Tuesday, June 30, 2009

VP AGM July 8th

The VP Club AGM has been called for Wednesday July 8th at 7.30pm.

The members only event is likely to feature the final discussion over the football club's announced takeover of the running of the VP Club, although it is not a specific point on the published agenda for the meeting.

Unlike previous AGM's there is no part of the meeting to elect new committee members, suggesting the football club intends to stick to it's announced plans.

Sue Parry Six-a-Side Football Tourament

As previously reported on this site, The Sue Parry Six-a-Side Football Tournament is being held at Hereford Leisure Centre, Holmer Road, Hereford on Sunday July 12th. There are changing facilities, showers, parking, and a bar available.

Junior Competition:
Registration from 9:15am
Tournament starts at 10am

Adult Competition:
Registration from 1pm
Tournament starts at 2pm

In its ninth year, the Sue Parry Six-a-Side Football Tournament returns! Teams will be competing in four Junior categories and one Adult tournament (over 16s only). The Junior competition begins at 10am and the Adult competition starts at 2pm.

Registration will begin 45 minutes prior to kick off - please can only the team co-ordinator register their team.

The Sue Parry Fundraising Team, along with St Michael’s Hospice, organises this footballing event in memory of Sue Parry. The team is made up of her family and friends.

There will be a BBQ and refreshments, plus face painting and the opportunity to view the Silver Anniversary Draw first prize: a Mazda 2 TS!

The entry fee is £25 per team. The closing date for entries into the competition is pm Monday 6th July 2009 and is on a first come, first served basis. Entries will only be accepted upon receipt of payment, enclosed with the entry form. Make cheques payable to “St Michael’s Hospice”. Teams will be contacted when payment has been received.

N.B. Teams are responsible for their own first aid (a Duty First Aider will be at the Leisure Centre) and players must wear shin pads and correct football socks pulled up at all times. Finalists will receive trophies and team photographs will be taken.

The tournament is held at Hereford Leisure Centre by kind permission of Halo.

More details and an entry form can be found at

Trewick welcomes Pugh

Hereford United manager John Trewick has spoken about his latest signing Marc Pugh.

"He is a proven player who showed enough last season and can play on the left or right wing and as a striker," Trewick told the Worcester News.

Meanwhile chairman Graham Turner has also been talking to the press about recent signings at Edgar Street. In addition to his comments about Pugh reported earlier on this site, he has given BBC Hereford and Worcester his views about several other new players.

"Leon Constantine was a very exciting prospect at one time. Had a little problem with an injury. Maybe not progressed in his career as much as he might have done.

"But he has got attributes that, I think, make him a handful for any defender at our level. I would expect he will score goals.

"Kenny Lunt is a very experienced mid-field player, played a lot of games at Championship level. Comes highly recommended as a character, capable of sorting things out on the field.

"Jamie Tolley, I thought he looked a very very good player at Shrewsbury in his early days. He was in mid-field with Edwards, the Wolves player now, and it looked as though both would progress nicely. His career has stuttered and started. Maybe another player who might just settle here and produce what he is capable of."

Franchise Dons to lose yet another?

The BBC website is reporting that Roberto Di Matteo is to leave MK Dons to join Championship side West Brom with an announcement expected within 48 hours.

The Italian, who signed a concrete cow contract extension in December will join a rapidly growing list of coaches that have walked away from El Stadio MK and Chairman Winkleman.

Maybe the firmer foundations of building slowly from Non-League may have it’s attractions after all!

Pugh Agrees Bulls Deal

Former loan winger Marc Pugh has signed for the Bulls according to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Pugh ended his Shrewsbury contract by mutual consent last Friday, signing for the Bulls today after a loan spell at Edgar Street last season that saw him operate up front as well as on the wing. He has played a total of 116 games over four seasons, starting as a trainee at Burnley before a two year spell at Bury was followed by a £50,000 move to Shrewsbury two seasons ago.

He becomes the sixteenth player to agree terms with the Bulls for the coming season, leaving two spaces in the Bulls squad for the 18 that John Trewick wants for pre-season training, which begins on Thursday.

Graham Turner talked to BBC H&W about Pugh's move: "He enjoyed it here and reached a deal with Shrewsbury over the final year of his contract."

"He has got a bit of versatility as he can play wide on either side or up front, so he's another good addition. Sometimes you get players who lose their way at clubs and they need a little bit of care and attention. He has not had too many opportunities at Shrewsbury since the change of manager.

"I think he will benefit from the fact that the people here believe he has got enough ability to make an impact."

News Round Up

Notts County's takeover is to go ahead after over 93% of respondents voted to give the Supporters' Trust stake in the club to prospective new owners Munto Finance. Their 60% stake in the club, and all loans owed to it by the club, will now be written off. They are due to lose player of the year Myles Weston after he was reported to be training with Brentford.

Grimsby's in-demand defender Ryan Bennett has signed a new four year deal with the club. Crewe will wait to sign players as they have a limited budget to play with and are unlikely to offer transfer fees after spending £500,000 last summer. Bradford striker Michael Boulding will take a pay cut to stay with the club. He is one of a number of players that has been asked to leave as the Bantams will be operating on a reduced budget, but winger Joe Colbeck has turned down a new three year deal.

Morecambe have signed Shrewsbury defender Darren Moss on a two year deal. The Shrews are reported to have only offered the 28 year old a one year contract. Swindon have accepted a £2million offer for striker Simon Cox from West Brom, around ten times what they paid for him 18 months ago. York are to renegotiate their agreement to sign Michael Gash from Ebbsfleet after Darius Charles refused the double deal on travelling grounds.

Southampton face selling two more players this week to pay the bills. Heading the departures list is Andrew Surman, who will join Wolves for £1.5million, David McGoldrick, to Nottm Forest, and free transfer departee Kelvin Davies to West Ham, while the club has no management left from tomorrow with boss Mark Wotte's contract as manager expiring at midnight and his first team coaches already departed.

Bidder Marc Jackson has pulled out of the running after losing his Israeli backers over the cost of the club and the timescale to complete a deal. One fan site claims the club has less than 48 hours to find a buyer with Administrator Mark Fry telling the press he is 'not confident' that front runners Pinnacle will complete a deal. UPDATE: Pinnacle have pulled out of the deal, leaving only an unknown Swiss consortium in the running for the club.

Shrewsbury boss Paul Simpson expects to be without Ben Davies for next season, telling their official site he's told the player that he is planning for next season without him. They have signed young keeper Andreas Arestidou on a one year deal from Blackburn. Notts County have signed Bradford defender Graeme Lee on a two year deal. He was one of the players asked to leave by the Bantams due to financial constraints.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Leon Constantine - A Profile

31 year old striker Leon Constantine, who signed for Hereford United earlier today, played for Hendon and Edgware Town before being noticed by Mick Beard, a Charlton Athletic scout, at the end of the 1999-00 season. Constantine started the pre-season at Charlton, who were newly promoted to the Premier League, before joining Millwall in September 2000.

He made his first and only appearance for Millwall in that month. After undertaking brief loan spells at Leyton Orient and Partick Thistle he moved to Brentford in August 2002. But, after failing to establish himself, Leon joined Southend United a year later, and began to show his true capabilities. The 6ft 2in marksman hit 21 goals in his first and only season before rejecting a new contract and moving to Peterborough United. After only 11 games, yielding 1 goal, Constantine joined Torquay United in December 2004 for a club record fee of £75,000 pounds.

After 42 games producing 10 goals Leon was on the move once more, this time to Port Vale, where he hit a rich vein of form. Last season he became the first Vale player to hit 18 goals prior to Christmas. Despite finishing the season with 26 goals in all competitions he became a target of the boo-boys, who questioned his overall work rate. The abuse clearly affected Constantine, saying at the time, 'I have never been at a club where I have scored goals and heard the crowd boo.' He decided to seek pastures new, and Leeds boss Dennis Wise made his move.

