Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Conf North/South Play-Off Results

The first legs of the Conference North and South play-off matches took place tonight.

In Conf North, Halifax's game with Guiseley was delayed by 15 minutes due to crowd congestion. The pair ground out a draw after the Shaymen took the lead. In the other North game, Altrincham hit a late winner to beat Jon Brady's Brackley 2-1 at Moss Lane.

In Conf South, Dover won 3-1 at Eastleigh with the south coast side ending the game with only nine men. The other game saw Chelmsford beat Salisbury 1-0 thanks to a penalty.

The second leg matches are on Saturday.

Supporters Trust Update

Dear Supporter
Once again thank you for taking the time to register your interest in the proposed HUFC Supporters Trust. We have had some great offers of help going forward and the whole concept of a Trust at Hereford United seems to have struck a very positive chord with supporters.
You will know by now that an Open Meeting will take place at The Richmond Club, Hereford on 23 May 2013 starting at 7.30pm. There will representation and presentation by Supporters Direct at that meeting as well as other clubs’ Trust members amongst others.
The reason for the meeting is to discover whether a trust is right at this time, and if it is, to set aims and objectives going forward. There will ample opportunity to ask questions during the evening as we want supporters to be clear as to how trusts work and in what ways they benefit supporters and the club. Supporters Direct are very pleased to be working with us on this potential project and are extremely encouraged by the positive response it has attracted.
We encourage all supporters to attend the meeting. We are expecting a good turn out so please make sure you are there in good time.
In the meantime, follow progress on Twitter @hufctrust or our Facebook page Hereford United Supporters Trust. If you have any questions regarding the meeting please feel free to ask via the email address
Thanks again, we look forward to meeting everyone at the meeting
Jon Hale
On behalf of HUFC Trust Steering Group

HUISA Statement

HUISA have spoken to club chairman David Keyte and asked for a meeting with the board at the earliest opportunity to discuss the current situation. This may take a couple of weeks as two board members are currently on holiday.

HUISA committee members will also be attending the Supporters Trust meeting on May 23rd to listen to the debate.

Shots Deal Deadline Extended As Wages Go Unpaid

Aldershot majority owner Kris Machala has extended the deadline for chairman Shahid Azeem to take over his shareholding to this lunchtime.

Azeem failed to meet a deadline yesterday, prompting Machala to agree to a deadline of noon today to see evidence that the former Woking chairman could fund the club. Fans are still waiting news on the outcome of the deadline.

However, mid-afternoon, former Bulls midfielder Craig Stanley tweeted that his wages had not been paid:

Stanley, 30, made just five appearances for the Shots due to an injury picked up in pre-season, only making a senior debut for his new club three weeks ago. Members of the club's youth team have also reported not having received their wages.

Meanwhile, Ebbsfleet are reported to still owe HMRC £25,000 after paying off £12,000 of their debt. The local press report that the club are yet to completely clear outstanding sums for March with April's debt as yet untouched.

Local Bands To Entertain In Starlite Rooms Over Bank Holiday Weekend

Two local bands are to entertain fans in the Starlite Rooms over the Bank Holiday weekend coming up.

On Friday local folk band Sproatly Smith will be joined by Amy Skellam and DJ Jus'Jay. The event starts at 8pm with tickets £5.

Sunday sees The Time Bandits return after a bumper previous gig at the club last year. They will be playing a variety of covers from the 60's to the present day. Tickets are also £5, with the event including a disco and karaoke.

Beast Released From Carlisle

Former Bulls striker Mathieu Manset is one of seven to be released from Carlisle.

The Beast joined them as a free agent in March, making seven sub appearances in total without scoring but was credited with an assist. His longest appearance was his last, a 37 minute outing against Colchester.

Meanwhile, his former Bulls strike partner Stuart Fleetwood has told the Luton press he was not too surprised to be released this summer:

“I was on good money and I knew that the Luton budget might be changing. Obviously I would have loved to stay but I was prepared for it.”

“I think my goal record was still good. John (Still) is looking for a different type of player and he took me aside and said that I wasn’t going to be offered anything.

“But I don’t have a problem with it.”

