Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Newcomers - Brizzle Rovers and The Daggers

Two grounds that come back onto the list this coming season are The Memorial Stadium at Bristol and Victoria Road Dagenham.

"The Mem" is around a 65-mile drive from The Shire, which makes it one of the more accessible grounds for Bulls’ fans. Visitors usually find themselves standing on an open terrace to the side of the Uplands Stand although some shelter from the elements can be found in the visitor's area of the "tented" South Stand at one end of the ground. One highlight is the availability of the splendid "Cornish" pasties sold from the kiosk at the rear of the terrace. The term "Gasheads" is said to stem from their old Eastville ground, which was situated next to a smelly gasworks.

Victoria Road, Dagenham is more correctly now known as The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium. The old visitors terrace, famed for it's lone Leigh RMI fan and celebrating Mexicans, has been replaced with the new Marcus James Stand that provides up to 1200 seats. The seats are in an elevated position and therefore provide an excellent view of the proceedings from behind one of the goals. The stand also provides visitors with their own indoor bar area. Local Pubs leave a bit to be desired but apart from that and the journey to get there, a visit to Dagenham is usually fairly harmless as their fans are generally welcoming.

Life Begins at 40 for Hyde

Life begins at 40 – well that’s the hope of former Hereford United, Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Graham Hyde.

The wily campaigner may have played his part in a Wembley FA Cup final during his days with the Owls but his latest role at the Valley Stadium could prove to be his most satisfying yet.

Hyde has been appointed Redditch United’s community development officer, the first in the club’s history. The role will not only see him working with the up and coming youngsters at the club but will also see him developing links with schools around the town.

A series of holiday football camps is also on the agenda, the first of which is being staged at the Valley Stadium this week.

“I have had some fantastic times in football,” Hyde explained. “I have played in an FA Cup final against Arsenal, UEFA Cup games and alongside players such as Chris Waddle and Des Walker and Paolo Di Canio.

“But this is a new challenge and one which I’m really looking forward to. It’s a fantastic opportunity, both for myself and for Redditch United.

“When I first arrived at the club as a coach in February, it was a whisker away from going under. The chairman has put the club on a sound financial footing but it is vital to build up the links with the community.”

After finishing this week’s soccer camp, Hyde’s next task will be making contacts with the schools, seeing how the football club can work with the children.

“We will be looking to offer something for all ages,” he added. “There will be programmes for those just starting to play through to those heading to college.

“It is going to be a busy time but an enjoyable one. I have worked with some top managers and have built up an understanding of the game. It will be good to pass on some of that advice.”

Hyde will combine his community role with his coaching duties various teams under the Redditch United banner including the new u21s and the first team.

But chairman Chris Swan admits the link with the schools is vital to the long-term future of the club.

“From my very first day at Redditch United, I could see how much the club needed to develop its links with the community,” he explained.

“To have Graham Hyde as our first community development officer is an exciting move for the club and one which I know will pay dividends.

“Graham has a passion for coaching and is so keen to share his knowledge with the next generation. We are lucky to be able to use his skills and experience to enhance what we have at the football club.”

Hyde made 32 appearances for the Bulls in the 2004/05 season.

Bulls Target McPhee On PFA List

January Bulls target Chris McPhee has been added to the PFA's list of out of contract players, increasing speculation about his future.

Kidderminster accepted a five-figure bid for the 28 year old during the transfer window, but the player turned down the move and also a later loan approach from Cheltenham. He had an unusual arrangement where he would train with Exeter for most of the week rather than travel from his South West home, and did not want to alter his schedule at that time.

McPhee's inclusion in the PFA list comes after the local press reported in early May that he would not fit into the new - reduced - wage structure at Aggborough. The former Torquay and Brighton man scored 18 times for the Harriers last term while filling a variety of roles as a defender, midfielder, and striker. He was also named as the Non-League's Paper no.1 midfielder in non-league over the past season.

Message board speculation has also linked the Bulls to McPhee's teammate Matthew Blair. The winger, son of Aston Villa European Cup winner Andy, scored 11 times in his first season at Conference level after joining Kiddy from AFC Telford. Blair, 21, is also out of contract but would be subject to a fee.

News Round-Up

Bristol Rovers are reported to have paid Torquay an initial £25,000 for manager Paul Buckle. The fee is said to double if the Pirates win promotion in the next year. Crewe are claimed to be lining up Macclesfield forward Tyrone Barnett as a replacement for Clayton Donaldson. The 6ft 4in target man scored 13 times in his first Football League season after joining from Hednesford.

Oldham are to draw up a 'Social Media Code of Conduct' for all it's club staff after some messages posted on sites like Twitter 'had not gone down too well with officials'. The ongoing media war ahead of the EGM has seen Port Vale's club solicitor warn that any change at the top could see the council demand immediate repayment of their £2.5million loan, although a council official has played down the risk.

Accrington are expecting to lose the services of out of contract midfielder Jimmy Ryan with several Championship and League One sides in the running for the 22 year old. They would be entitled to a fee for the ex-Liverpool trainee who joined them from Shrewsbury in 2008. Burton have confirmed the signing of winger Cleveland Taylor on a two year deal following his release from St Johnstone.

Former Conference foes Leigh are to cease their semi-pro side after failing to find a suitable ground in the Leigh area. The Leigh Sports Village stadium proved too costly for them to afford to co-exist with their rugby league neighbours, and plans to use an adjacent athletics ground for games was refused. They will continue to operate junior sides. Stockport are facing a cash blow with in-demand midfielder Greg Tansey claimed to be set to move to SPL side Inverness. The move would mean the Hatters would not be able to claim a fee for the out of contract 23 year old.

Crawley have made Reading midfielder Scott Davies their latest recruit. The 23 year old played only five times for the Royals, but made over 100 appearances out on loan for the likes of Aldershot and Wycombe, both of whom were claimed to have tried to sign him.

Monday, May 30, 2011

News Round-Up

Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler says he could not compete financially with Northampton over striker Adebayo Akinfenwa because of budget cuts at the Priestfield Stadium. He also expects to lose out in the race for Crewe striker Clayton Donaldson, with Crawley claimed to have offered him a deal that will make him their highest paid player. Hessenthaler has also denied interest in Dover pair Ross Flitney and Matt Fish.

Burton keeper Adam Legzdins is attracting several enquiries from the Championship according to club chairman Ben Robinson. Port Vale director Mike Lloyd was the only member of the board to attend Saturday's supporters meeting to discuss how they will vote at the upcoming EGM. He told the assembled fans that he expected the board to lose the vote, with fans voting at the meeting to remove both the current board and the block on any one person owning more than 24.9% of shares.

Shrewsbury winger Mark Wright is to undergo a hernia operation but is expected to be fit for the start of pre-season training. Oxford have appointed Malcolm Crosby as their new Head of Football Development. He previously had a stint as no.2 to Denis Smith at the club, and will be responsible for player recruitment across the club.

While Lincoln have six contracted players taking up a third of next season's budget, Cambridge boss Jez George says that six of his are taking up two-thirds of his reduced budget for next season. Five of them have agreed to go on the transfer list, while the sixth is considering their options after being offered a vastly reduced contract. Rushden say they have a meeting with the Conference on June 6th over their current financial problems, and have taken insolvency advice on their forthcoming winding-up order.

Buckle Confirmed As Pirates Boss

Bristol Rovers have announced that Torquay boss Paul Buckle has become their new manager.

