors, a construction firm, have gone into Administration. The firm have already paid for the coming season's sponsorship.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Williams to be re-united with Johnson

As reported earlier former Hereford United midfielder Gavin Williams is to join Bristol City and will link up with manager Gary Johnson for the second time in the Welshman's career.

The fee is understood to be about £250,000 and Williams is reported to have agreed personal terms.

As a youngster Williams took time to settle in at Edgar Street. He trained with Cardiff City before being offered a place at Hereford by former coach Dick Bate, but after breaking into the first team when just 17 years old, he was inspirational.

His first appearance for the Bulls in October 1997 was in an FA Cup replay against Sittingbourne which the Bulls won 3-0.

Williams played all over the midfield and also up-front during his spell at Edgar Street, and was linked with clubs in higher divisions, most notably Luton Town and Cardiff City, but despite this, he stayed with the Bulls. His goals per game ratio got steadily better during his time at Edgar Street, and he was top scorer in 2001/02 with Rob Elmes with nine goals. However, contract negotiations hit a stumbling block in May 2002 and Williams, eager to progress his career, felt he had done enough at Hereford. Step in Yeovil Town and Gary Johnson - who signed Williams.

The move sickened many Bulls fans who didn't want their star performer moving to one of their fiercest rivals, but others noted his contribution to Hereford such as his spectacular goals, such as those against Rushden & Diamonds in 1999 and Swindon Town in 2001.

Hereford received a £22,500 fee for their leading goalscorer plus a 25% next sale clause, which earned the Bulls a further £62,500 in December 2004 when Johnson sold Williams to West Ham for £250,000. The Hammers sold him to Ipswich, after a short loan spell, in January 2006 for £300,000.

Williams hasn't always been a model footballer whilst at Ipswich.

"Ipswich have ordered prankster Gavin Williams to pay £3,000 in costs after he trashed a team-mate's car. He also signed himself as Pele on first-team shirts to be given to charity," reported the BBC last July.

VP AGM Set For July 15th

The Hereford United Vice Presidents Club Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday July 15th.

The meeting, at the VP Club lounge, will start at 7.30pm and is open to all VP Club members. Also expected to attend are Graham Turner and other members of the Board of Directors.

News Round Up

Rumoured Bulls target Kevin Betsy is a target for Millwall and Brentford. The former Wycombe winger cost £150,000 18 months ago but had been on the fringes since Bristol City moved up to the Championship. He still has a year left on his Ashton Gate deal. Swindon are to take on Fenebahce on their tour of Austria. They will also face Steaua Bucharest and local side FC Zlin.

Chester never had a transfer embargo placed on them according to fuming chairman Stephen Vaughan. He told the Chester Chronicle: "We have been told that we are not embargoed as was stated by the PFA, and as such we are free to bring in players within the current wage capping rules that apply to all clubs in our division." Halifax's liquidation has been thrown out by the High Court. The company will remain in Administration while assets are sold.

Cheltenham have revealed turning down a 'club record' offer for striker Steven Gillespie, but have not named the Football League side involved, but Scunthorpe have admitted interest. Tranmere's friendly with Liverpool will be one of a number of friendlies broadcast by Setanta Sports. Peterboro have offered released Wrexham midfielder Mark Jones a short term deal. The 23 year old has been plagued by injury but won two Welsh caps.

Leicester have sold defender Richard Stearman to Wolves for an undisclosed fee. The 20 year old, who has spent ten years with the club, Player of the Year is the third player to leave the Walkers Stadium for cash over the last month. Ex-Bull Gavin Williams is set to leave Ipswich in the next few days, with a permanent transfer to Bristol City looking likely.

Carlisle have signed Crewe keeper Ben Williams. The 25 year old signs a three year deal after rejecting new terms with the Railwaymen. Crewe have signed Aldershot winger Joel Grant for £130,000. The former Watford trainee signs a three year deal after starting only 20 games in a solitary season with the Shots.

Leyton Orient have signed striker Ryan Jarvis from Norwich following his release. The 21 year old had a good loan spell at the club two years ago, and has signed a two year deal.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Spurs may help Dons

Speculation that Tottenham Hotspur may play their home games for one season at MK Dons could help fund their expansion plans which has recently shown signs of stuttering (see story from last Sunday).