Leon Constantine's first few months at Leeds United could hardly have been more frustrating, both for the player and the club. After announcing he was to leave Port Vale at the end of last season Leon was linked with a number of clubs, but agreed a contract in principle with Leeds whilst the club was still in Administration. He was one of the group of players who paid out of his own pocket to take part in the pre-season programme in uncertain times for everyone connected with the club. By the time Constantine officially signed for United on their exit from Administration, the player had incurred a complex ankle injury in the friendly at Slovan Liberec which would keep him out of the teams 13 match unbeaten league start.

Constantine scored his first league goal for Leeds in their 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Oldham Athletic on 1 January 2008. However he was hit by injury again, breaking his arm in this same game after scoring, leading to a two-month lay-off. In March, Constantine was sent to Oldham on loan to help him re-gain match fitness, scoring twice in seven appearances.

On 2 July Constantine completed a free transfer move to league one side Northampton Town after falling out of favour with Gary McAllister. After only scoring three goals for Northampton and receiving boos from the club's own fans, he was loaned out to Cheltenham Town on 20 March 2009, and he returned on 20 April after scoring one goal in six matches.

Having been released by Northampton, Constantine signed for Hereford United earlier today becoming the first striker signed by new manager John Trewick.

Constantine Is First Striker For Bulls

Leon Constantine has been revealed as the first striker to join the Bulls for next season.

The 6ft 2in 31 year old exchanges places with Steve Guinan, making the reverse trip from Northampton where he spent last season and played in both the matches against the Bulls last season. He started the match at Edgar Street in November, and was a sub for the return fixture in April.

He didn't make his League debut until the age of 22 after being spotted playing for Edgware Town, and had a stop-start career until scoring a goal every other game for Southend in 03/04, and then hitting 26 in a season with Port Vale in 06/07. A move to Leeds shortly after sparked an injury hit season that included a broken arm, and a transfer to Northampton last term saw him farmed out to Cheltenham on loan after Cobblers fans blamed him for their poor form.

His career record shows a return of a goal every three matches, a better return than Guinan, with 28 goals from 66 games in League Two overall.

Striker signing close

John Trewick has confirmed that he is close to signing a striker today.

The Worcester News is reporting that a striker has agreed terms with the club and is set to put pen to paper today.

"I am very hopeful that there will be someone in today. I have agreed everything with the agent and I am hopeful he will sign", commented Trewick. "Assuming I get the striker, I am still in the hunt for another one and I have got a list of a dozen players who I am trailing at the moment."

The paper also says that agreements are in place for other targets although these are yet to be finalised.

News Round Up

Farsley Celtic face court on Wednesday over a £200,000 tax bill and may not survive. The club is to be put into Administration but the taxman has refused to postpone the winding up hearing and the club will not formally be in Administration in time, leaving their chances of survival firmly in the hands of the judge. Accrington are on the lookout for a new coach after Argentinian Pablo Asensio quit the club. The post is unpaid.

Stockport could have Fabrizio Ravanelli as their new manager. The former Middlesboro striker is being lined up by their prospective new owners for his first tilt at management, but the club faces losing more players this week with Dominic Blizzard expected to join Bristol Rovers and youngster Josh Thompson wanted by Man Utd. Southampton have a fourth bidder on the horizon, with fan sites suggesting that the Administrator's statement last week means they are days away from liquidation if a sale is not completed.

Crewe are to add Matt Mitchel-King to their squad. The central defender will join from Histon, with his defensive team mate Patrick Ada having already made the same switch. York have signed Ebbsfleet pair Michael Gash and Darius Charles for a combined £80,000 fee. Lincoln and Notts County are interested in Peterboro striker Rene Howe.

Chester have named Mick Wadsworth as their new manager. The 58 year old lost his last management job when Gretna went bust, and was previously assistant to Gary Peters at Shrewsbury. Coverage of Conference matches could be free to air next season according to Sports 360, who are marketing the rights, with 'a number of broadcasters in serious negotiations'.

Dagenham have signed former Arsenal trainee Abu Ogogo on a two year deal. The 18 year old full back played nine times for Barnet on loan last season, getting sent off twice. Macclesfield have signed veteran midfielder Paul Bolland on a one year deal after his release from Grimsby. Northampton have withdrawn the contract offer to Mark Hughes following their signing of ex-Bull Dean Beckwith.

Beckwith Set For Cobblers Switch

Released Bulls defender Dean Beckwith is about to sign for Northampton, according to Sky Sports.

The former Gillingham man will follow Steve Guinan to Sixfields after previous reported interest from League One sides failed to materialise. In four years at Edgar Street he played 152 times for the Bulls, scoring five goals.

Update: Beckwith has signed a one year deal with the Cobblers, with a one year appearance-based option. Manager Stuart Gray told their official site: "I am delighted to have secured Dean. He is a good age, has a good amount of games under his belt and he is a player who has impressed me. He is another one who has won promotion from this level before so he knows what it takes. He is also a player with a decent fitness record and is hungry to take both his career and the club forward."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Average Squad Budget Is £1million

The average squad budget in League Two is now £1million, according to Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous.

Speaking to their supporters association, Kleanthous says their budget is around the £750,000 mark and that they will have to sell players to try to compete financially with other clubs. He also says they were £250,000 over budget last season due to having to bring loan players in and falling gates.

Kleanthous acknowledges that highly rated pair John O'Flynn and Albert Adomah, both with a year each left on their contracts, are likely to be sold to 'maximise their value' before they can walk away for nothing next summer, with his words echoing the Bulls' management team sentiments on Toumani Diagouraga:

Albert is a lovely boy, but he's ambitious and he's going to want to move on. So either we provide him with the opportunity to move on and he helps us maximise that, or we get nothing. I could say to Albert 'You know what, Albert, I'm going to make you play for Barnet for another year because that's what your contract says', and he'll have to do it. But then after a year he'll leave here, we'll get no money, he'll say nothing but bad things about the club, he'll bad-mouth us to everyone, his agent will never bring another player to this club again, and anyone who talks to him will never come near this club again.

So let's be realistic. Let's accept that actually the only way we get these players is because we give them the opportunity to play and to move on with their careers. We'd all like to get millions for every player, but there is a balance. It's all about getting a return for the club that allows the club to continue competing and bring other players in, and at the same time giving the player the chance that they agreed with you when they first came that you would give them.

The full interview, along with a discussion on the problems with the colour amber, can be read here.

Gannon to Manage Motherwell

Jim Gannon is to be the new manager of Scottish club Motherwell. Aidy Boothroyd, Steve Staunton and Lawrie Sanchez were also in the race to land the post. Gannon leaves Stockport County after a successful spell on the pitch with the Cheshire club who have desperate off-pitch problems.

Stockport were promoted to League One fourteen months ago, at the same time as Hereford United, but the club is now in administration and Gannon was made redundant last month.

Gannon is 40 and has already gained a reputation for being a loose cannon at times. Two years ago he banned Sky from interviewing him whilst having a nine-month fight with their customer services over his Sky+ box not working.

Last season he reported Colchester keeper Paul Reid to the police for a foul on Stockport's Matty McNeil that was branded assault.

However he is well regarded for his knowledge of the game and his backing for young players.

"He's single-minded and Motherwell have a winner," said Martin McIntosh, now a coach at Sheffield Wednesday, who partnered Gannon in his playing days.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire

It's not always easy to follow the motives of some characters in football. Take Eric Whalley for example. He was until recently the chairman of Accrington Stanley.

Now he is being linked with a move to Chester City to work alongside their chairman Stephen Vaughan.

Whalley is hoping to sell most of his shareholding in Stanley to David O'Neil who has just taken over as chairman which would leave him in a position to invest in Chester.

Whilst Accrington are still plying their trade in League Two, Chester are now in the Conference.

Meanwhile Vaughan has said he is impressed with the standard of candidates who has applied for the managers job at the Deva Stadium.

"My ideal candidate would be someone who is an experienced manager and someone who is non-controversial," said Vaughan which is, no doubt, why he employed Mark Wright.