Meanwhile, Fulham boss Martin Jol says he will release former Bulls loanee Richard Peniket this summer. The 20 year old former Walsall trainee had to wait 22 senior appearances, including seven at Edgar Street, for his first senior goal during his loan at Telford. He ended the season at Farnboro, where he scored twice in four games.

Another striker leaving his club is Nick Chadwick, who has been transfer listed by Plymouth. Now 30, Chadwick netted three times in six games on loan prior to a permanent deal in January 2012, but scored just three more in 44 subsequent League appearances.

Also searching for a new club is Guillem Bauza. The Spaniard, 26, started just 16 League games in two seasons with Exeter, making 30 further sub appearances.

News Round-Up

Chester are reported to have lost out on a permanent deal for loanee Danny Williams with the Scottish press reporting he is on the verge of joining Inverness. The Kendal Town player had been on loan at the Deva Stadium this season. Telford are to name their new manager on Friday, with departed Southport boss Liam Watson favourite to take over. Caretaker boss John Psaras says he is out of the running.

Scunthorpe have confirmed Peter Swann as their new chairman. The current Gainsborough chief is to sever his ties with the Conf North side in June in order to move to the League Two newcomers. Ebbsfleet say they have paid off a 'significant' chunk of their £37,000 debt to the taxman, and talks are continuing over a payment plan. A widespread internet plea for donations raised £2,000 over the weekend.

Dartford loanee Charlie Sheringham has been released by parent club Bournemouth. The 24 year old striker, son of Teddy, scored four times in ten Conference games for the Darts. Plymouth manager John Sheridan has agreed a deal to stay on at Home Park next season. The former Chesterfield boss was appointed in January and tasked with preserving their League status.

York director Sophie Hicks says the club would have had to consider going part-time if they had been relegated to the Conference. The Hicks family had been subsidising the club during their previous Conference stay. Dartford have released Jacob Erskine and Louis Wells. Forward Erskine scored three times in 37 games, while keeper Wells spent most of the season out on loan.

Accrington manager Leam Richardson has quit the club in favour of joining former Stanley manager Paul Cook as his no.2 at Chesterfield. The two clubs have agreed compensation on the move.

Purdie Released By Shrewsbury

Double Bulls Player of the Year award winner Rob Purdie has been released by Shrewsbury.

The 30 year old left the Bulls for a second time after winning the award last summer, signing a one year deal with the Shrews. But he only made 12 League starts during the campaign, with his versatility meaning he was often sat on the bench as cover.

He is one of five to be released, including captain Matt Richards and striker Marvin Morgan who shared top scorer honours with seven goals each. Hereford-born Aaron Wildig is one of seven to be offered new deals, while former Bulls loanee Chris Weale scooped the club's Player of the Year award.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Time For A Shareholders EGM?

With Hereford United currently unable to pay its bills, and unlikely to have much income other than season ticket sales until games recommence in August, some shareholders are considering asking for an EGM (extraordinary general meeting)

An EGM can usually be called by a small number of shareholders.

The main purpose of an EGM would be to extract as much up-to-date information from the board and then discuss what can be done.

There could be calls for the chairman to resign, or even the whole board, but if that was done, the meeting would need to appoint a minimum of three new directors. They would need some business acumen and/or deep pockets to carry the club forward. It might not be easy to find such people at present.

Again it might be felt better for the present board to stay in office. Pushing some or all of them out could backfire as they could demand their loans back and therefore put the club into administration with all that would mean. They got us in this mess, they should get us out is one view.

However if the directors are unable/unwilling to put their hands into their pockets then some might feel there's little point in them staying unless they have some, as yet, unpublished ideas. (What happened to the talk of a PFA loan to pay the players?)

Last week the chairman suggested two schemes to help the club. Firstly was a share issue. That will take time and, in truth, it's hard to see whether enough supporters would invest money into a club which is in such dire straits. In any case DK mentioned 'B' shares which might not give purchasers any voting rights.

Secondly a debenture issue which, in effect, is a scheme that asks supporters to pay upfront for five, it could be more, years of season tickets. Granted if 100 supporters did this then at say £250 per season for five years, then enough money would be raised to pay the immediate debts or at least those debts that have been made public. However supporters would probably need some assurance that the club would be in existance in five years time.