Spurs are looking to build a 60,000 seater at White Hart Lane and the work could mean that they will need to move from their base for one season. And it appears that the is high on the list of possible venues.

But the deal could depend on the Dons finishing their stadium first so as the capacity would be around 30,000. Anything less and Spurs will probably go elsewhere.

Meanwhile MK chairman Pete Winkleman is looking at candidates for the post of manager after Paul Ince moved to Blackburn.

“We won’t necessarily go high profile,” said Winkelman.

“Whoever we appoint must have something they can believe in and that will work.”

Scunthorpe’s Nigel Adkins, Southend’s Steve Tilson, former Leicester manager Ian Holloway, ex-Derby boss Billy Davies and Burton's Nigel Clough have been linked with the post. Another name mentioned is Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank whose future at Cardiff City is uncertain.

From Edgar Street to the Premiership

Most young referees probably hope to take charge of games in the Football League at some stage in their career but for one it will be the Premiership this coming season and he's just 25 years old.

On the first day of last season Stuart Attwell was the man in the middle at Edgar Street for the League Two game vetween Hereford United and Rotherham. That was his first game at this level.

Attwell, who comes from Warwickshire, has worked his way through the various levels of the game locally and then in the Midland Combination and Southern League before securing his Level One status last summer.

His final game last season was at Wembley for the League Two play-off final between Rochdale and Stockport.

Attwell will be the youngest ever Premiership referee beating the current record holder Mark Clattenburg by four years.

Update for BOLSA Site

The BOLSA (Bulls Online Supporters Association) website has received a much needed general updating.

Supporters who were forum members five years ago will remember that BOLSA had two initial aims. One was to act as a meeting point for online supporters, the other was to come up with some new ways of raising money for the club which was in dire financial straits at that time.

Now that things have changed beyond all recognition, both on and off the pitch, BOLSA doesn't have quite the same raison d'etre. The website now reflects this.

What they have tried to do is to put the origins of BOLSA into a historical context, while retaining aspects which they think supporters can use as a valuable resource - such as the match reports.

BOLSA would still like some input from supporters. Specifically ...

Memories - they feel that this is a category that can be expanded, especially with more memories from the last few years. There was also some great stuff on there a while back from 'Smee' and a few of his generation. If they care to repost them that would be great. You can mail it to BOLSA.

Links - who have they missed off their (rather short) list?

Ideas - if any supporter feels that there is anything on the site that can be improved, amended or should be included, once again please let them know. Some of the old committee members may like to add to the history of BOLSA bits if anything has been forgotten.

Finally there may still be some BOLSA badges knocking about. They will try to update supporters on that in the next few days.

Meanwhile the site is - as always - at

Monday, June 23, 2008

Back to Edgar Street next week

Hereford United players are due to start training for the coming season next Monday July 2nd. At present there are just eleven players signed on but with last season's contracts ending at the end of this week, news on the transfer front will be forthcoming.

Just two players from last season's squad, Dean Beckwith and Trent McClenahan, have not made public their decision to accept or reject new offers from manager Graham Turner. Beckwith is thought to be close to a deal but McClenahan perhaps less likely to stay at Edgar Street after Turner said last week that he hadn't heard anything from the Australian who is on Olympic Duty.

Even if they do sign, Turner will still be looking for as many as another thirteen or so players. How many of these will be transfers and how many loans remains to be seen.

To date the following players will be putting on their Hereford United kit next week:

Ben Smith
Steve Guinan
Richard Rose
Clint Easton
Kris Taylor
Karl Broadhurst
Sam Gwynne
Simon Johnson
Jack Macleod
Craig Jones
Matty Done

Over the past few weeks several other players have been linked with the Bulls. However only two of them, Gary Hooper and Toumani Diagouraga who were both on-loan at Edgar Street last season, are known to be considering deals at Edgar Street.

Meanwhile West Bromwich Albion are expected to bring a 'select' team to Edgar Street on August 1st. They have another friendly the following afternoon at Swansea which is a testimonal match for Swan's Kristian O'Leary.

News Round Up

Scunthorpe have lost out to Shrewsbury for Blackpool's non-Carlisle related defender Michael Jackson. He opted for the Shrews due to travelling reasons, and not because it's Neverland. Shrewsbury have also signed striker Grant Holt on a three year deal for a club record £170,000.