Amidst those linked by the Chester press to the job is former Hereford United favourite Jimmy Harvey who currently is at Forest Green Rovers.

Whilst Chester might be a bigger club than Forest Green, surely Harvey would aim to manage at a higher level and with a chairman who is viewed with more respect than Vaughan.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fee for Smith still a Record

The £80,000 paid by Hereford United, fifteen years ago, remains the highest transfer fee the club has ever spent.

It was in the summer of 1994 that Dean Smith moved to Edgar Street from Walsall. He stayed for three seasons making some 117 league appearances for the club and scoring some 19 league goals.

Smith was described as a 'vastly experienced defender who was good in the air'. He was given the captains armband by then manager Greg Downs.

The transfer money for Smith had come from a sell-on clause agreed when Darren Peacock was sold to Queens Park Rangers in December 1990. The original fee was around £200,000 but when Peacock moved to Newcastle, at that time managed by Kevin Keegan, in spring 1994 Hereford United received around £250,000 from the £2,700,000 deal.

The aggregate income from Peacock of about £450,000 has never been surpassed by any other sale by Hereford United although Graham Turner had hoped that the sale of Lionel Ainsworth to Watford might have beaten it.

Back to that £80,000 fee for Dean Smith in 1994.

Current manager John Trewick has hinted that he might be prepared to pay a fee for a striker. £80,000 wouldn't go far so perhaps, just perhaps, the club record could be broken if he finds the right player and, more importantly, if chairman Graham Turner agrees.

Hollett Keeps Working

Former Bulls striker Ivan Hollett is to continue working past his 70th birthday after agreeing to scout Mansfield's on loan youngsters next season.

The 69 year old ended his League career at Edgar Street in 1973 after turning out for the likes of Mansfield, Chesterfield, and Crewe. He has been the youth team coach at Field Mill, but will now keep an eye on a trio of youngsters that will turn out on loan for local sides next season.

Manager David Holdsworth told their official site: "Ivan will give me a week in week out analysis of the loanees' performances. He is a wondeful man who will now also work in an ambassadorial role. He deserves a well earned break from the training ground, but likewise his knowledge is impeccable."

Hollett played 11 times for the Bulls, scoring twice, in a career that saw him earn a reputation as a regular goalscorer in lower league circles. After quitting Edgar Street he took a number of managerial posts in the UK and South Africa.

Pugh Leaves Shrews

Loan winger Marc Pugh has had his departure from Shrewsbury confirmed.

Contrary to popular belief that he had long since departed the Prostar, Pugh had 12 months remaining on his contract but reached settlement on ending the deal with Paul Simpson telling their official site:

"Marc and I had a chat at the end of last season where I explained my plans to him. We both felt that it was in our best intrests that he moved on. We have reached an agreement on compensation and the savings made by doing this will be ploughed straight back into strengthening the squad further"

There is no word on the future plans of Pugh, but he is thought to be a target of Bulls boss John Trewick. He played nine times for the Bulls, scoring once, during the last two months of last season on loan at Edgar Street after previously costing the Shrews a reputed £50,000 when he signed from Bury.

News Round Up

Lincoln are to negotiate compensation after striker Dany N'Guessan signed a three year deal at Leicester. The Imps are giving a trial to Cian Hughton, son of Chris, after his release from Spurs, and have agreed a six month loan deal for Nottm Forest full back Joe Heath. Rotherham striker Reuben Reid has handed in a transfer request after turning down an improved contract with the club. The board will consider the request on Monday after a bid from MK Dons unsettled the player.

Wycombe's Supporters Trust feels it has been 'cajoled and blackmailed' into backing proposals change the shareholding structure at the club. They want an additional clause inserted into the plans forcing prospective club owner Steve Hayes to hand £1.5million to the Trust if the football club goes bust. Darlington have unsurprisingly lost the services of striker Pawel Abbott, with Oldham confirming his signing on a two year deal.

Bournemouth captain Shaun Cooper will miss six months after requiring a hip operation. Kidderminster expect to lose up to £90,000 due to the demise of Setanta, and their chairman has called on the Premier League to help prop up the lower leagues. Worcester say they are to lose £12,000. Ex-Bull Stephen Gleeson is expected to leave Wolves for MK Dons for an undisclosed fee in the next few days. He ended last season on loan at Stadium:MK.

Darlington manager Colin Todd is expected to unveil a slew of new signings next week after the club agreed a CVA yesterday. The Northern Echo reports that the club will not be able to get any of them to sign deals until they emerge into the CVA in at least a month's time. Shrewsbury have agreed new contracts with Kelvin Langmead and Omer Riza, and signed released Falkirk defender Dean Holden on a two year deal.

Southend say they pulled out of the chase for Theo Robinson because of the price. They offered £100,000. Huddersfield are claimed to be on the verge of hijacking Swindon's attempts to sign him in a £275,000 deal. Accrington's departing owner Eric Whalley has expressed an interest in working alongside owner Stephen Vaughan at Chester according to the Chester Evening Leader.

Southampton's Administrator will not grant any bidder another period of exclusivity due to time constraints on a deal being struck. The Administrator has contracts for the sale in place and it is up to one of the three bidders to agree to the contracts already written. The Swiss consortium has proven to him the ability to fund the purchase. If no sale is agreed within the next week the Administrator will seek talks with the club's board.

Bournemouth are to talk to the Football League next week over getting their transfer embargo lifted. The club have reached agreement with the taxman over a repayment schedule for their outstanding taxes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

No Bye for Bulls In Paint Trophy

The Football League have today confirmed that the draw for the First Round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy will take place on Sky Sports' Soccer AM on Saturday, 15 August.

A new policy has also been adopted in the determining of the 16 Round 1 byes following recommendations at club meetings. Clubs can no longer receive byes in any season, so any club who received a bye in 2008-09 will not be eligible for a bye in 2009-10.

Clubs who received byes last season were:

Northern Section: Bury, Carlisle United, Chester City, Darlington, Huddersfield Town, Lincoln City, Rochdale, Rotherham United.

Southern Section: Cheltenham Town, Gillingham, HEREFORD UNITED, Luton Town, Milton Keynes Dons, Peterborough United, Walsall, Wycombe Wanderers.

New Retail Quarter a step nearer

The new retail quarter for Hereford is a step nearer after the Herefordshire Council Cabinet this afternoon agreed that negotiations between ESG Herefordshire, developers Stanhope PLC and itself could be finalised.

The first phase of the project is expected to start in 2011. The aim is to bring 'a range of substantial economic and social benefits for the county.'

Based on the livestock market site, which is opposite Hereford United's Edgar Street ground, the plans include a new multi-screen cinema, new restaurants, department stores, car parking and high quality pedestrianised streets with connections to the city’s High Town and Maylord Centre.

Green can't wait to get started

Ryan Green, who has recently signed for a second spell with Hereford United, has been talking about his hopes for the coming season.

"At Hereford I had been a wing-back but, for the past three years I have been playing full-back (with Bristol Rovers). I will be looking to get forward more when I am playing for Hereford," Green told the Hereford Times.

"I think I am a similar kind of player to when I was at Hereford before but I am a bit better defensively now.

"I can’t wait to get started.

"I know John Trewick and Graham Turner and I know how the club works. Hereford is an ideal location for me. I will probably continue to live in Bristol and Cardiff.

"John has been coach and assistant-manager for several years now and I think he’s ready to take the step up to management.

"I am sure he will get in the right players to give the club the best chance of getting back into League 1.

"The Hereford fans will be wanting us to get promoted and that must be our aim.”

News Round Up

Accrington have confirmed the signing of released Carlisle midfielder Luke Joyce. Stanley are also after Leeds keeper Alan Martin as their no.1. Two thirds of Norwich fans have opted to take the rebate on last year's season tickets offered if they were relegated. The club is expected to make a number of redundancies from their office staff as a result of their relegation.

Luton have offered Peterboro defender Chris Westwood a two year deal as they continue their attempt to spend their way out of the Conference. Chesterfield have beaten Burton to the signing of released Nottm Forest defender Ian Breckin, but have lost the services of loanee Lewis Montrose who changed his mind on a pre-contract agreement and joined Wycombe instead.