Both schemes could work, but would they raise enough much need finance quickly enough?

So what can be done?

If, and it's a big if, the directors would agree to turn their loans into gifts then the balance sheet would be that much better and so potential investors might then be persuaded to come on board.

That would assume the £135K (DK's figures) owing by the middle of May is all that is currently outstanding. £135K could then be covered perhaps by someone guaranteeing a bank loan.

Another worrying situation is the thought of the leases being substantially changed without shareholders at least being able to comment before they are signed. In truth few shareholders know what is meant to happen, whether the changes will benefit the club and whether the directors see the changes as a way to get their loans back. And it would to good to confirm in whose name the leases are. It has to be hoped they are in the name of Hereford United not individuals. More clarity is needed. (The current position regarding the lease at Edgar Street is understood to include a 'standard user clause preventing the land being used for anything other than a sports facility')

Action is required quickly. Whether an EGM is the best way forward is questionable but in the absence of anything else perhaps one should be called if only to flush out more detail and have the chance to ask questions of the board.

It's happened before. Back in 1998, when a CVA was being set-up, there were calls for an EGM. It took place and many questions were put to the board then chaired by Peter Hill.

Usually it needs 10% of the shareholders to call for an EGM. If, for example, HUISA and a couple of shareholders agreed then the directors would have to announce an EGM.

Shots In Shares Ultimatum

Aldershot majority owner Kris Machala will hand his shareholding over to chairman Shahid Azeem - if Azeem guarantees to fund the club's losses.

The offer comes after the expiration of, what Azeem called, a 48 hour deadline to reach agreement over the club's future. Machala is expecting Azeem to provide proof of funds today to meet an 'immediate cash requirement'.

Meanwhile, Ebbsfleet were told by the taxman to pay £37,000 by this lunchtime to avoid winding-up proceedings. Chairman Jessica McQueen told the local press, an hour after the deadline, that they were still in discussions over a payment offer.

News Round-Up

Aldershot boss Andy Scott says there were 'simply too many holes in the ship' for him to stop the club from being relegated back to the Conference. Loanee Sonny Bradley told the BBC that the comments of Scott and keeper Jamie Young last week about players not pulling their weight left some of the squad angry and deflated the mood in the camp.

Bury boss Kevin Blackwell says he will walk away from the club if it starts to fail to pay the wage bill, saying "that's not the way to run a football club and I won't stay if it happens." Morecambe have confirmed they have released captain Will Haining due to budget cuts. The 30 year old defender is the second player to be released due to falling gates at the club.

Torquay have parted company with manager Martin Ling after he missed the second half of their campaign due to illness. A club statement says the decision was made purely on footballing grounds. Chesterfield have axed four of their backroom staff with manager Paul Cook expected to bring in his own people. Assistant boss Tommy Wright and coach Mark Crossley are joined by the kitman and development coach.

Bristol Rovers have released former Bulls winger Joe Anyinsah. The former Bristol City trainee has spent the last two years with the club. Former Bulls loanee Jennison Myrie-Williams has been named in the PFA Team of the Year for League two. The Port Vale wideman has netted 11 times this season.

Llanelli's players say they were owed around £30,000 in wages by the club when it went bust last week. Captain Lloyd Grist says he had not been paid his £300 wages for 13 weeks. Southend boss Phil Brown called in Jeremy Kyle to do his weekend team talk. The human baiter failed to impress, with the Shrimpers losing 1-0 to Morecambe. 

Chester have opted to make the post of CEO redundant in a shake up of their off-field workings, leaving incumbent Pat Cluskey redundant. Luton have handed defender Steve McNulty a new two year deal. The former Fleetwood defender signed a short term deal in January, making 20 appearances.

The local press are reporting that Scunthorpe are to appoint Gainsborough chairman Peter Swann as their new chairman in the near future. Swann failed in his bid to buy the Conf North side's ground, prompting him to quit the club.

H&W Interview Supporters Trust After Friday's Events

Supporters Trust steering committee member Jon Hale was interviewed by BBC Hereford and Worcester this morning.

When asked how serious he thought the current problems are, he replied: "Obviously Friday wasn't a great day. The rumours around teatime that the players had taken to Twitter to complain about a text they'd received and, obviously, later in the evening a statement was made by the chairman of the club.