The 40 year old spent four years at Torquay, taking them to two Conference play-off campaigns, and an FA Trophy final, and sealing their return to the Football League. Following him to the Memorial Ground is coach Shaun North.

Torquay have invited applications for their new vacancy, with ex-Rovers boss Paul Trollope an early favourite.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

News Round-Up

Torquay keeper Danny Potter has signed for Newport. The 32 year old was second choice at Plainmoor and his signing is likely to signal ex-Bull Glyn Thompson's departure from County. Aldershot are expected to sign Newport midfielder Jamie Collins, with the South Wales press saying the 26 year old has had a medical with the Shots.

Burton keeper Adam Legzdins has been the subject of a bid from Derby County. The Championship side's offer has been rejected with Legzdins still having 12 months left on his current deal. The Brewers are also reported to have made a move for released Derby midfielder Ben Pringle, but a move is 'out of the reach' of the club according to boss Paul Peschisolido.

Colchester backer Robbie Cowling is to withdraw his financial support for the club over the next five years. In a statement on the club's website, Cowling revealed the playing budget was £3.5million for the coming season, including £1.4million from his support. He will drop his subsidy by £300,000 a season until it is zero in the summer of 2016. Ex-Bulls midfielder Jon Wallis has said he left Dover for Dartford as he could not get on with manager Martin Hayes.

Torquay boss Paul Buckle says he will meet the club's board and decide his future over the next couple of days. He has denied signing a deal with Bristol Rovers.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Torquay Complete L2 Line-Up

Torquay have been added as a 14/1 shot to the League Two betting list, completing the line-up for next season.

The Gulls are inserted into the list in upper mid-table alongside Gillingham, Port Vale, and Bradford. There has been a little movement in the odds with Oxford being cut to 11/1 following their early acquisitions, while AFC Wimbledon have been pushed out to 16/1.

FA Cup and Carling Cup odds are also now available, with the Bulls 2,500/1 for each competition.

Stevenage Win L2 Play-Off

Stevenage are a League One side after beating Torquay 1-0 in the League Two play-off final at Old Trafford.

Just 11,484 watched the game with John Mousinho's goal seperating the two sides. The Gulls peppered the Boro goal with shots, but managed to get just three of sixteen shots on target.

News Round-Up

Newport have signed striker Craig McAllister after he rejected moves from Wimbledon and Aldershot. The 30 year old scored 13 times for Crawley last season but rejected a new deal with the Red Devils. Rushden fans are calling on the club to make a statement about their current financial state, claiming the wall of silence is hampering their fundraising efforts. The club face a winding up order in two weeks, the day after the Conference AGM that could see them expelled from the competition.

Oldham are threatening to sue former player Joe Jacobson after the Accrington defender posted on twitter that the club had failed to pay the wage bill on time. The Latics say the wages have been paid on time, and Jacobson has removed the comment. Luton have handed Gary Brabin a two year deal to remain as manager. Brabin has taken two sides to the Conference play-offs without winning promotion.

Port Vale have contacted representatives of Robbie Williams to voice concerns at his passing of his voting rights to the Supporters Club. A club statement claims they have been contacted by fans concerned that the Supporters Club doesn't hold their views. The supporters groups that have organised the upcoming EGM believe they will get a vote in their favour for Williams' votes and will oust the current board.

Plymouth have accepted a bid from Bristol City for winger Yannick Bolasie. Acting chairman Peter Ridsdale has told the local press that the office staff have been paid in full for May, but player wages remain outstanding.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Preview: L2 Play-Off Final

Stevenage face Torquay in the League Two play-off final at Old Trafford tomorrow afternoon.

The two sides are likely to set an unwanted record for the lowest attendance at a play-off final, with the two sides announcing advance sales of just 9,500 by Wednesday night. Such is the low level of ticket sales the Football League have taken the unprecedented step of selling tickets on the day at the stadium. Fans are blaming the long distances involved in travelling to Manchester, leading to suggestions that a more central location should have been sought.

The form book between the sides hands the tie clearly to Torquay. Boro haven't beaten the Gulls in any of their six meetings, and haven't scored in the last four. This season the two sides shared a goalless draw at the Lamex Stadium in September, before the Gulls won 2-0 at Plainmoor in March.

Boro finished the season a point ahead of the Gulls, the point that was deducted for fielding an ineligible player, and both sides had better form at home than away. Both sides go into the game with just one win in their last six games.

Torquay have the clear goals advantage when it comes to their front line. Chris Zebroski has scored double the total of Stevenage's top scorer, midfielder John Mousinho, while Billy Kee and Jake Robinson have also notched better records.

Stevenage vs Torquay United, Old Trafford, Saturday 28th May, 3.00pm.

Guinan Signs For Kiddy

Former Bulls forward Steve Guinan has signed for Kidderminster following his release by Forest Green.

The veteran frontman has signed a one year deal, with boss Steve Burr telling Harriers' official site: "Steve is someone with massive experience who is still very hungry to do well. We're hoping he can bring experience to what will be a young squad - even younger than last year.

"We're pleased to have got him. We've agreed a deal that suits both parties and we're looking forward to working with him and know what he will bring to the dressing room."

Guinan scored five goals in 18 games for the Gumpers after leaving Northampton in January. He was interviewed for the Bulls' managerial job but eventually took on the Academy Manager role at Hartpury College alongside his playing role.

Meanwhile another ex-Bull on the move is Matt Gardiner. The former Redditch boss has been appointed Assistant Manager to Carl Heeley at Worcester City.

Crawley Fire Warning Shot With Akinde Capture

Crawley have fired a shot across the bows of League Two by announcing the capture of striker John Akinde.

With a string of League sides chasing the big forward, and Northampton favourites with Gary Johnson being the man who took him to Bristol City, the League newcomers have handed him a two year deal to add to their 40 goal striker Matt Tubbs in a potent front line.

Prior to the news the bookies had already cut the odds on Crawley marching to the League Two title, with Skybet cutting their initial 5/1 offering to 7/2.

The Red Devils have also signed midfielder Jamie Day from Rushden. The 25 year old was an integral part of the Peterboro side that won promotion from League Two three years ago, and turned down several League sides last summer to sign for the Diamonds.

News Round-Up

Former Bulls utility man Kris Taylor has been released by Port Vale. He is one of two players to be axed by Micky Adams, joining teenager Matthew Bell out the door. Burton boss Paul Peschisolido has told the press he wants to sign former loan winger Cleveland Taylor after he was given a free transfer by SPL side St Johnstone. The 27 year old spent half of the 09/10 season at the Pirelli Stadium on loan, but chose to move north of the border rather than stay with the Brewers last summer.

Accrington chairman Ilyas Khan is to sell shares in the club in a bid to raise up to £1million. The move will see owner Khan scrap his current shareholding and issue new shares with the idea that the fans will own the club. Cheltenham have been told they will have to significantly up their bid for Newport defender Gary Warren if they are to be sucessful. However Newport boss Anthony Hudson has said ex-Bulls keeper Glyn Thompson is available as he is unsure about travelling from his Midlands home when the club go full time.

At a fans forum last night Lincoln chairman Bob Dorrian told supporters that the six transfer listed players at the club were taking up 30% of their playing budget for the coming season. He told the meeting that the club was set to lose about £400,000 for the current year, £120,000 of which was spent on paying off players contracts. For the coming season the Imps will be cutting out paying for accomodation for players and will limit boss Steve Tilson to offering a maximum wage of £700 a week, while the club's training ground will be mothballed to save money.