Notts County's prospective new owners want the club in the Championship for it's 150th anniversary season in three years. Southampton's Administrator has opened talks with a Swiss group about a takeover of the club. He currently does not have the money to cover the monthly wages. Cheltenham have been turned down by released Kidderminster midfielder Chris McPhee, with Martin Allen not being bitter to the BBC: "It ain't gone the wrong way for me it's gone the wrong way for him it's his mistake in my opinion".

Stockport Sell Two More As Takeover Drags

Stockport's Administrator has been forced to sell two more players as he runs out of money to keep the club running - with their CVA proposal offering just 1p/£ repayment.

Jim Melrose's takeover has been delayed with Melrose blaming landlords Cheshire Sports, and the landlord's questioning Melrose's ability to fund the club, leaving the Administrator to complete a deal to sell James Tunnicliffe and Gary Dicker to Brighton with the cash pot at the club running dry.

Creditors will meet on July 3rd to vote on a CVA proposal. Cheshire Sports, and it's owner Brian Kennedy, are owed £3.8million of the £5.9million in unsecured creditor debt and could block any CVA proposal if they are not totally satisfied with the 1p/£ offer on the table that would see them receive just £38,000.

Meanwhile Darlington meet today on their 0.9p/£ CVA offer. The offer is expected to be accepted as the bulk of the debt is owed to former owner George Houghton, future owner Raj Singh, and the people holding the mortgage on the ground. However, even if the offer is accepted, the deal would still need Football League approval and it is rumoured that they will impose conditions on their acceptance.

UPDATE: Northern Echo reports 93% of creditors accept Darlington CVA deal. It will take up to two months to complete the CVA arrangements.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

McCombe out to impress new Boss

Incoming Port Vale supremo, Micky Adams, has already set about strengthening his League 2 squad with the addition of former Brighton midfielders Doug Loft and Tom Fraser.

Adams is said to be now turning his attention to other areas but McCombe, who won the Chairman's Player of The Year award is determined not to lose his starting place in the Valiants team. The former Bulls centre back lost his place following the departure of manager Lee Sinnott but fought to regain it and put in some gritty performances in the later part of the season.

Speaking to Vale's "The Wonder of you" website, McCombe said: -

"I was happy with the way I did in the second half of last season. But I want to play 40 games like that, not 15 or 20."

"A new manager means a clean slate for everyone, which will help some and hinder others. I've never met the manager, but that first week will be important for everyone. You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

Westfields to avoid Hereford Dates

Westfields football club has asked their league, the Midlands Alliance, to ensure that their home fixtures do not clash with their bigger neighbours Hereford United.

"We have agreed with the MFA to alternate our home league fixtures with those of Hereford United so we will not clash with home games," Chief executive Andy Morris told the Worcester News

"Last season we did have some United fans watch us when Hereford United were away from home and we were at home so again this season it would be ideal if that arrangement was put in place."

Turner didn't know about Joan

Many years ago a member of the RAF had a girl friend called Joan Turner.

At the time he was stationed near Hereford.

Five or so years ago he started tracking down friends from the past and as Joan was the daughter of the then secretary of Hereford United he was 'delighted' to find out that Graham Turner was now the manager.

What an idiot I was though. I wrote to him asking if he knew what had happened to Joan Turner. He wrote a short note back saying that he had no idea what I was on about! Oops ... what a fool I had been. Graham Turner was a professional football manager, nothing to do with the family I once knew.

Oh well, never one to give up the chase I contacted Hereford United's historian, via the internet. This chap certainly knew all about the early 1950s at the club. He said that Joan had married, in Hereford, around 1959, give or take a year. That was a start. I worked through microfiche records of marriages in the main library in Edinburgh and found her married name. Then, via census records on I found their current address.

They are now in touch.

Footnote: Fred Turner was appointed secretary of Hereford United in 1947

Randolph set for new deal

Charlton Athletic are set to have talks over a new contract with goalkeeper Darren Randolph within the next few days. Randolph, who spent a loan spell with The Bulls last season, made just two appearences for the Addicks in the season just gone but has done enough to be offered a new contract. Manager Phil Parkinson told the South London Press, "We'll have a chat with Darren on Thursday and hopefully we'll be able to finalise something." Randolph plays alongside another former Bull Stuart Fleetwood, although the striker has been strongly linked with a move to Exeter City after a successful loan spell with the Grecians in the final months of last season. Both players could feature at Edgar Street this season, when Charlton visit in the Carling Cup First Round.

Meanwhile, former Hereford United left-back Mark Robinson, who played for the club in the 2004/2005 season, has joined Conference outfit Gateshead on a one year deal after being released by York City.

News Round Up

Bookies have installed former assistant boss Malcolm Thompson and ex-Tranmere man Ronnie Moore as the favourites for the vacant Chester post. Owner Stephen Vaughan had to deny rumours last week that he had moved for Scot Thompson before Mark Wright left the club. Darlington have lost two more players as the impasse over their takeover goes on. Franz Burgmeier and Robin Hulbert are the latest to depart.

Accrington have beaten the Quakers to the signing of midfielder Luke Joyce for geographical reasons. Macclesfield have offered released Crewe midfielder Colin Daniel a contract for next season. Lincoln have lost midfielder Lee Beevers to Colchester on a free. Newcastle Blue Star have announced that the club is to fold after the FA confirmed they remained liable to a £61,000 FSIF grant on their old ground. The club have no way to pay the money and have withdrawn from all competition.

The Conference have issued a statement following Setanta's failure confirming that they are searching for a new TV deal. Altrincham's website says the Setanta money was 20% of their income, but they had not budgeted for it. Bury striker Andy Bishop is not a target for Carlisle, according to boss Greg Abbott.

Ebbsfleet are recommending to supporters that they accept a joint £80,000 offer for Darius Charles and Michael Gash, reported to be from Luton. Selling the pair would nearly double the club's wage budget for the coming season. Shrewsbury have confirmed that defender Darren Moss has rejected a new contract with the club and will leave. Moss previously cost Crewe £170,000. The club have not heard from in-demand midfielder Ben Davies as he is on holiday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Richards quits ESG

Clive Richards OBE has decided to step down as chairman of the Edgar Street Grid (ESG).

The new chairman is Ted Willmott CB OBE (pictured). He has been a board member since 2006.

Willmott retired from a distinguished army career in 1990 and then became chief executive of the Construction Industry Training Board. More recently he was chair of Herefordshire NHS.

Jonathan Bretherton, chief executive of ESG Herefordshire Ltd said "I have been privileged to work with Clive as my chairman. His immense energy and business acumen have driven us along and the county is fortunate to have his support in so many ways. Ted equally brings a terrific range of skills and experience which will be invaluable as we move towards building the infrastructure around which Hereford will grow".

Hereford United's Edgar Street ground was specifically included in the Masterplan proposals for the ESG.

The Bulls in 1999

Back in 1999 Hereford United had three part-timers in their squad. One of those was goalkeeper Mark Jones, brother to recent goalkeeping coach at Hereford United Paul Jones.

Jones was a dairy farmer by trade and often did the milking before coming in for training at Edgar Street.

"I work on the farm every day, and that keeps me relatively fit," he said. "Otherwise, I come in once a week for a training session."

How did Jones describe the other players at that time?

Chris Lane: Scouser, right-back. Typical Liverpudlian, a true character. Released by Everton as a trainee and joined us last season. Still only 19, he's a great prospect but a complete loony. Good lad to have around - bubbly in the dressing-room.

Paul Sturgess: Known as Stavros because of his olive skin. Signed this season from Brighton. Real Cockney lad, who loves to get forward. He's got a sweet left foot. And he's English to boot.

John Snape: One of the part-timers, a Brummie electrician. He's our Paul Ince - a good battler in midfield. Not sure about his skills as a sparky. Last week he couldn't even repair the extension lead for the stereo.