"Seems to me there is a short term hill to climb again, £135,000, and the chairman's outlined the medium and longer term plans as being slightly rosier but I think everyone concedes that the short term problem is all we can concentrate on really."

When asked how the club got into difficulty for a second time this season, he added: "It's very easy to point fingers and to lay blame with people, but the facts are we need to find £135,000 quickly and it's how we go about that, if we can do that."

Asked whether the directors would put the money in, and specifically David Keyte, he responded: "I don't know. He's put an awful lot of money in, and an awful lot of effort, it's not about pointing fingers and laying blame. As a potential Supporters Trust that's not what we're about.

"Where the money comes from now? I think we're all waiting for a minor miracle if we're honest. There was some talk of investment, it seems that that channel has now disappeared so whether we're now in a position where the directors are now unable to put any more in I don't know."

Asked if Hereford United would be playing football next year, he added: "That's a very tough question to answer. I'd love to say 'yes, no problem' unfortunately the extend of the short term problem is we do need someone to come along and hand the club a large cheque to keep us going."

"As a potential Supporters Trust, we've got a meeting on 23rd May. We want as many Hereford United fans as possible to turn up. Come and listen to what the representatives of Supporters Direct, and Trusts from other clubs, have to say about how they run, how they involve supporters and have a greater say.

"Let's get everyone in a room and outline what a Supporters Trust can do to help the Supporters and help the football club. Let's see if we can move on from there, whatever form we're in. Let's hope it's Hereford United."

Should any businesses be able to display posters advertising the meeting, please contract the steering committee at

Sunday, April 28, 2013

More Evidence Supporting The £100K Council Bond

Another piece of evidence supporting the existence of the £100k bond lodged with Herefordshire Council by Formsole has emerged.

Recently the Council has said that it can't find any trace of the bond which was lodged with them circa 1998.

However in a letter from developers Chelverton dated January 14th 2002, to council leader, at the time, Terry James there is mention of the bond.

In the letter written by Simon Morgan of Chelverton there is a section which details financial assistance given by Formsole to Hereford United.

In that section one of the clauses says: Co-operating in the partial release of the Council bond to allow improvements to be undertaken to the Supporters Club building.

It's almost certain that refers to the £17K or so which the Council gave Graham Turner noted by the press in 2001.

So it's reasonable to assume there is £83K remaining somewhere in the coffers of Herefordshire Council.

That £83K would go someway to meeting the current demands on Hereford United for unpaid wages, PAYE, NI and VAT.

Meanwhile there is speculation that chairman David Keyte may make a further statement about the financial situation at Hereford United in the next few days, possibly as early as later today.   

Foyle Summariser At Kiddy Play-Off Game

Hereford United manager Martin Foyle was the summariser on Premier Sports coverage of this afternoon's Conference play-off game between Kidderminster and Wrexham.

Foyle came over as though he was a natural at the job.

Should he ever give up management, on today's performance he could have a decent career in broadcasting.

Wrexham won the game and will meet either Newport or Grimsby at Wembley next Sunday.

Update: It will be an all-Welsh final as Newport beat Grimsby 1-0 (2-0 on aggregate)

Graham "Open To Offers"

Bulls defender Luke Graham has written a column in this week's Non-League Paper.

In it he says he doesn't know what will happen at Edgar Street, writing: "With lots of cutbacks being made constantly, five of us were moved into a club house to save money.

"Chris Carruthers and I stayed in single beds in a converted garage box room! It was absolutely freezing with all the drafts. Yet we were prepared to do it and run a new business out of it too!"

As for the future, Graham says he'll listen to offers based on ambition rather than cash: "I've lived in Hereford and committed everything to the club this season, in hope we can mount a serious challenge next year.

"I would feel let down in a way if the challenge wasn't there, after everything I have got on with this season.

"I am open to offers, I have to be in my situation. I've always been at a good club trying to compete at the top of this league. At this level it's more about the ambition of a club rather than money."

The full column is in the Non-League Paper.

Non-League Show Focus On Bulls Troubles

Bulls utility man Chris Carruthers and club captain Luke Graham were interviewed on today's BBC's Non-League Football Show about the Bulls' latest problems.