Port Vale's Supporters Club will hold a meeting tomorrow to decide how to vote in the upcoming EGM after Robbie Williams put his proxy vote in supporters hands. Williams had previously stated he would abstain in the vote, but has now delegated his vote after a fans petition was delivered to him. Ex-Bulls midfielder Glen Southam is said to be interesting Dover, while Nicky Nicolau has signed a new contract at Boreham Wood.

AFC Wimbledon have released five players following their promotion to the Football League. The highest profile candidate is former Barnet defender Ismail Yakubu, who scored one of the penalties in their play-off win over Luton. Oldham have failed to pay their players on time for the fourth successive month, according to reports on Twitter.

Former Bulls keeper Craig Samson has signed a new two year deal at St Mirren. The 27 year old has been second choice for the Saints this season, making 11 appearances in the SPL. Kidderminster have agreed to sell captain Keith Briggs to Fleetwood for an undisclosed fee. Wycombe have signed Crewe's released winger Joel Grant on a two year deal. Grant played for manager Gary Waddock at Aldershot.

Oxford have signed Oldham striker Deane Smalley for an undisclosed fee on a two year deal. The 22 year old scored 12 times in 29 games on loan at Chesterfield last season.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Contract Offered To Heath

In addition to offering a deal to Rob Purdie, as reported earlier, Jamie Pitman has confirmed making a contract offer to full back Joe Heath.

Pitman told PA Sport: "I'm still talking to Rob (Purdie), hopefully we can come to some agreement in the next week or so. Joe Heath is just looking over his and hopefully he'll be signing in the next few days, by the end of the week.

"So that's another two more to what we've got and then we're hoping we can get four or five more in to just boost that up."

Heath was released by Exeter after making just one appearance for the Grecians, against the Bulls, in his year at St James Park. He joined the Bulls on loan as cover for the injured Ryan Valentine, making 30 appearances.

More Signed Shirts Set To Finish

The Ebay auctions of match worn shirts see another batch ending from noon today.

Guillem Bauza's unsigned home shirt is the first to close today, current bid £54.01, with 18 shirts due to end by 1.30pm. Among those closing are Nicky Featherstone's home shirt and - for the true collector - home and away shirts from the notorious O'Neill Thompson.

Also just added are Stefan Stam's shirts from the campaign. Both are signed and end on Tuesday. All the shirts can be seen here.

Of the shirts to close yesterday, Ryan Green's away shirt was the top earner with a winning bid of £100. Steven Leslie's home shirt fetched £66, with Kenny Lunt's away shirt earning £51.

News Round-Up

Port Vale fans claim they are just a handful of shares short of getting enough votes to oust the current board at next week's EGM. Burton boss Paul Peschisolido says that midfielder Jacques Maghoma, a former Bulls trialist, will not be returning to the club after turning down a new contract. The Brewers won't be able to demand a fee for the ex-Spurs man as he is likely to go to either France or Belgium.

Bradford co-chairman Mark Lawn says the club's playing budget is competitive and on a par with some of the teams currently in the play-off picture. The estimated £1million budget is down by a third on last season's figure. Regardless of the outcome of their play-off final, Torquay will play the bulk of next season with only three sides to their Plainmoor ground with the current main stand due for demolition within a month. The veteran structure is down to a capacity of just 750 and is costing £100,000 a season to maintain. The replacement should be ready for February and house 1,750.

Cheltenham have confirmed they will re-enter a reserve league next season, bucking recent trends. The Robins have also extended the contract of defender Danny Andrew for another season. Gillingham have signed defender Joe Martin on a two year deal after he spent the back end of the season at the club on non-contract terms, playing 17 times.

Bristol Rovers are reporting a drop in season ticket sales of around 15% following their relegation. They sold 1,600 season tickets last term. Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has confirmed he has made an offer to ex-Bull Craig Stanley, who was set to leave the club after falling out with Sammy McIlroy. Torquay are expected to offer him a deal, but he may yet opt to follow Paul Buckle to Bristol Rovers if the widely rumoured move comes true.

Accrington are to spend another £30,000 on their pitch in a bid to cure the drainage problems that plagued the ground during the season. Cheltenham are reported to have made a £10,000 bid for Newport defender Gary Warren, while they are also chasing the Exiles' ex-Bull keeper Glyn Thompson.

Swindon have offered new deals to four players, and are to consider the futures of five more. One of the four offered a deal, midfielder Michael Timlin, is claimed to be a target of Southend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Newcomers - Crawley Town

Originally formed in 1896, Crawley Town have had a chequered history particularly in recent years.  Early teams competed in the West Sussex League and it was sixty-five years before they progressed to the lower reaches of the Southern League.

Despite winning the prestigious Southern Counties Combination Floodlight Cup in 1986, it was not until 2004 that they climbed into the Football Conference when they wrapped up promotion by winning at the Welling San Siro.   Life in The Conference was littered with financial problems not least during the ownership period of the SA Group who took over in 2005.  By August 2006 things had got so bad that it was announced that the club would fold due to it’s debts.  A last-minute rescue package allowed them to carry on although a ten-point deduction was enforced for entering Administration.

Season 2007/08 saw the arrival of a new manager in the not insignificant shape of former Boston United boss, Steve Evans (yes, that really is his name).  In April 2008 the club was taken over by Prospect Holdings Ltd who cleared the debt and set about providing Evans with the funds to build a side capable of gaining promotion to The Football League.  Evans is reported to have spent around half a million pounds in transfer fees alone but has guided “The Red Devils” to a position where they will now face The Bulls for the first time since 2005/06 when HUFC did the double over the West Sussex outfit.

The Broadfield Stadium is owned by the local Borough Council and has been home to the club since the late nineties when their former home, Town Mead, was sold to property developers.  The Broadfield is dominated by the main West Stand that provides just over a thousand seats.  The rest of the ground is essentially standing only with visitors usually given the North Terrace at on end although a limited number of seats are made available in the West Stand.

It will be nice to welcome back Ben Smith back to Edgar Street.

Plymouth To Be Sold Before They're Bought

Plymouth's preferred bidders are looking to sell the club before they even buy it.

In a statement on the club's official website, acting chairman Peter Ridsdale says he has been asked to buy the club as 'it has become clear that the acquirers property expertise and focus could conflict with the demands of ensuring that the football club could complete all the work necessary to fulfil the requirements of the Football League.'

The preferred bidders were described as 'genuine football people' by Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, but he later admitted that he didn't exactly know who the buyers were and the fact that they are apparently focused on the property rather than the club does call Guilfoyle's statement into serious question. He is also claimed to have rejected a 3p/£ offer for the club in favour of the preferred bid that only generated a quarter of that sum for creditors.

Ridsdale says the club will be handed a long-term lease on their Home Park home, although such a deal hasn't worked out so well for other clubs placed in similar circumstances, while the BBC are reporting that the preferred bidders will be lending money to Ridsdale in order to buy the club.

The preferred bidders still haven't been named, with three weeks until the deal is due to be completed, but it's reasonable to expect them to be property developers with little to no interest in football.

Stockport Name Mathias As Boss

Stockport have named Ray Mathias as their permanent manager for the coming season.

The former Tranmere and Wigan boss won just two of his ten games in charge at the back end of the season, but will now rebuild the squad for a first tilt at Conference football.

His first action is to announce the club's retained list. With only three first teamers on contract, Mathias has opted to offer deals to only five more and release 11 others. Among those being offered contracts are in-demand pair Danny Rowe and Greg Tansey, while first team regulars Mansour Assoumani and Adam Griffin are among those to depart.