Ian Wright: Big fella. He's our defensive rock; the Tony Adams of the side. He's captain, too. Great in the air, he leads by example. Was our top scorer with 13 goals last season.

Tony James: Wrighty's centre-half partner, TJ's not the tallest of lads, but he's incredibly good in the air. Quietly spoken Welsh lad. He gets a bit of stick about his relations with sheep. Not from me, mind. I'm Welsh too.

Gavin Williams: Another Welsh boy. Great player, the David Beckham of the team. Can play anywhere in midfield or on the wings. He's our best crosser of the ball. Also likes running and dribbling past players.

Paul Parry: One of the club's trainees, he had a bad dose of glandular fever at the start of the season, but he's over that now and he's making telling contributions on the left of midfield. Sets up a lot of the goals. A bit lazy tracking back, though.

Mark Taylor: Bags of experience. Played in the Premiership for Sheffield Wednesday and knows what it's all about. He's not arrogant either. He's come down to a lower level but doesn't bully his way around. His wife went into labour the morning of the Hartlepool match, but she kindly held on until the Monday so Markie could play.

Robin Elmes: Mr Smoothie. German teacher from Sutton Coldfield. He's a tremendous asset. Scored the winning goal in the last round against Hartlepool. Some of the lads tease him by shouting in German, but he just answers them back. They never have a clue what he's saying.

Paul Fewings: Pretty face. He's the good-looking one of the team. Don't tell him, though. Girls always look for him after games. Works well with Robin.

Leroy May: Super sub. Everyone knows about him being a male stripper, don't they. You can imagine the banter. Tall lad up front. This guy's the Full Monty: he can score and tackle too.

Setanta goes into Administration

Setanta has been put onto administration and the plug is expected to be pulled on its UK output.

However some other divisions of the company, such as Setanta Ireland, will remain in business for the time being.

Setanta had a deal with the Conference which brought much needed income for the clubs. It is thought the rights will be offered to other broadcasters.

The deal was said to be worth around £60,000 per club plus a fee per live game broadcast.

Tolley and Lunt - Profiles

Here are profiles of the two new signings confirmed this afternoon:

Jamie Tolley - Born on the 12th May 1983, Tolley is a former Welsh Under 21 international who started his career with Shrewsbury Town after being born in the Shropshire town of Ludlow. At just 16 years and 193 days, Tolley made his debut for Shrewsbury and went onto make 181 appearences for the Shrews scoring 17 times. Tolley was highly rated during his time at Gay Meadow especially in their Conference season where he impressed against Hereford. Tolley however joined Macclesfield Town in 2006 for a small fee after allowing his contract to run out. His time with at Moss Rose saw him make 63 appearences netting on 3 occasions but he was blighted by injury and ineffective performances in the 2008/2009 campaign and was released by Keith Alexander. At 26, Tolley will be looking to rediscover his early form as a player and re-ignite his career at Edgar Street. At 6 foot 1, Tolley will look to dominate the midfield although he is more attacking than he is defensive.

Kenny Lunt - Born on the 20th November 1979, Lunt was one of many impressive footballers to come through the Crewe Alexandra academy. From 1997-2006, Lunt was a regular at Gresty Road making some 373 appearences scoring 35 goals. He was also joint club captain in his time at Crewe alongside Steve Foster. After much interest in Lunt over the years from clubs such as Leeds and Reading, he eventually joined Sheffield Wednesday in 2006. He only made 41 appearences for Wednesday during his three year contract and spent a short loan spell back at Crewe towards the end of the 2007/2008 season. On the 8th May of this year, he had his contract mutually terminated. Lunt is a holding midfielder with a good work-rate and good passing ability. He is also noted for being a set-piece specialist whilst in 2002/2003, he was top of League One's assist tally.

Two more signings

Hereford United have confirmed two further signings with Jamie Tolley and Kenny Lunt signing for the club. Tolley joins United from Macclesfield Town whilst Lunt has signed from Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday. Both have a wealth of Football League experience and play in midfield roles.

The Official Hereford United site also reports that 'news of another signing or two should become available within the next few days'.

Former Young Bull could play in Europe

Adam Worton could have a chance to play in the Europa League if a deal for him to move from Newtown to Bangor City goes ahead.

Worton has been training with Bangor recently and manager Neville Powell is expected to offer him terms.

Wing back Worton was released by Hereford United in summer 2006 after four first-team appearances and two seasons with the reserve team, coming through the ranks of the Edgar Street club's youth system.

He then signed for Caersws before moving to Newtown in November of that year.

Allen looks forward to Hereford Game

With both clubs dropping to League Two Martin Allen, manager of Cheltenham Town, is looking forward to playing Hereford United again this season.

He's been away on holiday but now he's seen the fixture list he notes that his side are pitted against the Bulls on the second Saturday of the campaign at Edgar Street.

"I can't wait for the first game, but I am particularly looking forward to the first away game," Allen said.

"The away game at Hereford last season (3-0 defeat) was horrendous. The home game (3-2 defeat), when they scored from two free-kicks, was a massive blow and I know the supporters felt it as well that day."

News Round Up

Southampton's main bidder remain committed to their attempts to buy the club despite the Football League telling them that they will not be allowed to appeal against the ten point deduction if they want to be a League club. The Pinnacle group say they will make sure this month's wages are covered but the Administrator has admitted he is now in talks with other groups. The Administrator has also blasted the FL for their 'incredible abuse of power' over denying the right of appeal.

Crewe physio Steve Walker has left the club for Burton after 14 years. It is the latest part of manager Gudjon Thordarson's moves to shake up the backroom staff. Bournemouth have confirmed property developer Eddie Mitchell as their new chairman, but he has confused fans after telling the local press he will be attending the games of his former club Dorchester.

Southend have admitted being 'blown out of the water' in their attempts to sign Theo Robinson. Huddersfield are the latest side to be linked to the striker. Stafford have received a boost in their bid to raise £50,000 after one fan pledged £25,000. Since their cash call they had received offers of £5,000 until one anonymous fan came forward.

Stockport's takeover is at a standstill. Accepted bidder Jim Melrose is still waiting for approval from ground owners Cheshire Sports before he can finalise his deal. The club have no board, manager, or even kit to play in next season with no kit deal in place. Accrington have been priced out of moves for many of their transfer targets. Former Bulls loanee Godwin Antwi is one of a number of targets that will have to cut their wage requests for Stanley to be able to afford them.

Colchester have confirmed that Shrewsbury have rejected what they term as their first offer for striker Grant Holt. The U's say that negotiations are ongoing. Lincoln have announced that striker Adrian Patuela will join Leyton Orient after rejecting a new deal at Sincil Bank.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wright leaves Chester (again)

Mark Wright has left Chester City by 'mutual consent'.

It will be the third time manager Wright has quit.

Owner Stephen Vaughan has confirmed the news.

The last time he left was at the end of April 2007.

The former England international agreed a two year deal at the start of the season, but departs half way through the contract after a dismal campaign. Assistant Graham Barrow has also left the club.

Under Wright, crowds fell to around 1,500 with fans complaining of unattractive football and the club had not won for six games. He originally managed the club from 2002 til 2004, leaving after a spat with chairman Stephen Vaughan, and returned last February.

Trewick talks

John Trewick has given an interview to the Official Hereford United website in which he talks about the new signings and possible new faces.

Trewick said that he was working towards signing another 'keeper to play second-fiddle to Adam Bartlett "I have an idea of what I want to do to support him in his role and have some back-up as well, I'm working on that at the moment, that should be completed and confirmed within two or three days."

He also confirmed he was in talks with a number of players including another defender, "The last defender is a centre-back, very close to tying the deal with him. I'm talking to two wide players, very close to doing something with them. A couple of central midfield players who I'm seeing tomorrow so things could come to a head tomorrow"

The Bulls' manager said he was confident that most of the targets mentioned should be in by the 2nd, to report for pre-season training and also said that he would leave one or two positions open so that he has space for a loan player should he need to.