Southend have signed versatile defender Osei Sankofa. The former Charlton trainee signs a two year deal after spending the back end of last season at Brentford on loan. They have also signed veteran striker Paul Furlong from relegated Luton. He turns 40 in October but still scored 12 goals last season.

Ex-Bull Graham Evans has joined Aberystwyth after choosing to leave Caersws when they only avoided relegation after the Welsh League winners failed to make the ground grading. Crewe veteran Dario Gradi has finished his involvement with the first team by taking sole charge of the club's academy. The 67 year old has spent 25 years in Crewe without working out how to leave.

Ex-Bull Paul Parry has been offered a new two year deal by Cardiff. Crawley's new owners have pumped in £250,000 on unpaid bills to 'put the club on a solid footing'. They have also endorsed Steve Evans' three year deal as manager. Ebbsfleet's internet fans have had a whip round and added £20,000 to their transfer kitty with over 1,000 people pledging £20.

Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous has replaced Wycombe's Ivor Beeks on the Football League Board of Directors. MK Dons have already had 40 applicants for their vacant manager's job. Claimed to be included in the applicants by the press are Ian Holloway, Peter Reid, Steve Cotterill and Roberto Di Matteo. Even Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has been touted.

Wrexham are to contact the 'relevant football authorities' over the appointment of Paul Carden as Cambridge's assistant manager. The Dragons signed Carden to a two year deal only a couple of weeks before which is due to start on July 1st. Grimsby have complained to Ebay after a batch of their new 2008/9 home shirts appeared on the auction site for half the retail price.

Halifax have lodged their application for the Unibond League on the last day allowed for entries. Bournemouth expect a points deduction when they finally emerge from Administration. The Administrator also expects Luton and Rotherham to receive penalties.

Quinn Not Happy With Cambridge

Ex-Bull Jimmy Quinn has been less than happy with the way Cambridge managed his departure, suggesting the agreement was less than mutual.

Speaking to the Non-League Paper he said: "The board weren't particularly happy with me and I wasn't particularly happy with them. We didn't see things in the same way and they led me up the garden path a bit saying that they want me to do this, that and the other, and then they rang me on holiday saying I haven't got a job any more, which isn't nice..."

Quinn also hinted at problems at the Abbey Stadium as the reason for his departure: "Obviously they've got their reasons. I know what they are but the timing isn't right to tell people what it is because...I wouldn't want to hinder a new manager going in"

Gary Brabin has been named as their new manager, with Paul Carden as his assistant. 37 year old Brabin has exactly eight games of managerial experience with Southport at the end of last season while Carden, 29, had originally agreed to join Wrexham on a two year deal. Their appointments are seen as a further cost cutting measure and have been met with scepticism by fans.

Meanwhile, the final nail in the coffin of Halifax Town is to be hammered in this afternoon. A High Court appointment will officially liquidate the 97 year old club on the day their local council confirmed a £2.7million cash injection to complete The Shay after years of inactivity.

Swindon Home Now Friday Night

The home match with Swindon Town has been switched to Friday September 5th instead of the Saturday on Police advice.

The game clashed with an England trip to Andorra, although that match is scheduled for an evening kick-off. The Oldham away match, originally scheduled for October 11th, is now Sunday October 12th with a 2pm kick-off due to England's match with Kazakhstan. The scheduling of that game may be in some hope of being selected for live Sky coverage, with no other live matches scheduled by the broadcaster that day and no Premier League matches that weekend.

News Round Up

Peterboro have now put Aaron McLean in the £5million bracket. Speaking to the press, Barry Fry said the club had rejected a £1.5million second offer from Wolves and told them the deal would be struck at £3million plus sell-on - plus £2million when they won promotion to the Premier League because 'if you get Aaron, that's where he'll take you.' Last week the Express and Star reported Wolves had been given a £1.75million asking price. The Posh have also come to an agreement with defender Adam Newton to pay up his contract.

MK Dons are to net £500,000 in compensation for releasing Paul Ince and Ray Mathias from their contracts. Leeds' pre-season has been disrupted with the Police forcing the cancellation of a proposed Doncaster-Leeds friendly. Huddersfield are the fourth club to set a lunchtime kick off for a Leeds visit, with Yeovil expected to follow suit much to Leeds fans disappointment.