The Hatters are considered by the bookies to be a 25/1 mid-table side for next season.

Meanwhile Bury say they have identified the candidate to be their next manager, but will not make any further statements regarding their identity until the contract has been signed. Fans on the club's forum claim the successful candidate is former Carlisle boss Neil McDonald, who had most recently been Sam Allardyce's no.2 at Blackburn.

Shirt Auctions Closing This Afternoon

Nine of the Ebay match-worn shirt auctions are closing this afternoon.

Top of the pile so far is a signed Ryan Green away shirt at £62. Away shirts from Kenny Lunt and Joe Colbeck and home shirts from Steve Lesile and Adrian Patulea, all signed, are all over £40.

The auctions begin closing at 3.26pm and can be seen here. More shirts are closing tomorrow.

Meanwhile Stuart Fleetwood has taken his first steps into management by becoming assistant boss for Sunday League side Woolhope FC. The reformed side is looking for a sponsor to cover the costs of kit for the coming season.

In other news for badge collectors, the Adam Stansfield Foundation are now selling pin badges from their website. The black and gold badges feature Adam's signature and are £3 plus postage, available here.

News Round-Up

Bradford have confirmed the inevitable and named Peter Jackson as their permanent manager on a 12 month deal. He was named on a shortlist of two three weeks ago only for the other name, Dagenham's John Still, to rule himself out publically a day later. The press report that Jackson will be working with a budget 'of around £1million' which is down £350,000 on the current season. Oxford are reported to be chasing veteran defender Michael Duberry, who is set to end an 18 month stay with St Johnstone in the SPL.

Northampton have announced the signing of Gillingham striker Adebayo Akinfenwa on a two year deal. Manager Gary Johnson has called it 'a sign of ambition' to bring the bulky striker back to Sixfields. Akinfenwa scored 39 goals in 95 games in his first stint with the Cobblers before moving to the Gills, scoring 11 in 46 games last term. Lincoln are to review their previously announced ticket prices in the wake of their relegation following poor season ticket sales.

Port Vale fans have questioned the validity of the recently announced £1.6million sponsorship deal after being unable to find the US based company at the centre of the deal. Fans say the company was not answering the phone numbers listed on it's website, and that the whole thing was registered to a small house. The club have responded accusing fans of abusing the company over the phone while posing as Radio Stoke reporters.

The Football League has extended it's partnership with ball manufacturers Mitre until 2015. In announcing the deal they have confirmed the current ball design will remain for next season. Former Bulls striker Lee Mills has quit his manager's job at Bridgnorth Town and set his sights on managing Safford Rangers. The 40 year old has had an impressive first season in charge working without either pay or a playing budget. Stafford are looking for their third manager in eight months after Matt Elliott quit following their relegation.

Plymouth's Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle has told the press even he doesn't know the full identity of the preferred bidder for the club, despite handing them that tag and calling them 'genuine football people'. Manager Peter Reid has refused to comment on speculation linking him to the Sheff Utd job. Accrington's playing budget will remain the same next season. Boss John Coleman will have to replace any departures with more free transfers with ten players being offered new deals.

Crewe are claimed to be chasing Halifax striker Jamie Vardy, but are still waiting on answers from strike duo Clayton Donaldson and Byron Moore before making a move. Vardy, 24, scored 23 times in just 13 starts for Halifax and is said to be valued at £100,000 with both Preston and Scunthorpe also interested. Wrexham are reported to have agreed basic terms to sell the club to their Supporters Trust, but further negotiations are required and any deal would need to be voted on by the Trust members.

Dagenham target Bradley Pritchard has signed for Charlton. The Hayes and Yeading midfielder was also interesting Gillingham. Ex-Bull Jimmy Harvey has been named Conf North manager of the month for April. Stockport are said to be mulling over a four man shortlist for their new manager. Ray Mathias, Martin Foyle, Mike Newell, and Graham Roberts are the four with Jim Gannon ruled out after failing to agree a deal with the board. Ex-Yeovil boss Roberts has spent the last two years coaching the national teams of Pakistan and Nepal.

Tamworth have named Kettering manager Marcus Law as their new manager. Law only took the Kettering job eight months ago and saw his budget cut several times. New Morecambe manager Jim Bentley wants the club to paint the terrace barriers red 'to make it feel more like home'. The Shrimps won just six home games last season in their new home compared to 14 at Christie Park the season before.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Purdie Waiting On Pitman Call

Rob Purdie has told his twitter followers he is waiting on a phone call from the Bulls to find out whether his future lies at Edgar Street.

Purdie told his 600 followers: 'Hi guys, for those that are asking, holidays have slowed down talks as ppl have been out the country, awaiting a phone call from hfd soon.'

The Bulls currently have twelve contracted players for next season, although two of them are on the transfer list.

Meanwhile, two former Bulls have had contrasting contract news for their newly promoted Conference sides. Clint Easton has agreed a new deal with Ebbsfleet as they return to the fifth tier, but Danny Carey-Bertram is to leave AFC Telford after their promotion.

Updated League Two Odds

Beaten play-off sides Shrewsbury and Accrington, and Conference play-off winners AFC Wimbledon, have been added to the early League Two betting list.

The Shrews come in highest as fifth favourites in Skybet's list at 11/1, with the Wombles right behind on 12/1. Accrington are put in the lower mid-table at 25/1, somewhat higher than their usual pre-season relegation tag.

Cheltenham are the bottom rated side of the 23 teams listed, with only one of Torquay and Stevenage to be added, at 66/1. The Bulls are still 33/1, with no movement in the previously advertised odds since Barnet's appointment of Lawrie Sanchez saw them cut to 40/1. Crawley remain 5/1 favourites, followed by Bristol Rovers and Swindon on 8/1.

For the League Two play-off the two competing teams can barely be split. Several bookies offer identical odds on either Torquay or Stevenage winning promotion, but overall Graham Westley's side are a best-priced 10/11 with Paul Buckle's men 18/19.

Sheridan Named L2 Manager Of The Year

Chesterfield's John Sheridan has been named League Two's Manager of the Year by the LMA.

The divisional champions won the title with only eight defeats all season, ending up five points clear of second placed Bury. Strikers Craig Davies and Jack Lester scored 40 of their 85 goals during the League season.

The League One and Premier League awards also went to the title-winning managers, with only Norwich's Paul Lambert winning without ending the season in top spot.

News Round-Up

Torquay boss Paul Buckle is claimed to be set to quit the club for Bristol Rovers regardless of whether they win this weekend's play-off final or not. Bookies have stopped taking bets on Buckle making the move with the local press saying the deal will be finalised next week. The Gulls are expected to go for former Pirates boss Paul Trollope to replace him. Ex-Bull Jamie Tolley has signed a new deal with Wrexham.

Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler has confirmed that Andy Barcham has rejected the club's offer of a new contract and that it is looking likely that Adebayo Akinfenwa will follow suit. Former Bulls loanee Chris Palmer is also set to reject terms as he wants to return to the Midlands. The former Derby trainee was with Walsall before moving to the Gills. Swindon boss Paolo Di Canio has named Fabrizio Piccareta, a former Inter youth coach, as his assistant.

Wrexham's takeover is in doubt after banned businessman Colin Poole withdrew his backing. Poole, who was claimed to be 'only a consultant' is now claimed to have been set to invest up to £3million according to joint club owner Ian Roberts. The move comes after fans from the Red Passion forum visited Poole in his home village and handed out leaflets about his past misconduct. Bid leader Jon Harris says he is restructuring his offer and hopes to still complete a deal.