Bartlett and Southam - Profiles

Here are profiles of Hereford's two fresh faces, Adam Bartlett and Glen Southam.

Adam Bartlett: The 23 year old 'keeper began his career with Newcastle United as a youngster before signing for Conference North outfit Blyth Spartans. After impressing for Blyth, Bartlett was snapped up by Mark Yates for Kidderminster Harriers. Bartlett had an impressive season in 2008/2009 for Harriers and was a regular for the England C team. Bartlett featured in the Conference play-off final last season for Cambridge United, after joining the U's on an emergency loan deal after an injury to their first-team shot-stopper. Bartlett was recently awarded the Conference 'goalkeeper of the year award.

Speaking to the Official Hereford United website, John Trewick has expressed his delight at capturing Bartlett. "He's coming in as number one goalkeeper. I've spoken to him about it. I'm delighted to welcome him to the club and I'm sure he'll do very well for us.

Glen Southam: The 29 year old midfielder started his career with Fulham as a youngster before joining Tottenham. After failing to break into the first-team at either club, Southam had a spell with non-league Enfield before joining Bishop's Stortford where he firmly established himself. Southam linked up with Dagenham and Redbridge in 2004 making over 200 appearences and scoring 25 goals for the London based club, helping them to seal promotion in 2007 from the Conference. He agreed a mutual termination with manager John Still at the end of the season just gone. Southam, like Bartlett, has also featured for the England C team.

Trewick on Southam - "Glen is a good player, capable of scoring goals from midfield and he can play in a number of positions including attacking midfield".

Bartlett And Southam Join Bulls

The club have confirmed the signings of a goalkeeper and midfielder this afternoon.

Goalkeeper Adam Bartlett, from Kidderminster, and midfielder Glen Southam, from Dagenham, have joined the club. Bartlett left Kidderminster for Cambridge at the end of the Conference season to feature in Cambridge's play-off final defeat. He is capped by England 'C' and was released by Kidderminster due to financial constraints.

Southam left Dagenham by mutual agreement shortly after the season ended after being a regular since arriving at the club in 2004, making over 200 appearances. The 29 year old is also a England 'C' international.

Hereford United Football Ground Leases

As reported below Hereford Council's community services scrutiny committee are to debate the following report on June 29th.

Report By: Director of Regeneration
Wards Affected
Central Ward

1. To provide information to the Committee on the options for development of the football ground within the context of the wider ESG development.

Financial Implications:
2. Development costs for the football ground are not included in the funding proposals for ESG and are therefore unbudgeted.
3. Compensation payments under the lease are unquantified, but will be substantial if pursued.

4. This report gives a general analysis of Landlord and Tenant issues relating to premises generally and in particular the leasehold interest affecting the Hereford United Football Ground, and a commentary on the options open to the Council.
5. The football ground was specifically included in the Masterplan proposals for ESG.

Lease Details:
6. There are two leases relating to the Hereford United Football Ground, both dated 12th August, 1982. One is for the ground itself and the terraces on the west side and the other is for the stand and parking area on the east side.
7. The Lease for the ground is for a term of 75 years from 12th August, 1982 and the Lease for the stand is for 33 years from 12th August, 1982. The tenant under both leases is Formsole Limited and the Football Club hold sub-leases.
8. Both Leases contain a forfeiture clause in the event of non-payment of rent, breach of covenant or liquidation. All the covenants in the Leases have not been outlined for the purpose of this report.
9. Both Leases are business leases protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (as amended) which provides that such a tenancy shall not come to an end unless terminated in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Subject to the service of notices, as required by the Act, either the Tenant or the Landlord may apply to the Court for an order for the grant of a new tenancy. In other words, the Leases do not terminate automatically on the Lease expiry date, but will continue until terminated in accordance with the Act, if the tenant remains in occupation.
10. In this case, the premises are sub-let to the Football Club and it is in occupation. Therefore, it is the Club that has the protection of the Act, not the Tenant, Formsole Limited.
11. Either the Landlord or the Tenant can serve notice to terminate the tenancy, including the right to apply for a new tenancy.
12. The Landlord serves a termination notice under S.25 of the Act or the Tenant serves a request for a new tenancy pursuant to S.26. The Landlord may agree to the grant of a new tenancy or seek to oppose the grant on one of a number of grounds set out in S.30.
13. There are seven grounds:
(a) failure to repair in accordance with a covenant to do so in the Lease;
(b) persistent delay in paying rent;
(c) other substantial breach of covenant;
(d) Landlord has offered and is willing to provide or secure the provision of alternative accommodation for the Tenant – on reasonable terms having regard to the current tenancy and to all other relevant circumstances and that the accommodation and the time it is available are suitable to the Tenant’s requirements;
(e) This relates to sub-letting on non-economic grounds and is not relevant in the case of the football ground;
(f) The Landlord intends to demolish or re-construct the premises or a substantial part, which could not be done without obtaining possession of the premises;
(g) Landlord intends to occupy the premises for the purposes or partly for the purposes of a business to be carried on by him.
14. There are various rules and procedures regarding service of the notices which are of a technical legal nature.
15. Apart from the above, it is always open to the parties to negotiate an early surrender of the Lease which would involve, in this particular case, relocation and/or compensation.

16. If the Landlord obtains possession in accordance with grounds 12(e), (f) or (g) above, the Tenant is entitled to compensation. These are referred to as the “non tenant fault” grounds.

Development Options:
17. There are a number of options for development:
(a) The head tenant carries out development using their own resources, subject to renegotiation of the lease to permit a commercial development of part of the site.
(b) The head tenant and/or the football club, as sub-tenant, develops the ground for sports and football purposes only.
(c) The football club is relocated and the site developed by the head tenant.
(d) The football club is relocated, the lease is terminated and the head tenant compensated for loss of their lease interest. The Council/ESG redevelop the site.
(e) The lease is terminated. The club is not relocated and ceases to exist. The tenant is compensated for the loss of their lease interest. The Council/ESG redevelop the site.
18. The existing lease prohibits the development of the football ground, except as an athletic sports and football ground and ancillary uses, and subject to Council approval.
19. The Council and ESG held a number of meetings with the head tenants and the football club to discuss proposals for a commercial redevelopment of part of the ground to fund the refurbishment of the football ground and stands. Discussions had reached the stage of preparing Heads of Terms for a re-structuring of the lease to permit such a development. However, it has become clear that neither the head tenant nor the football club is prepared to proceed with such a development in the current financial circumstances.
20. Options leading to the termination of the lease and relocation or otherwise of the football club would result in substantial costs to the Council, both in compensation and/or relocation costs and subsequent site development costs.
21. At present, there are no financially feasible or appropriate options for development of the football ground. The Council would only take forward any development proposals in consultation with the Football Club and Formsole Limited. It is important to note that at this point in time no changes are proposed to the current position and the Football Club is secure in its current arrangement.

RECOMMENDATION: THAT the report be noted.

News Round Up

Burton keeper Saul Deeney has left the club after turning down a new contract. Wycombe's two directors on board from the Supporters Trust have quit the club due to a 'conflict of interest' with the upcoming vote. The Mirror reports that Peter Taylor is to quit the club as he will not have a budget for next season until the vote outcome is known.

Bradford are to lose out on Rangers midfielder Dean Furman, who spent last season on loan at the Bantams, as a League One club is interested in the player. Southend boss Steve Tilson has slammed the Football League's decision to increase the matchday subs bench to seven: "It's not really helping anyone. I don't understand why they've done it. If five subs aren't enough there's something wrong. Times are hard for every business and football is no different, so clubs are having smaller squads."

Torquay have loaned striker Matt Green to Oxford for the coming season. He was a bit player last season, scoring five times in 32 matches, but had two sucessful loan spells at Oxford the season before. The move appears to have happened after Kidderminster confirmed that Oxford target Matthew Barnes-Homer agreed a new contract with them for two more years.

Ex-Bull Michael McIndoe is reported to be the target of a £750,000 bid from Sheffield United. He has been with Bristol City for two years after leaving Wolves on a free transfer.