Carruthers told presenter Caroline Barker: "It's a difficult situation, especially how well we've done this season. The lads have been brilliant. We've not been paid now, we've had trouble through the season where we've not had our full quota of money.

"It's not idea to find out anyway. To find out by text, I suppose, isn't great. You just want a little bit more honesty possibly, where you just want to know prior to the situation if it's not going right so if you're not going to get paid at the end of the month to let us know a couple of weeks in advance so we can sort things out would probably be a better way of doing it.

"I think we'll get our wages eventually, I don't think there's a question of that. There's good things in place with the PFA, so I think we will get our money it's just frustrating not to have it at a time when we're supposed to have it."

The programme also discusses Carruthers' and Graham's off-field work as they prepare for life after football. Finally, Carruthers is asked if the pair of them will be at the club next season: "At the minute we're waiting to see if there's investment coming in to stump up the money so we really don't know what's happing."

Supporters Direct representative Kevin Rye, who will be attending the Supporters Trust open meeting on May 23rd, was also in the studio and commented on the situation: "With Hereford there was a legacy of League Two contracts and that kind of thing. Once you go down you lose £400,000-odd pounds you get for basically being a League Two club, plus all the other monies.

"I'm working with the people at Hereford at the moment, it won't surprise you to know, they're a small market town club getting 1500-2000 people a game. Don't overdo it, just be sensible. It's doesn't take a genius to work that out. So many times this has happened now.

"There's a great bunch of people I'm working with there and, all I'm going to say is that they're not going to solve the financial crisis that the club are in at the moment but get these people on board, if the Trust goes through, these people can bring an enormous amount to the club."

The full interview is on the iPlayer, here, with the relevant piece starting at 20:30.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Aldershot And Barnet Relegated To Conference

Aldershot and Barnet have rejoined the Conference after being relegated from League Two.

The Shots lost at Rotherham to seal their fate, while Barnet's loss at Northampton coupled with Wimbledon's win over Fleetwood finally sent the last-day houdinis down.

It is understood that the Bulls will be due a payment from Wimbledon for their survival as part of the Harry Pell transfer.

Clubs In Crisis

Bury have denied press reports saying that Gary Neville had paid the wage bill at the club. The self-imposed 7-10 day deadline for 'concrete' investment has now passed, with the board cancelling a fans forum on Thursday as they had nothing solid to tell fans.

Aldershot's proposed investor has pulled out after failing to meet a Thursday deadline set by majority owner Kris Machala, with the former chairman having vetoed a proposed share issue in favour of the investor. The club are expected to make some form of announcement over the weekend with two reported plans under consideration to avoid Administration with the situation 'dire'.

Ebbsfleet chairman Jessica McQueen says the club needs £20,000 by Monday to be able to make an offer to creditors. If it is unable to raise the funds the club will have to seriously consider Administration with £100,000 needed by the end of the month. A transfer of the club from MyFC to the Supporters Trust is expected to take several weeks.

McQueen told the BBC: "It is not an administration [on] Monday or winding-up [on] Monday but it is a situation where the club will have to seriously look at itself and see whether it can continue."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Statement From Chairman Keyte

Hereford United chairman David Keyte has released the following statement after the club failed to pay the players earlier today:

"As the players have now finished attending the club, manager Martin Foyle used a group text message to inform all the players this morning, whilst I personally met with the other club employees. We believed it best not to promise payment on a date we could not guarantee whilst the cashflow crisis continues. Once again we will manage any emergency situations as they arise.

At this time we have an immediate cash requirement of approximately £135k to meet Wages; PAYE and football creditors and VAT (due 7May).

In the medium term we will seek shareholders agreement to launch a Share Issue and also a Debenture scheme where supporters can purchase a seat for the next five years with accompanying facilities.

Ground development continues to progress with a realistic timescale for further cash injection into the club being April 2014.

Keyte added, "we have completed a season where we knew our FL funding was to be £500k less than in League 2. We have also recorded gate money approx £240k less than the previous season. We knew also that the ten FL contracts that run to 30 June 2013 would stretch us and all in all we have fallen three months short of the date when the necessary adjustments can be made.
In addition, we now also have to manage through the loss of the £215k 'parachute payment' which ends this June.