Bradford have confirmed they will remain at Valley Parade next season after the club's owners agreed a deal to buy an office block and surrounding land that was making up half of their rent burden at the ground. It had been claimed that the club would not have been able to meet the wage bill this week if the deal hadn't been done. Crewe boss Dario Gradi says he hasn't had any approaches for his contracted players. The only interest has been in released winger Joel Grant.

Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson has signed a 12 month extension to his current contract. He will remain as manager at Moss Rose until the summer of 2013. Swindon are set to offload midfielder David Prutton to Sheff Weds. The former Leeds man has 12 months left on his deal but, like the rest of their contracted players, was told he could go after their relegation.

Stockport have backtracked on their statement yesterday naming Ken Graham as their new chairman, saying that Lord Peter Snape is actually the new chairman. Graham is to be chairman of the holding company.

Leslie Offered New Shrews Deal

Former Bulls loan winger Steven Leslie has been offered a new contract by Shrewsbury.

Leslie, 23, was widely expected to be heading for the exit after making just one appearance in six weeks for the Shrews prior to his two month spell at Edgar Street. But regular football appears to have rescued his Shrews career with the Glaswegian being one of only two of the club's seven out of contract players to be offered a new deal.

Heading for the exit are former Bristol Rovers midfielder Craig Disley, full back David Raven, and veteran midfielder Kevin McIntyre, plus youngsters Danny Taylor and Harry Hooman.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Two Days Left On Player Shirt Auctions

There are two days left for supporters to bid on match worn Hereford United shirts on Ebay.

The club have put up 27 shirts from the season with some signed shirts up for grabs. The auctions start ending on Wednesday afternoon, with the bulk of the shirts ending on Thursday.

The shirt with the most interest so far is an unsigned Guillem Bauza home shirt, current bid £52.01, with a signed Ryan Green away shirt not far behind on £45. Shirts start from £15.

The shirt auctions can be accessed here.

News Round-Up

Cheltenham have signed Burton midfielder Russ Penn and are chasing Newport defender Lee Baker, both former Mark Yates charges at Kidderminster. Out of contract Penn cost Burton a record fee when he signed for them two years ago but has turned down a new deal at the Pirelli, while Baker is expected to command a fee. Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler has admitted making a move for new Oxford signing Jon-Paul Pittman, but the player opted for the U's as he lived 15 minutes from the ground.

Stockport have named board member Ken Graham as their new chairman. In a club statement they say the interview process to appoint a new manager is ongoing, while there are 'serious and meaningful' discussions over a possible takeover with more than one party. Bristol Rovers could be hosting Champions League football after Bristol Academy women's side reached their FA Cup final to qualify. The side's own ground is not up to standard to host the games and they will seek help from both Rovers and Bristol City to stage games.

Port Vale have announced a ten year sponsorship deal with an American sports company. The company would provide £500,000 in investment to the club, a £600,000 training facility, and sponsor ten years of pre-season tours to the US worth £500,000. In exchange they would become 24.9% shareholders in the Valiants. The deal will be voted on at the club's forthcoming EGM. Barnet are to sign Oxford youngster Sam Deering on a free transfer. The deal will include a sell-on clause for the 20 year old who spent part of last season on loan at Underhill.

Shrewsbury winger Jon Taylor is claimed to be on the verge of quitting the club and moving to the SPL. Sky Sports claim the 18 year old, who is out of contract in the summer, is set to leave the Greenhous Meadow in a similar fashion to former Shrew Chris Humphreys. He used a loophole to move across the border on a free transfer. Cheltenham have agreed a two year deal with winger Marlon Pack. The youngster has been released by Portsmouth after spending time on loan at Whaddon Road.

Accrington have released seven players following their play-off defeat. Among the seven are veteran Andy Parkinson and young striker Rory Boulding. Lincoln boss Steve Tilson has confirmed that coach Scott Lindsey left the club due to budget cuts at Sincil Bank. Aldershot have lost the services of midfielder Ben Harding after he opted to join Wycombe on a two year deal instead.

Bradford Pay £1.3M Rent

Life isn't easy at Bradford City. With a rent of £1.3M per season just to use the ground, the club needs to maximise income and support so they try and sell as many season tickets as possible.

Given they finished last season just above Hereford United, their average gate was 11,127, by far the highest in League Two. But, says Paul Newman in today's Independent, much of this is down to selling cheap season tickets.

After being relegated three times in seven years the club reduced season tickets to just £138 and up went the attendance.

Since the new pricing policy was introduced, the current season has been the only year in which season ticket sales fell below 10,000 (to 9,600).

Some 6,000 tickets for 2011-12 were sold (at an advance price of £150 each) in December last year, putting the club on course to match the 2010-11 figure. David Baldwin, the club's director of operations, said: "We started the Christmas campaign simply because I had a request from a grandparent asking: 'Why can't I buy a season ticket now for my grandson for next year as a Christmas present?' The first year we ran it 2,000 people took up the option, the second year 4,000 and the third year 6,000."

The final phase of sales for next season will start soon. Prices have not been announced yet, but the club have always kept the cost below £200. "Pricing is important," Baldwin said. "You have to realise that in the current economic climate."

Bradford offer season tickets at half-price to under-16s, while under-11s are admitted free if accompanied by an adult. "We know that around 18 per cent of a crowd of 10,000 are under-11s," Baldwin said.

"There's no greater way of promoting future fans than creating a situation where a dad can bring his son or daughter to a game for free. We hope that they become Bradford City fans for life."

The club's support is all the more remarkable when you consider what they have been through since losing their Premier League place 10 years ago. One of the last clubs to be relegated before the introduction of parachute payments, Bradford went into administration three years later, which resulted in their stadium and offices being sold off. They now have to pay £1.3m a year just to use the premises, including £750,000 in rent for the 25,500-capacity stadium.

"I think the vast majority of fans realise that we're operating in a difficult set of circumstances," Baldwin said. "We're carrying the costs of a Championship stadium and operating on a League Two budget."

He added: "We've had fantastic support when you consider the decade we've had as a club. We have very long-suffering fans and we're desperate to give them something to smile about in the future."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mowtech to Maintain Edgar Street Pitch

A Hereford United supporter has been given the contract to look after the Edgar Street pitch.

Ian Pritchard, who started his company Mowtech 25 years ago, looks after lots of grounds around the Forest of Dean.

"I grew up in the Forest of Dean and have been a Hereford United supporter since I was five," Ian told the Forrester.

"I am very proud to be a part of the club especially as I have been a supporter for so long. I played football in my younger years and dreamed of playing for Hereford but was never good enough.

"At least now I can hopefully help them in a small way to achieve results. I am very proud to be given this fantastic honour to do the job I love at the club I love."

Work has already started at the ground to ensure the pitch is in prime condition for the start of next season.

Burnley win Malta Under 11 Tournament

Burnley have won the under 11 tournament in Malta.

There are few details available as yet but in the game between Burnley and Hereford United, the Clarets won 2-1.

The young Bulls played seven games yesterday and today.

Newcomers - Swindon Town

The last time The Bulls met Swindon Town was in League 1 season 2008/09.

The County Ground is just 66 miles from Hereford and is an all-seated stadium with a capacity just short of 16,000.  There is some parking at the stadium but it has to be booked in advance and is not cheap (even for coaches).  There is also some street parking in the areas around the ground as well as at the nearby Cricket Club.