Bulls News Hits 5 Million Mark

Bulls News has passed the five million mark for hits to the site overnight.

Last Wednesday, with the confirmation of Toumani Diagouraga's move to Peterboro and the release of next season's fixtures, the site received more than 7,000 page views from 2,478 individual computers. Overall we averaged over 1,900 individual hits each day last week - more than half of the average attendance at Edgar Street last season and up nearly 30% in a year.

The Bulls News team would like to thank all it's readers for their continued support of one of the most popular independent lower league sites on the net.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Darlington is a long way on Easter Monday

Hereford United chairman Graham Turner has voiced his view that an away trip to Darlington on Easter Monday is far from ideal. The Bulls play Barnet on the previous Saturday and will have to travel north on the Sunday.

"It doesn’t give you a lot of time to organise and sort out injuries as we will have to be on the road on the Sunday," said Turner as reported by the Worcester News.

"We have an interesting start with Morecambe away and then the home local derby against Cheltenham.

"I’m not concerned that our home derby match against Shrewsbury Town is on a Tuesday as the supporters haven’t got a lot of travelling to do and it shouldn’t have an impact on the attendance — but we do have to travel to Torquay United on Boxing Day, which isn’t ideal."

Trewick starts his Sixth Year at Edgar Street

Believe it of not it will be five years tomorrow (Monday) since Graham Turner announced that John Trewick, pictured, was to replace Richard O'Kelly as coach at Hereford United.

O'Kelly had moved to Bournemouth after what many supporters said was the Bulls most exciting campaign with over 100 goals scored and the highest gates for many seasons.

Trewick started coaching at West Bromwich in 1993. Whilst there he worked for a spell with O'Kelly in their youth system. In 1997 he stood in as caretaker manager on three occasions.

He moved to Derby County in 2001. After leaving Derby he worked for the FA for a short time, basically coaching coaches, before joining Hereford United.

"When you get a coach that's worked at a higher level coming to a smaller club they've got to adapt," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester at the time.

"John has got that personality that means he's prepared to muck in and do whatever needs doing."

The Bulls finished second in the Conference in Trewick's first year with the club, but were beaten in the play-offs. His second season saw the Bulls go one better and gain promotion to League Two, where in his third year they eventually finished 16th.

The 2007–08 season saw Hereford consistently placed in the top five of League Two, and they secured automatic promotion at Brentford with a match to spare.

But last season was disappointing as the Bulls came bottom of League One. Trewick had been handed the manager's job by Graham Turner with just a couple of matches remaining and, in truth, didn't have enough time to stop relegation.

"John Trewick is a very experienced and respected football man who is capable of having an impact on the players and giving the club the impetus to put us into contention for a quick return to League One," Turner told the Guardian when he appointed Trewick as manager.

This season will not be easy for Trewick. Faced with a budget cut from chairman Turner of around 25%, he will need all his acumen both on and off the field to mount a reasonable challenge in League Two.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wycombe plan to reduce Debt

Wycombe Wanderers are to hold a series of meetings designed to put the club on a sounder financial footing.

Over the past three years the club have lost an average of £1.4M per year and only continues in existence in its present form with the support of one of its directors, Stephen Hayes.

Hayes has produced a plan which if adopted will mean that the club's debt would be reduced by £3M and therefore the balance sheet would be stronger. He is currently owed £6,893,000 by the Club in the form of unsecured loans.

In consideration for the issue of 100,000 Voting Shares and, subject to the shareholders passing several resolutions, Hayes has agreed under a capitalisation agreement with the Company to capitalise £3,000,000 of his loans. making the Club’s balance sheet stronger and allowing the Club to move forward on an improved financial footing.

Wycombe will play in League One next season.

News Round Up

Setanta's future looks grim after the FA pulled their rights for next season's Premier League coverage after the TV company missed their payment deadline. A large number of clubs in Scotland and the Conference are sweating over their budget plans for next season because of it with the likes of Crawley and Oxford admitting that the money is already spent on player contracts.

Carlisle have denied rumours that Shrewsbury are set to nick their defender Danny Livesey, saying the player would cost a lot of money if he were to leave. Bradford are to sign Macclesfield striker Gareth Evans on a two year deal for an undisclosed fee. Stafford need £50,000 in two weeks to avoid another threat of Administration. They owe the money on a temporary stand used at their ground last season.

Bournemouth have officially confirmed their new owners as The Murry Group. The group is led by Adam Murry, who had a number of previous bids for the club rejected as relations between him and former owner Paul Baker broke down. Exeter are the latest club to introduce a two-tier pricing system to cover Policing costs. Games against larger sides like Southampton and Charlton, and local rivals Yeovil and Bristol Rovers, will cost more on the gate to reflect the higher Police bills.

Crewe keeper linked with Hereford

Another goalkeeper has been linked with a move to Edgar Street and this time there does seem to be some credence in the report.

The keeper named is 32 year old Stuart Tomlinson who has recently been released by Crewe.

"I have had a few inquiries, although there has been no definitive offer on the table," Tomlinson told the Sentinal.

"I had one from a club down south and if I have to move down there I will. There has also been some interest from League One teams, but that was with a view to me being a back-up to another keeper and I want to play as much as possible."

"It wasn't really a surprise when Crewe didn't offer me a new deal.

"I knew it was on the cards towards the end of the season. I'd been talking to the club about another contract, but when the new boss came in I had a bit of a nightmare in his first game. Then he brought in a loan keeper and I was out of the team."

Tomlinson had to undergo cruciate ligament surgery in 2008.

Meanwhile 16 year old centre-back John-Paul Budd from Bryntirion is understood to be having a trial at Edgar Street.

Diagouraga's Transfer Fee

Peterborough's Director of Football Barry Fry has said that his club will have spent very close to £1M on three signings and one loan deal over the past few weeks.

Toumani Diagouraga's signing by Posh from Hereford United was their third signing coming after Stockport winger Tommy Rowe and Lincoln midfielder Lee Frecklington.

Press reports, all unconfirmed, suggested that Diagouraga and Rowe both cost £200,000and Frecklington cost £175,000, but according to the Peterborough Telegraph this morning 'those figures may prove to be an under-estimate'.

Posh are set to sign a Premier League defender on loan on July 1 ahead of their return to Championship. A fee will be required for the player.

However the implication from the story suggests that the fee for Diagouraga could be somewhat more than £200,000.

Meanwhile the Western Daily Press has the story about Bristol Rovers tracking Hereford's Matty Done.

They maintain Done is 'out of contract' and 'is likely to be interested in a return to League One football'.

Friday, June 19, 2009

FL To Meet As Saints Argue Toss

Southampton's future will be decided on Monday at a special Football League meeting to clarify the League's stance on the club.

Bidders Pinnacle want to appeal their ten point deduction claiming, as the club originally claimed, that the club was never in Administration as the parent company was the one to go under. Pinnacle's period of exclusivity on the deal has now expired, and it appears unlikely that the FL will change it's stance after employing a forensic accountant to decipher the Saints' accounts before imposing the penalty.

Pinnacle's bid for the club depends on it merely buying the club itself, the training ground, and the stadium, leaving the bulk of the other 50-odd companies that made up parent company Southampton Leisure Holdings to go under. Those companies mainly provided anciliary services to the club, including the supporters club, corporate hospitality, and even the local radio station.

Update: A second bidder is reported to now be back in talks with the club. Marc Jackson, who previously failed to buy Bournemouth when the finance fell through, has confirmed he has held preliminary talks with the Administrator.

Family Open Day at Yeovil

Yeovil Town is a similar size club to Hereford United yet whereas Hereford haven't had an open day for several seasons Yeovil have already started giving publicity to their next one which will take place on Sunday July 26th.

The Yeovil event is called a 'Family Open Day' and will start in the late morning

Supporters will be able to watch the end of training for the day and then have the chance to ask the players and staff for autographs. Later the shop will open especially to sell the clubs new home shirt.