Scunthorpe would have hijacked Shrewsbury's move for Grant Holt if they had sold striker Martin Paterson sooner, according to boss Nigel Adkins. The Irons had a £250,000 bid for Holt rejected last August.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

News Round Up

Colin Hancock has claimed he has signed a deal to takeover Mansfield. The former Aldershot chairman, who presided over their 1992 demise, announced on Saturday night he has secured a deal for the club and ground. No figures have yet been released for the deal, and it is yet to be confirmed by the club.

Rotherham are yet to seek Football League permission to play at the Don Valley stadium next season. The club cannot apply for the move until the officially come out of Administration next week, but have already sold over 1,000 season tickets for the new ground. Shrewsbury's move for Nottm Forest striker Grant Holt is believed to be worth £150,000.

Darlington will trim up to six players from their playing staff after missing out on promotion. Their reduced budget will see 18-20 on contact compared to 25 contracted players used last season. Cheltenham are the first League One side to express an interest in former Bulls target Richard Walker.

Scunthorpe have accepted a £1.3million bid from Burnley for striker Martin Paterson. The deal includes a 20% sell-on clause after an initial £450,000 bid was rejected. Ex-Bull Jake Sedgemore has signed for Solihull Moors after deciding to go part-time. Craig Mawson is believed to be on the verge of joining Weymouth.

Ince appointed at Ewood Park

Paul Ince has officially left MK Dons to join Premiership outfit Blackburn Rovers to replace the outgoing Mark Hughes, who has joined Manchester City.

Ince has only been in management for just under two seasons, saving Macclesfield Town from relegation in the 2006/2007 season, whilst the following season leading MK Dons to the League Two title and the Johnstone Paint Trophy at Wembley with victory over Grimsby Town. Ince has been given a three year contract at Ewood Park.

As stated previously on Bullsnews, possibly successors for Ince at Stadium MK could be Hartlepool manager Danny Wilson or Scunthorpe boss Nigel Adkins, although there are likely to be many other contenders, with the club seemingly on the up under the guidance of Chairman Pete Winkleman.

Junior Bulls get chance to become Ball Boys

It has been noticable that at many clubs visited by Hereford United last season, the organisation of the ball boys has kept games flowing that little bit faster. Now through the recently re-launched Junior Bulls it looks as though the Bulls will follow suit.

In essence all Junior Bulls aged seven and above can enter a draw to give them a chance of becoming a ball boy, or girl, for a month.

This idea is another in a series of initatives designed to encourage more youngsters to follow the Bulls.

For more details of the Junior Bulls go to the Official Hereford United Website link at the side of this page.

Credit Crunch may delay MK Dons Plans

Of all the grounds Hereford United visited last season, Mk Dons stood out. However plans to finish their new stadium may be delayed.

The Dons moved from the National Hockey Stadium twelve months ago to the stadium mk and have been using the lower part of the new stadium which can cater for around 20,000 spectators. Originally there were plans to have a capacity of about 32,000 which would be acheived by adding an upper tier to the seating.

Pete Winkleman is the MK Dons chairman and he has been reported as suggesting that the 'credit crunch' is to blame for the delay but there are also doubts whether one of their partners, Marks and Spencers, will move onto the site.

"We're getting on with things, we're doing it slower than we would have liked but if you come to the stadium everyday you can see work is going on. But it's not happening like it did a few years ago," commented Winkleman.

"The credit crunch and complete change in the economy of course effects major developments and it's definitely effecting us with the stadium. The big capital expenditure, property developments are on hold. Whether Marks and Spencers end up on the M&S site, we'll have to see in the future. That development is key to the completion of the upper part of the stadium."

The new stadium is estimated to have cost £30 million to date. Like any new investment in football grounds it is important to ensure that there is plenty of off-pitch income to help with the cost. Which is why their proposed deal with M&S is very important.

The club has plans a 128-room four-star hotel, over 60 luxurious pitch-view hospitality boxes and a multi-purpose indoor arena for concerts and exhibitions. These may be delayed if the M&S deal falls through.

Hereford United next visit MK Dons on Tuesday November 25th.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Millwall blast Fry's inflamatory comments

A Millwall director has responded to comments by Peterborough's director of football Barry Fry.