Former managers include Dennis Wise, Glen Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles and the mighty Jimmy Quinn.  Paul Hart took over from the departing Danny Wilson in March 2011 but lost the position at the end of April having failed to keep Swindon clear of relegation.  They have recently appointed former Italian international Paulo Di Canio to his first managerial post.  Di Canio is a UEFA Pro License holder (as is Simon Davey) and will be looking to get his new career off to a good start.

Visiting fans are often housed in part of the Arkells Stand to one side of the pitch with the uncovered Stratton Bank End also used for larger attendances. 

Apart from being an easy Club for Bulls fans to visit, it is likely that Swindon will also bring good support and welcome revenue to Edgar Street.

News Round-Up

Former Bulls loanee Mark Marshall has been handed a new contract at Barnet after triggering an extension clause in his current deal. The Bees have also made offers to five others including striker Steve Kabba and midfielder Mark Hughes. Bristol Rovers have sold striker Will Hoskins to Brighton for an undisclosed sum. The 25 year old scored 20 goals for the relegated Pirates during the season.

Lincoln's local press are reporting that several members of the club's office staff have been told they will be made redundant following the club's relegation from the League. The club have refused to comment, saying the matter is between them and the staff. One of Swindon's sponsors has quit the club in protest at Paolo Di Canio's appointment as manager. The GMB union spent £4,000 a season with the club but now say they cannot be associated with the club due to the political leanings of Di Canio.

Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt says he may walk away anyway, regardless of the outcome of the upcoming EGM. Bratt has been at the helm for eight years but a majority vote from shareholders could see him being ousted. Plymouth boss Peter Reid is claimed by the national press to be on a shortlist for the Sheff Utd job vacated when Micky Adams was sacked.

It will hurt for sometime says Turner

Graham Turner's failure to take Shrewsbury to League One in his first season back at the Shropshire club has hurt him.

However play-offs are difficult and Turner will remember it took three attempts when he was with Hereford United to get to a Conference play-off final.

"It will hurt over the weekend and it will hurt for some time," said Turner after Friday's second leg against Torquay.

"It just seems a whole season has gone to waste in two 90 minutes. It was probably a travesty we didn’t go up automatically

"But I’ve been in the game long enough to know nobody feels sorry for you."

Turner first took the Bulls to the play-offs in 2004. However Aldershot went through possibly because Hereford were down to ten men early in the second-leg when Andy Tretton was sent off for a professional foul.

A season later and Hereford couldn't cope with a very physical Stevenage in the play-offs.

However it was third time lucky for Turner at Hereford when in Spring 2006, the Bulls went through the play-offs, and then defeated Halifax at the Walkers Stadium.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

From The Archives - Snape joins The Bulls

It was back in May 1998 that mid-fielder John Snape (picture copyright Nigel Hill) joined the Bulls.

JOHN Snape today revealed how he had to let his head rule his heart and join Hereford United.

The combative midfielder ended a six seasons stay with Dr Martens Premier Halesowen Town to join Graham Turner's Bulls.

Snape, a crowd favourite and the Yeltz skipper, admitted it had been one of the toughest decisions in his football career. But the lure of playing in the Vauxhall Conference had proved irresistible.

"I'm 29 now and I want the chance to play at the highest level," said Snape.

"I've loved my time at Halesowen and I would have loved to have led them into the Conference. To leave them is a big wrench.

"But if I had said `no' to Hereford I might never have have the chance again.

"I had offers to go before but I let my heart rule my head. This time, I had to think I might never have the chance again."

Earlier in his Yeltz career, Snape had turned down a move to Hednesford while Bromsgrove, then in the Conference, had also been keen on him.

The Pitmen decision had been particularly ironic.

"Hednesford came in for me but I stayed loyal to John Morris, who was the manager at the time. John was going through a torrid time," recalled Snape.

"But two days later he was sacked!"

One-time Albion apprentice Snape, who joined Halesowen from Stourbridge, had been out of contract at the Grove, and like team-mate Stuart Evans, joins the Bulls on a free transfer.

Burton Albion and Worcester City had also been keen to recruit him but the it was the level of football, rather than any monetary deals, which persuaded him Hereford was the right club.

"This is a new beginning for me. I'm starting afresh and I've got to prove myself on a different stage," said Snape, who will remain part-time.

"Mr Turner wants to take the club back into the League and if I could help Hereford achieve that, it would be brilliant."

Wimbledon Win Promotion To League Two

AFC Wimbleton will be in League Two next season after they defeated Luton Town on penalties this afternoon.

The game was goal-less after ninety minutes so extra time was played but again no goals so the tie went to penalties.

Meanwhile in the Scottish Cup Final three former Hereford United players took to the field.

Celtic, who had Gary Hooper playing for them, won the tie 3-0.

Opponents Motherwell had Darren Randolph in goal and Stephen Jennings in mid-field.

Finally news about another former Bull. Craig King has been released by Leicester. He had a long loan spell with Hereford United in the 09/10 season.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Torquay And Stevenage Off To Old Trafford

Torquay and Stevenage will contest the League Two play-off final after both won their respective semi-finals without conceding a goal.

Stevenage beat Accrington 1-0 with Stanley having two men sent off. Joe Jacobson was dismissed for a reckless challenge, while Sean McConville saw red sixty seconds later for his part in the subsequent melee. Chris Beardsley then scored late on to seal a 3-0 aggregate win with the Boro side wasting so much time that seven minutes of injury time was played in the first half alone.

At the Greenhous Meadow, Shrewsbury provided little threat to Torquay's two goal first leg lead as the sides played out a goalless draw. Shrews fans booed loanee Jake Robinson at every touch, telling him when he was subbed that he wasn't wanted at the club anymore, while there was a brief cameo for former Bulls loanee Steven Leslie.

"Quite simply we weren't good enough tonight to break them down," said manager Graham Turner.

"The damage was done in the first leg.

"There are some very disappointed young players in the dressing room."

Meanwhile, ex-Bull Glen Southam is one of six players released by Barnet today. He is joined through the exit door by keeper Jake Cole and Charlie Stimson, son of former manager Mark.

Jason Taylor linked to Bulls

Sky Sports have linked Rotherham's Jason Taylor to the Bulls along with several other clubs.

24 year old Taylor is out of contract but has been offered another deal to stay with the Millers.

The mid-fielder made 40 starts and scored five goals last season.

Whether Hereford United have expressed any interest in Taylor remains to be seen but there are likely to be lots of articles such as this one in the next few months probably sourced from the player's agent.

Willo Released By Pirates

Ex-Bull Gavin Williams has been released by Bristol Rovers, the club have announced today.

He is one of eight senior professionals to be released by the Pirates. Other notable releases are midfielder Jeff Hughes, Congolese international JP Kalala, and forward Darryl Duffy.

Their official site also reports that former Bulls loanee Harry Pell has been made an offer and 'is currently in negotiations with the club'.

Young Bulls in Malta

Hereford United have a young team representing the club taking part in an International Tournament in Malta this weekend.

Hereford and Burnley are the only two UK clubs represented in this under 11 competition.

The young Bulls will play seven games but they are only 30 minutes long. Four take place tomorrow and three on Sunday.

Survey Says Ticket Sales To Fall

A Virgin Money survey into fans' match attendance suggests Season Ticket sales and matchday sales will fall this season by more than 10%.

The survey says that 14% of League Two season ticket holders will not renew their seat, while 17% of matchday ticket buyers will be going to fewer matches.

The survey's Football Fan Inflation Index says the overall cost of the matchday experience has risen by 18% in the past season, mostly driven by rises in costs of petrol, food, and alcohol. Ticket prices have risen, on average, by only £2 in the five years of the survey but off-field costs have risen by more than £20.