From 1pm onwards lots of entertainment will be provided and food along with real ale will be on sale.

And at 5pm there will be a chance to go to a meet the management evening which will include food.

Currently there is no news on whether Hereford United will have an open day before next season.

Done Next On Transfer Radar

It is being reported that Matt Done is being chased by Bristol Rovers.

The agent-friendly Sky Sports 'understands' that the Pirates are leading the chase for the 20 year old. He was a cash purchase just two days over a year ago from Wrexham, starting just over half the League matches last season.

More from Turner on Vicinity Charging

Hereford United chairman Graham Turner has, once again, spoken out against the principle of vicinity charging by the West Mercia Police for policing around, but not in, Edgar Street.

"When you talk about the vicinity of the ground, football supporters pay their taxes, pay their rates and that includes part of police services," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"And they have a right to protection from the police in areas away from the football ground.

"We are quite happy to accept responsibility and pay for any policing inside the ground but outside of the ground should be normal police duties and services we have come to expect."

Turner was asked if he thought Hereford United, as a smaller club, had been singled out over these charges.

"I think that might well have been the case that as a small club it was probably felt that we couldn't defend our cause too well but having good solicitors we have defended it most rigourously.

"It has got far reaching implications, if we do lose the case, for all sorts of other businesses that attract crowds.

"We feel we are totally at loggerheads with West Mercia Police.

"We're not aware of any of the other 92 Premier or Football League clubs having he same problem that we have got.

"Ours is the most extreme case of what is now being termed as 'vicinity charges'."

Mention was made of the club's safety certificate which has to be in place for the start of the coming season and whether the police might make life difficult.

"There's always that possibility but I wouldn't have thought so. The safety advisory group, we meet four times a year and we go into detail about the safety of the ground. I couldn't think they would have a big influence on that sort of committee but you never know."

News Round Up

Dagenham have signed striker Josh Scott from Hayes and Yeading on a free transfer. He scored 25 goals in Conf South last season after progressing through their youth ranks. Bournemouth's takeover should be completed today. Dorchester chairman Eddie Mitchell has stepped down from his role at that club and is expected to become the Cherries new chief.

Gillingham have complained about the way the play-off monies are divided after getting 'only' £200,000 from the play-off final. Carlisle's departing managing director says they spent less than 50% of turnover on wages last season after seeing a fall in gates cost them £400,000 in revenue, and that they need a good season on the pitch to prevent a financial crisis at the club.

Northampton have sold youth team forward Courtney Cameron to Aston Villa for an undisclosed sum. Bradford have signed Zesh Rehman on a two year contract. The former Fulham defender was released by QPR earlier in the summer. Rotherham have rejected a £100,000 offer from MK Dons for striker Reuben Reid.

Accrington have signed teenage defender Dean Winnard following his release from Blackburn. Stanley will lose Leam Richardson and Jay Bell after both rejected new terms on less money. Former Bulls keeper George Wood has left his goalkeeper coaching role at Hartlepool for the same job at Swindon. He still lives in South Wales after his time at Cardiff, and played for Inter Cardiff until he was 45.

Colchester are reported to have bid £250,000 for Shrewsbury striker Grant Holt. Shrews boss Paul Simpson says they have no need to sell and he plans to have Holt in his squad for the coming season. Darlington will lose striker Gregg Blundell after he told the press there was no way he would return even if they made him an offer.

Wycombe have been warned they face financial meltdown if the shareholders fail to agree to lift a clause barring any one person from holding more than 25% of the club. The club is claimed to be losing £1.4million a year with £6.8million, the vast majority of the debt, owed to the man driving the change Steve Hayes. Hayes, their Managing Director, already owns ground tenants Wasps and 25% of the Chairboys after selling his share in a loans company to MBNA for a reported £50million.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vaughan and his 'cunning plan'

Dr John Beech has been looking into the affairs at Chester where 'owner' Stephen Vaughan put the club into administration recently .

Readers of this website might recall that Beech was the Oxford Academic who took Hereford United chairman Graham Turner to task over his views on the Stockport situation.

Beech says he is surprised that recent deveopments at the Deva (or whatever it is now called) stadium haven't attracted much comment.

On 29 May Stephen Vaughan revealed his cunning plan – he would buy the club back from the Administrator. He argued “… if I take the club through a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) the debt will be £290,000. But if the club goes to another bidder the debt will be £4,290,000″. In a nutshell, he was prepared to write off the debt the club owed to him if he was allowed to buy it back, but not if anyone else bought the club.

To no-one’s surprise there were no new bidders.

At a meeting with creditors on 11 June, a CVA was agreed. The club was to bought by the slightly perversely named Chester City 2004 Ltd (owned by the Vaughan family) – surely that should be Chester City (2009) Ltd – and creditors to be paid 15p in the pound over a four year period. The shuffling around of share ownership is not unknown to Vaughan. In 2001 Chester were drawn against Barrow in the FA Cup and Vaughan happened to own both clubs. To allow the match to go ahead, Vaughan sold his Barrow shares to a local painter and decorator three days before the match and promptly bought them back two days after the match.

The only criticism of Vaughan's action has come from Woking chairman, Shahid Azeem.

"For a club to have £7m worth of debts and then go into administration, only for the same chairman to buy back the club at 15p in the pound, including all the assets, is wrong," said Azeem.

Beech then has a pop at the Chester Evening Leader whom described Vaughan as the 'Chester City Saviour'.

The Chester Evening Leader, apparently suffering from short-term memory loss as to how the club came to be in its present situation, has billed Vaughan as ‘CHESTER CITY SAVIOUR’. Vaughan himself is quoted as saying “I would expect a big influx of new players in the next seven to 10 days.” and “We’re coming into the division in a healthier situation financially”.

It’s as if the last month had never happened.

Chester are expected to play in the Conference this coming season.

Friday Night Imps

Lincoln City have announced that the Bulls' trip to Sincil Bank will now be a Friday night - and the Edgar Street match between the two sides could well be the same.

The Bulls trip to Lincolnshire will move forward a day to Friday 12th March, while the Imps' official site reports that officials are in discussions with West Mercia Police to switch the Edgar Street tie to from December 19th to Friday the 18th.

Lincoln experimented with Friday night matches last season, and are looking to have at least two home fixtures switched for the coming season. The Bulls' switching of their December fixture will also make sense with it currently being played on the last Saturday before Christmas.

UPDATE 11pm: The game at Edgar Street will take place on Friday 18th.

News Round Up

It has been confirmed that Dagenham trio Sam Saunders, Ben Strevens, and Danny Foster have all joined Brentford. Sam Hewson is on the verge of first team action at Man Utd according to The Mirror. Darlington have confirmed Dean Windass as their player-coach after he turned down Port Vale due to travelling issues.

Lincoln have confirmed that strikers Adrian Patuela and Sam Mullarkey have rejected new deals and will probably leave the club. Patuela is being chased by clubs from the Championship to the Conference, while Mullarkey managed just one goal in 18 games after being plucked from local non-league football. Chesterfield have agreed a new 12 month deal with striker Jack Lester.

Chester have offered fans the chance to sit on the board - for a £25,000 a season donation. They have been linked to a number of players now they have agreed a CVA, including one time Bulls target Jamie Tolley. Accrington have agreed a new two year deal with midfielder Andy Proctor and they hope to speak to Gregg Blundell and Luke Joyce, who are being chased by Chester and Darlington respectively.

Cheltenham could lose out in their chase of midfielder Chris McPhee after Kidderminster, who released him last month, made him an offer after losing other players.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

No Carling Cup TV for Bulls

Hereford United have missed out on any Sky Sports TV money for the first round of the Carling Cup.

Sky will show:

Monday August 10th: Darlington vs Leeds United. Kick-off 7.45pm
Tuesday August 11th: Bury vs West Bromwich Albion. Kick-off 7.45pm

In other media football news the BBC are taking over ITV's Championship programme. Called The Football League Show, it is due to start on August 8th.

They are also planning to show highlights of the Paint Trophy games this coming season.