It all stems from the moving of Saturday fixtures to a Friday evening. Three of Peterborough's home fixtures have already been moved with talks on-going about two more.

"We want to protect the city of Peterborough. Leeds, Leicester and Millwall fans have a reputation, and we want to give them less time in the pubs before kick-off," said Fry.

Peter Garston, a fans respresentative on the Milwall board, has responded

"Once again the majority of Millwall fans have been scape-goated for the actions of the minority of football fans generally," he told Peterborough Today.

"We are copping the brunt heavily for a problem that is football-wide, not just League One or Millwall.

"The right and fair way around the issues would be better policing and more efficient stewarding employing a common sense approach to handling football fans."

A Millwall spokesman added: "Mr Fry's comments are in themselves somewhat inflammatory.

"We will of course support Peterborough United and the police with any reasonable measures to ensure this fixture passes off without incident.

"However, the fact that Peterborough have just been promoted to our division and haven't faced us in a decade suggests that Mr Fry has reacted to Millwall's past reputation, rather than taking account of the recent history of good behaviour from the majority of our travelling fans."

Meanwhile Millwall have sold former Hereford United trialist Chris Zebroski to Wycombe for a reported £20,000.

Chester Blast 'Shabby' PFA

Chester have responded to the transfer embargo placed on them by calling the PFA 'shabby' in a carefully worded statement.

Director Bob Gray issued the following statement: "All the current players who are contracted for next season have been paid up to date.

"It has been widely publicised that we are in dispute with Paul Butler and Tony Dinning and we have made arrangements to meet officials of the Football League to sort out this shambles.

I think it is shabby that the PFA have seen fit to release a statement on their website, when they are in full possession of the details of our proposed meeting. We have taken legal advice and we shall vigorously defend our stance in the Butler/Dinning dispute."

Chester announced that Butler and Dinning were suspended in April over a 'serious breach of club discipline' with the pair allegedly tapping up players for moves to Inverness - a suggestion laughed off by the SPL side's boss Craig Brewster. Both have 12 months left on their contracts and have not been formally sacked.

Gray's statement specifies that the players contracted for next season have been paid, but no more. Chester released seven players in May who they have a responsibility to pay until at least July 1st and these, plus Dinning and Butler, are likely to be the players the PFA are referring to.

Friday, June 20, 2008

One Reason to be Cheerful - Hereford at Leyton

Barry Hearn, boxing promoter and Chairman of Leyton Orient Football Club, is looking forward to the coming season.

"I've got a million reasons to be cheerful, starting with tomorrow being another day. We've got Hereford at home for our first league game and Ipswich away in the first round of the Carling Cup – that's two more.

"People are such bloody babies these days. We've never been richer or safer in all our lives. Sometimes you've got to just shut up, knuckle down and get through the crap. Always remember that one day you'll be dead, and you can't smile when you're six feet under," he told the Independent.

PFA Block Chester Transfers

The Football League have placed a transfer embargo on Chester City after a request from the PFA.

The PFA have requested the embargo after the majority of players had not been paid for at least two months. The PFA have issued a statement:

In response to recent reports with regard to Chester City's attempts to sign players for the 2008-09 season, the PFA wishes to clarify the situation to ensure that all members are fully aware of the issues that the club is currently facing.

The PFA has provided financial assistance to the club for some time to assist in the payment of players' wages. The majority of the players currently at the club have not received any payment for two months, or more.

The PFA have, therefore, advised the Football League of the monies outstanding to the players, and the Football League has applied Regulation 46.1 and placed an embargo upon the transfer of any registration by the club until such times as the payments due to the current playing staff are made.

It was felt it was incumbent on the PFA to advise its members of the potential difficulties that this club is facing at the present time.

Regulation 46.1 reads: If following written notification from the Professional Footballers Association, a Club is found to be in default of any payment due in accordance with a Player’s contract or payment in consequence of termination of such Contract, the Board may place an embargo on any transfer of any registration by such Club until the payment is made.

Chester had announced the signing of former Yeovil midfielder Anthony Barry yesterday, and were in negotiation with a trio of other players including prolific striker Luke Beckett. The PFA had previously had issues with Chester over the suspension of two players towards the end of last season, and the club had been warned in each of the last two seasons on breaches of their wage cap.