News Round-Up

Ex-Bull Nick Chadwick has been released by Barrow. The former Everton trainee started only ten games this season due to injuries. Crawley will complete the signing of Brentford midfielder David Hunt this week. The former Shrewsbury man spent the second half of the season on loan at the Red Devils, and will sign a two year contract shortly.

Dagenham and Gillingham are both claimed to be chasing Hayes and Yeading man Bradley Pritchard. The former Tamworth man scored 15 goals from midfielder during the Conference season. Bradford say they have had no enquiries for any of the 13 contracted players that they have made available for transfer.

Ex-Bull Jon Wallis has turned down a new deal at Dover to sign for Dartford. The Darts finished three places below Dover is the Conf South table. Port Vale bidder Mo Chaudry and fans protest organiser Mike Lakin have called the cancellation of a fans forum a 'cynical PR stunt'. The club claimed guest speaker Ian Taylor had been threatened on twitter over his appearance at the forum, but the former player played down the row.

Bristol Rovers midfielder Chris Lines is being chased by Crystal Palace. The 25 year old has another year on his deal and is expected to cost the Eagles £100,000. Stockport defender Jordan Rose has confirmed his release from the club to his twitter followers, but he has confirmed he doesn't know who made the decision. The Hatters have only three contracted players for next season and will face another race against time to assemble a squad for next season.

Plymouth are releasing all but one of their out-of-contract players. Only defender Stephane Zubar is being offered a new deal with nine others released. Twelve others are already on contract for next term. Dagenham have released four players following their relegation. Among those released are striker Bas Savage and defender Phil Ifil.

Swindon To Name Di Canio As Boss

Swindon are to announce Paolo Di Canio as their new manager according to the BBC.

The 42 year old was one of eight interviewed for the job. Most famous in England for his stints with Sheff Weds and West Ham, Di Canio has made headlines across Europe for his political views, describing himself as 'a fascist, not a racist' and admitting an admiration for Mussolini.

Since retiring from playing in 2008 he has been earning coaching badges based at the Italian national team headquarters.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

League 2 Newcomers

The relegation and promotion issues have been fairly kind to The Bulls at the end of season 2010/11 providing a return to League 2 of Swindon, Bristol Rovers and old foes from years ago, Plymouth Argyle.  The possible downside is the return of a trip to east London for The Daggers.  From The Conference we are joined by Crawley and either Luton or AFC Wimbledon. 

Over the next few days, BN will take a look at "The Newcomers" starting with…

Plymouth Argyle

The Pilgrims have occupied Home Park since it's opening in 1901.  In 2001, three sides of the ground were rebuilt replacing the two ends and one side with single-tiered all-seated stands.  The one remaining "old" stand dates from the late 1940's and is still used as the Grandstand. 

The current capacity of Home Park is around 18,000 and it holds the distinction of being the most westerly and southerly Football League ground in England.

Visitors are usually accommodated in part of Barn Park end, which is seated and covered.  The ground is easy to drive too being well signposted and has a large free car park next to the stadium.  Plymouth is a good three-hour drive and can take longer in the holiday period so the possibility of a weekender exists if the fixture computer looks kindly on us. 

In fact, Plymouth has plenty to offer besides football.  For anyone who has harboured a secret desire to visit a Hoe, Plymouth offers the perfect opportunity.  A walk down to the "front" will take you to the point where Sir Francis Drake was playing bowls before taking on the likes of Alonso, Casillas, Xavi, Puyol and the rest of their armada.  Another place of particular interest is the Mayflower Steps where, of course, the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America.

An early season Saturday would be just fine.

BN at Hay Festival

For the sixth year running Bulls News will be running a car park at the Hay-on-Wye Festival.

And, once again, it's hoped to make a substantial donation to Macmillan Cancer Support from the proceeds.

The festival starts next Thursday and continues until Sunday Evening June 5th.

Amidst those taking part are Rowan Williams, Jason Byrne, Paul O'Grady, Nigella Lawson, David Bailey, Barry Cryer, Paul Merton, Jo Brand, Arthur Smith, Dara O'Briain, Chris Evans, Anne Robinson, Kevin McCloud, Cerys Matthews, Ralph Fiennes, and Bob Geldof.

The BN/Macmillan car park is just beyond the festival site on the left if approaching from Hay/Hereford, or just before the festival on the right if approaching from Mid-Wales.

For more details about the festival go to:

International Football at Hereford This Weekend

International Futsal Match
20-21 May 2011
The Point 4, Hereford
Call 01432 376376 for tickets

Tickets for those games are also available by calling 0114 2565567.

England’s Futsal squad are back in action this weekend when they host Montenegro for two games on Friday and Saturday in Hereford.

It will be the first matches that the group have played since their European Futsal Championship qualifying games in Macedonia, which saw England lose to their hosts and Georgia before ending the trip on a high with a 3-2 victory over Estonia.

They have since held a number of training get-togethers in preparation for the summer’s games which also includes two fixtures with Greece in June and Head Coach Peter Sturgess feels they are heading in the right direction.

More at:

News Round-Up

Stockport's acting chairman Mary Gibbons has resigned from the club with immediate effect. It comes after a week when she claimed to have received death threats from supporters, then tried to get a dozen fans barred from posting on the main fans forum, Yellowboard. Lincoln have parted company with coach Scott Lindsey by mutual consent. The 39 year old joined the club when Chris Sutton was appointed as manager, but it is believed his departure is a cost-cutting measure.

Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler has told the BBC he will be working on a reduced budget next season. He has given his five out of contract players until the end of the week to accept their contract offers, and has said that he will likely have a smaller squad next term. Port Vale have cancelled a planned fans forum for next week, claiming that fans backing Mo Chaudry's bid for the club were planning to disrupt the event.

Oxford have signed striker Jon-Paul Pittman after he was released by Wycombe. The 24 year old had an injury hit season for the Chairboys but has signed a two year deal to become the third signing in a week for the U's. Northampton are to hold a collection for Rushden at tonight's England 'C' international at Sixfields. The game was supposed to take place at Rushden's Nene Park, but was moved after their groundstaff walked out.

Port Vale have announced they have reached a settlement with former manager Jim Gannon over the remainder of his contract. Aldershot have announced that they have restructured their debt. Several current board members have written off loans to the club, while chairman Kris Machala has converted his into a controlling interest. The Shots say their losses for the current season will be lower, after losing £382,000 the previous season.

Newport have confirmed they will be a full time side next season. They have had part-time status since reforming in 1989. Mansfield have named Paul Cox as their new manager on a one year deal. The 39 year old quit Eastwood Town after they were denied entry to the Conf North play-offs on ground grading problems.

Former Bulls loanee Joe Anyinsah has told his twitter followers that he has not been offered a new deal by Charlton after a stop-start season at The Valley. The former Bristol City trainee scored five times in 23 games inbetween a variety of injuries. Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler has confirmed that loan striker Cody McDonald will not return to the club as he wants to play at a higher level. Winger Andy Barcham has also turned down a new contract with the club to seek a League One side.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Decision on Social Club Next Month says Keyte

Hereford United will make a decision what to do with the old social club next month. Better known as the Starlite Rooms, fire gutted the building in 1995.

"Some people would say flatten the building but we are hoping it can be salvaged," Keyte told the Hereford Times.

"It's a bity of an eyesore at the moment and gives the physical image of a football club that, perhaps, has not moved for more than 15 years.