No Hamer for Hereford

One goalkeeper not coming to Edgar Street is Ben Hamer.

The 20 year old has decided to stay on loan with Brentford despite, according to the London Press, enquiries from Hereford United.

His parent club is Reading.

News Round Up

Oldham have beaten a string of clubs to the signing of Port Vale midfielder Danny Whitaker. The former Macclesfield man has signed a two year deal at Boundary Park. Hartlepool have switched six games to Friday nights, suggesting they were the northern side Graham Turner rejected a request from to move a Bulls fixture.

Ipswich have denied a £1.5million bid for Crewe striker Nicky Maynard, but are interested in the player. Huddersfield are planning on having mobile pitch-side catering carts to meet demand in the coming season. After selling 16,000 cut price season tickets they anticipate additional demand.

Bristol Rovers have slapped a 'not for sale' notice on defender Danny Coles. Plymouth are interested in the 26 year old. Shrewsbury have had a bid accepted for Nottm Forest striker Grant Holt. The Carlisle born striker scored 42 times in 83 games for Rochdale in League Two before a £300,000 move.

Ebbsfleet would put a move for manager Liam Daish to it's 30,000 owners. Cambridge are believed to want their former player as their new boss, but are yet to make a move. Mansfield have been ordered by a Court to pay a football agent £8,000 over the handling of former striker Richie Barker.

Peterboro have told Wolves they want £1.75million for Aaron McLean. Watford and Sheff Utd are also allegedly interested. Walsall boss Jimmy Mullen has denied he is working on a reduced budget, saying his budget is more than last season.

Leicester Appoint Pearson

Leicester have named Nigel Pearson as their new boss.

Pearson, 44, kept Southampton in the Championship at the expense of the Foxes at the end of last season but was sacked after winning only three of fourteen games in charge. He has spent most of the last ten years coaching in the top two divisions after his last managerial job saw Carlisle saved from relegation on the last day due to goalkeeper Jimmy Glass's last-gasp goal.

As a player Pearson was signed by Graham Turner at Shrewsbury in 1981, playing over 500 senior games for the Shews, Sheff Weds, and Middlesboro.

In other news, Crystal Palace have announced seating arrangements for the Carling Cup match. Bulls fans will be housed in the Croydon Advertiser stand at one end of the ground, with home fans in the opposite Holmesdale lower tier and Main Stand. All other parts of the ground will be closed.

The Croydon Advertiser stand is described as being unusual as having a single tier of seating holding around 3,000, plus two rows of executive boxes above.

600 Season Tickets Sold

Hereford United have reported that the club has sold close to 600 season tickets to date.

Last season around 1,000 were sold.

However with the prospect of several games being made all-ticket, the demand for season tickets is expected to exceed last season's total.

Meanwhile the position over season ticket prices for youngster still in school - for example taking A levels - has not been clarified by the club.

To be able to purchase a season ticket for around £80 at age 16 or under and then be asked to pay £260 for a season ticket on the Meadow End one year later but whilst still in school may prove too expensive for some.

Don't underestimate Hereford United - Wilson

At this time of year many clubs look forward to the next season with a preview of other clubs in their league. This morning it is the turn of Hartlepool and their manager, Danny Wilson, has commented on how he expects the season to go for the Bulls.

"There were the dark horses in League Two last season but they are always difficult opponents. They'll be dependant on who Graham (Turner) can bring in to the Club during the summer but in the recent past they've had to rely a lot on loan signings. This has worked well for them although it's not always ideal and I wouldn't expect much to change this year. They are certainly not to be under-estimated," Wilson told the Official Hartlepool Website.

Hartlepool play at Edgar Street on December 13th. The return fixture is on April 4th.

Dodge moves to the Lawn

Former Hereford United player Ian Rodgerson is leaving Birmingham to take up a physio post at Forest Green Rovers.

42 year old 'Dodge' played for Cardiff City, Birmingham City and Sunderland as well as two spells at Edgar Street.

Over the past five years he has been treating players' injuries and has spent the past two of those years full-time looking after the academy players at Birmingham City under Steve Bruce and, latterly, Alex McLeish.