"The roof is the main factor and we are speaking to local electrians, plumbers and tradesmen at the moment before we make a decision in June.

"From all accounts this is a one-off project that could be sorted in eight or nine months after building regulations are put down.

"We are conscious that it's 40 years in February since the win over Newcastle and we might be able to tie that in an opening with that."

Very Sad to be Leaving says Rose

Richard Rose has told the Hereford Times that he is very sad to be leaving Hereford United.

"I've been happy there for the past five years," said Rose.

"But for the first time in my life, I have other things that are more important than football.

"Whilst football is my career, my girlfriend Sarah Winter has just twelve weeks of her pregnancy to go.

"Sarah's from Hastings and she moved up with me to Worcester. But now we've gone back to Hastings."

Rose said he had mixed emotions about leaving Edgar Street.

"Pits said there was not enough cash in the budget. Jamie has got a job to do and he has to make decisions that are not always easy. But I get on with him very well."

League Gates Fall 6%

Football League clubs saw a million less through the turnstiles over the past season.

While a FL press release trumpets that it is the seventh straight year that gates have topped 16million, the figure is just over 1million shy of the 50-year record set last season.

The release says League Two gates rose 8% from the previous season, but the increase is largely down to the higher attendances of the six clubs entering the division. Teams like Darlington and Dagenham, who both struggled to register gates of 2,000 through the previous season, were replaced with sides like Oxford and Gillingham.

League One sides saw a 18% drop in attendances, while the Championship shed 3%. The League One figure is especially worrying as a number of clubs offered games for substantially reduced prices. Dagenham sold tickets to one home match for 99p, while Tranmere gave away admission to another match.

Cost Of Policing Football Matches - Again

A debate on the cost of policing football matches is to take place in Parliament later this afternoon.

Aidan Burley, the Tory MP for Cannock Chase, is to lead the debate and he is expected to question Home Office ministers on whether football clubs should pay more towards policing around football grounds as well as inside grounds.

Hereford United have an arrangement with West Mercia Police about who picks up the cost for policing around Edgar Street.

In effect the club and the police agree which matches might need extra policing and the club makes a contribution to those costs.

Whether the debate later this afternoon will reveal any new thinking by the Home Office about football clubs paying more towards policing around their grounds remains to be seen.

But one thing seems certain, the days of free policing at games is over.

News Round-Up

Crewe assistant boss Neil Baker will have a redefined role as chief scout to enable him to become manager of Leek Town at the same time. The FA queried the move as rules prevent involvement in two sides but the role change will allow Baker, who will remain in charge of player recruitment at Gresty Road, to take the reins at Leek. Boss Dario Gradi says his side has a 'less than 50/50 chance' of keeping striker Clayton Donaldson, with Bradford confirmed to be chasing the 26 goal forward.

Bradford caretaker boss Peter Jackson says his team will wash their own training kit next season so that they 'take more responsibility in themselves and in the club'. Wrexham 'consultant' Colin Poole has issued a statement to deny he has any control over the club, but his statement contradicts new club owner Jon Harris. Harris said he is 100% owner, but Poole has told the press he has a 'minority' stake. Sports lawyer Daniel Geey told the Daily Post that the FA should investigate, while the local MP has called on Business Secretary Vince Cable to look into the takeover.

Ex-Bull Stephen Gleeson has won his appeal over the red card received in MK Dons' play-off win over Peterboro, and he can play in the second leg on Thursday night. Former Bulls Leroy May and Andy Reece are part of a Walsall all-star side to face Wolves in a charity match at the Banks' Stadium on Thursday. Lee Mills will be on the Wolves side.

Lincoln boss Steve Tilson says his budget has been cut so drastically since relegation that it will be in the lower half of the Conference budgets for next season. The local press says that the six contracted, but transfer listed, players take up half the new budget between them and must be moved on. Tilson says he wants to keep all six but cannot afford to. Crawley are claimed to have received £80,000 from Fleetwood for the services of striker Richard Brodie on loan for the season, according to the Crawley News.

Stockport are to name their new manager next week after interviewing five candidates. Mike Newell and John Beck are two of the named claimed to be interviewed alongside caretaker boss Ray Mathias, but Sammy McIlroy says he hasn't applied. Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson says new Bradford signing Ross Hannah was his no.1 transfer target this summer, but the Bantams beat his offer to the player.

AFC Telford say they will remain part-time next season. According to chairman Lee Carter, 16 of the 24 sides in the Conference will be part-time next term. Oxford are to make their second signing of the summer Leyton Orient full back Andrew Whing. The 26 year old was offered a new one year deal by Orient, but is to sign a two year deal at the Kassam Stadium instead.

Stevenage have released striker Taiwo Atieno after his short term deal expired. The 25 year old made only one Boro appearance after signing a three month deal.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bulls Player Commentary to be available in Care Homes

Recently BN reported that Bulls Player commentaries of Hereford United games are now available free of charge to patients in Hereford Hospital through the Hospital Radio.

From next season the commentaries will also be available in local care homes through a link with Hospital Radio thus ensuring an even wider audience for BP.

Originally, in 1985, Hereford Lions set up the link from Edgar Street to the Hospital, but around ten years ago that service was stopped. However Hereford United vice-chairman Tim Russon recently agreed that the link could be restored.

At first a former Hereford United player, Roy Williams, did the commentary. These days it's more likely to be Jamie Griffiths from the OS.

Meanwhile over £500 was collected at Edgar Street in a bucket collection at a recent game for Hospital Radio.

'Hit The Post' Forum Launched

A new football forum called Hit The Post has recently been launched. Lee Smith explains.

Join HitThePost, it has all your footballing needs, talk about all the latest footballing news, the brand new football devoted forum has nearly got 100 members.
We are a new and exciting football based forum, which also covers the Football Manager and FIFA series.

We have been open for just over a week now, and have over 3,200 posts from nearly 60 members.

We have some exclusive content, and are hoping to add a lot more which is currrenty W.I.P over the next week or so.


We will also be offering a monthly competition to our members, with a prize attached, and we also run many other competitions for fun.

We hope to be a successful football forum, and hope that at least give us a look, and a welcome to the scene.

We look forward to working with you, and hope to see you there soon

Any questions, feedback or thoughts are appreciated


Webster Becomes Cobbler

Former Bulls loanee Byron Webster has signed a permanent two year deal with Northampton following his release from Doncaster.

The 24 year old played eight times for the Cobblers on loan towards the end of the season after an unspectacular two game stint at Edgar Street in November.

Meanwhile, Michael Rose's transfer to Colchester has been confirmed by the U's. The left-sided player will sign a two-year deal on Tuesday, with Swindon releasing him from his County Ground contract with more than a year remaining.

In other ex-Bull news Jamie Tolley has been offered a new deal by Wrexham. He is one of thirteen to be offered new terms by Dean Saunders, who admits he is operating an a reduced budget for the coming season. Former Forest Green striker Andy Mangan is also mulling over an offer, but is claimed to be the target of a number of League Two sides.

No Fees Required For Canham And Kovacs

The Bulls are not asking for transfer fees for listed duo Sean Canham and Janos Kovacs according to the PFA.

Their annual list shows both players to be available on free transfers. Also on the list is Rob Purdie, who remains in talks over a new deal at Edgar Street.

The list also contains a number of players that have not yet been officially released by their clubs. Steven Leslie is on the list despite Shrewsbury still being involved in the play-offs, as is Kris Taylor who has yet to meet returning Port Vale manager Micky Adams.