He starts his duties at the New Lawn on July 1.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Birmingham friendly confirmed

The date of the friendly against Birmingham City has been confirmed by Hereford United as being Saturday July 19th with a 3pm start.

However as reported earlier it looks as though Birmingham will bring a reserve side to Edgar Street. The 'First Team' are touring Austria at this time.

Meanwhile the prices for all five home friendlies have been confirmed:

Adults £8
Concessions £4

These prices apply to whatever part of the ground is available on the day.

List of Friendlies: (7.45pm unless stated differently)

Ledbury away July 8th
Kidderminster away July 14th
Wolves home July 16th
Birmingham City home July 19th (3pm)
Bristol City home July 22nd
Southampton home July 29th
West Brom home Aug 1st.

Lindley Catering continue at Edgar Street

Despite calls for them to be replaced by a local company supplying locally produced snacks, it appears that Lindley Catering are to continue as the sole caterers at Edgar Street.

This morning the company has an advert in the Hereford Times. They are looking for a part-time catering manager for Hereford United FC.

It was only last year when the club wrote to the company about complaints:

Lindley Catering Limited

Dear Paul,

Following the disgraceful situation when out of date pies and sausage rolls were delivered to our ground for sale to supporters, we have now received complaints that canteens are selling out of date crisps.

This is a situation that is intolerable to us and to our supporters. We now require assurances that measures are put in place to prevent the problem reoccurring.

The effects of the incidents are that supporters have lost faith in your ability to provide the service required.

We have monthly liaison meetings with a small group of supporters. We would therefore suggest that a representative from your company attend a meeting to reassure the group that you will treat the matter with urgency and measures are put in place to prevent it happening again.

Yours sincerely

Joan Fennessy Company Secretary / Director

And this from the Hereford Times dated December 7th 2006:

Health inspectors at Hereford United's ground discovered boxes of sausage rolls that had passed their use-by date.

Environmental Health officers came across the food during a routine safety inspection at Edgar Street and quickly destroyed the out-of-date items.

Paul Nicholas, Herefordshire Council's environmental health manager, said inspectors visited the stadium on Friday, November 17, the day before the Bulls' meaty clash with Walsall.

"During the visit, the officer spotted boxes of pies, pasties and sausage rolls on the terrace," he said.

"After inspecting the boxes, it was found that the pies' use-by date was November 17, and the sausage rolls' use-by date was the previous day, November 16.

"As a result, the boxes were confiscated and the contents destroyed."

Mr Nicholas said council officers had spoken with Staffordshire-based Lindley Catering, which runs the kiosk selling the goods at the football ground.

"The company has since taken up the issue with its suppliers," he added.

Ince Set For Blackburn Post

MK Dons boss Paul Ince is set to be named as the new manager at Blackburn, according to BBC Radio Five Live.

The 40 year old will leave the Dons after just one season, following an also brief stint at Macclesfield. Hartlepool boss Danny Wilson, a former Dons boss, and Scunthorpe's Nigel Adkins have already been touted as Ince's sucessor at Stadium:MK.

Ince will be the latest manager to depart the franchise club quicker than anticipated. Since their renaming in the summer of 2004 they have had four permanent managers plus caretakers, with Ince following Martin Allen out the door for a bigger club after only one season.

News Round Up

Stockport's signing of Mansfield Player of the Year John Mullins has been confirmed. The fee for the out of contract youngster will be decided by tribunal. The are also chasing, along with Peterboro, Port Vale midfielder Danny Whitaker. Hartlepool have lost out to Bradford for released Carlisle winger Paul Arnison.

Bulls target Josh Gowling's move to Walsall appears to have been hijacked by Carlisle (1pm - move to Carlisle confirmed). The BBC reports Gowling posting a message on a social networking site confirming his Bournemouth departure. Ex-Bull Scott Tynan is also getting the web bug, posting on Facebook about his desire to leave current club Northwich as they want him to turn full time on the same money.

Southend have rejected a second bid from Brentford for striker Charlie MacDonald. Huddersfield have nicked Accrington's physio. Ian Liversedge previously worked with new Terriers boss Stan Ternent at Burnley. Walsall boss Jimmy Mullen has admitted already speaking to 20 different players as he builds a squad for the new season.

Bournemouth are set to exit Administration after it was confirmed all funds were in place. They will now present a business plan to the Football League, and have finally announced ticket prices for next season. Scunthorpe have joined Peterboro in changing their Leeds home match to a noon kick-off.

Wycombe's Carling Cup match with Birmingham is the second First Round game to be televised by Sky, following the Chester-Leeds clash. No League One games have been named in the first selection of televised League games.

Done is very quick says Turner

Graham Turner has spoken to the Hereford Times about the arrival of Matty Done from Wrexham.

"He has a good left foot and plenty of potential. It's important to have pace in your side - we had that last year with Lionel Ainsworth and Theo Robinson," said the Hereford United manager.

"He's not coming in as a replacement for Clint Easton. They are both left-sided players but they are very different. We will see how they get on."

Turner spoke about both Dean Beckwith and Trent McClenahan who are yet to agree new deals.

"Both should have let us know in writing at the start of the week whether they were accepting or rejecting our offers."

Turner has spoken to Beckwith's agent but says he's not heard anything from McClenahan.

Tam looks forward to meeting the Bulls

Leyton Orients's Tamika Mkandawire is looking forward to meeting his previous club, Hereford United, at the first game of the new season.

"It is strange how these things work out and I knew when they got promoted last season that we would probably get them on the first day. I'm really looking forward to the match now, because a few of the lads that were there when I played should still be at the club," Mkandawire told the London Press

"I had a great time at Hereford and I've got a lot to thank them for, because they gave me a chance of first-team football, when it didn't work out at West Brom for me.

"The manager Graham Turner and his backroom staff also really helped me develop as a player and I still say that lifting the trophy as captain when they were promoted to the Football League is my proudest moment in football."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rovers quit reserve league football

Bristol Rovers have followed several Midland clubs by pulling out of reserve league football.

The Pirates have competed in the Pontin's Holidays Combination for several years and finished eighth in the 10-team Wales and West Division last season.

"Bristol Rovers have told us that they will not be competing next season, although they did this well after the deadline date for resignations, which was March 31. Their letter to me was dated May 28," said a spokesman for the Combination.

According to the Western Daily Press, Rovers have quit to cut costs. It is thought they will play occasional reserve-team friendlies while sending some of their younger players out on loan with Conference clubs to allow them to gain experience.

A behind closed doors game against Hereford United's fringe players is a possibility sometime during the coming season.

Deadline Passes On Contract Offers

The deadline for players to notify the club of their intention has passed says Graham Turner in his latest official website interview.

While the offers appear still to be on the table - Turner made no mention of withdrawing them like last season's inactivity from Alan Connell and Simon Travis - he admitted there was no contact from Trent McClenahan over his future but Dean Beckwith had been in negotiations.

On the goalkeeping front there was nothing definite but talks were ongoing, with Turner hinting at an experienced no.1. He also confirmed ongoing talks with Southend over Gary Hooper, with his wording suggesting that matters were close to being resolved.

Turner noted he had spoken to a pair of Premiership clubs, one in the Champions League, over loan players for the coming season but it would be a few weeks before anything was confirmed as the clubs wanted to see the players in training first.

GT Sells Club To Done

Matt Done has spoken to the Chester Evening Leader about his move to Edgar Street:

"It is going to be a lot different than staying at Wrexham. I want to get into the team early on, try and stay there and obviously enjoy it. Playing at places like Elland Road and the Walkers Stadium in from of 30,000 fans is going to be a new experience, something every player wants to do regularly.

"I have had the taste of the big stage at Derby, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday with Wrexham and you just want more. I am no different to anybody. You improve your game with the bigger crowd, stadium and atmosphere – it brings the best out of you.I can't wait for training to start and for the season to get under way."

The youngster admitted turning down the Bulls in January for loyalty: "I never doubted I would stay in January. There was the opportunity to go but I wanted to stay and help Wrexham stay up. Unfortunately we did not. But a lot has changed since January. Obviously Hereford have gone up and Wrexham have gone down.

"It was a tough decision in the end to leave Wrexham. It's been quiet for five weeks but suddenly the last week was very busy. I had a few other offers from League One but the big factor was Graham Turner. He came after me in January so obviously knew about me and it meant a lot that he came back for me. I respect that and decided to go.

"Graham Turner sold the club to me. He has ambitions, like me, to get to the highest level."