We are now a non-league club with outside funding of just £50k for the 2013-14 season, when League 2 clubs are now receiving approx £800k funding from the Football League.

Our revenue will have fallen from £1.8M in 2011-12 to a budgeted £900k in 2013-14 based on an average crowd of 1,800.  We are therefore assessing all lines of expenditure with the player wages budget likely to reduce by at least £100k from last season and £700k less than our league 2 budget in 2011-12.

The picture is one where we have short term cash problems with a brighter future twelve months ahead. 

Next season will be another tough year but in Martin Foyle and Andy Porter we have a management team with the necessary experience to work through this period and I have every faith in them to produce a team to punch above its weight again next season."

Bulls Halt Wage Payments

Bulls News has been told that the Bulls have ceased wage payments to players.

It is understood that a text message was sent to players and coaches this afternoon telling them that outstanding wages from March would not be paid and neither would any further payments be made 'for the forseeable future', with April's wages expected today.

The players have been told to contact the club directly rather than manager Martin Foyle, putting his future at the club in doubt. He is due to be a pundit on Premier Sports' coverage of Kidderminster-Wrexham on Sunday.

Update: David Keyte has told us that Martin Foyle's position is not in doubt, but that players were asked to contact the club as he is due to go on holiday.

Stockport To Go Part-Time

Stockport are to go part-time following their relegation to Conf North.

A club statement says the move from four days training to three will only see two hours lost on the training ground, with boss Ian Bogie confident he can build a strong side against other part-time teams: 

“My budget is competitive, we won't face any full-time teams in this league and I believe we can bounce straight back with the right players on board.  We have an opportunity to rebuild the squad from scratch and, with the backing of the supporters, I believe we can take this football club back where it belongs.”

Vice Chairman Spencer Fearn calls the move 'temporary' and that they will review a return to full-time status 'when we win promotion'. The Hatters have suffered three relegations in four season, with Bogie their seventh permanent manager in that time.

Meanwhile, Aldershot's Supporters Trust called a meeting between senior figures of the Trust and members of the club's board to discuss the club's current financial state. 

The meeting was called after the Trust was 'made aware of matters that have provided extreme concern'. Majority shareholder Kris Machala attended the meeting to explain his decision to reject a new share issue in favour of an as yet unnamed investor, while the local press are reporting that 'the next 48 hours are crucial - 2 deals to secure Aldershot's future, but not Machala's investor'.

News Round-Up

Former Bulls loanee Lee Collins has been handed a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after being involved in a pub fight during his loan spell at Shrewsbury last season. Now with Northampton the defender also had to pay £2,500 compensation, do 150 hours community service, and observe a night time curfew for 12 weeks. Boss Aidy Boothroyd says the curfew should not impede his availability for the Cobblers.

Aldershot manager Andy Scott says his side have 'accepted failure' and that that the squad inherited from Dean Holdsworth wasn't fit enough to compete. Farnborough have confirmed they have entered Administration with debts of £2million. One of the current owners is club manager Spencer Day who, under his previous surname Trethewy, was briefly hailed as Aldershot's saviour prior to their 1992 bankruptcy.

Conf South newcomers Whitehawk are to rebrand as Brighton City after they won the Ryman Premier League at the first attempt. The Brighton based side have had three promotions in four years. Grimsby director John Fenty has defended snapping the flag of a 10 year old Newport fan during the club's play-off match on Wednesday. Fenty snapped the item into four pieces after it was repeatedly waved in the Blundell Park directors box.

Stockport are to decide this week whether to remain a full time outfit next season. They have already announced they will charge £15 admission to Edgeley Park next season. Torquay boss Alan Knill has thanked Barnet for leaving their scout report on the Gulls behind after their loss at Plainmoor. The report said the Gulls were relegation certainties whose confidence was shot, with Knill using it to motivate his side in beating Morecambe the following week.

Grimsby sold only 70 tickets for their play-off away leg at Newport on the day after losing the first leg 1-0 as fans were 'too depressed'. They have sold 600 in total for Sunday's game, with club staff expecting higher sales before the weekend. Lincoln are to lose their women's side after it was announced they would rebrand as Notts County next term. Magpies chairman Ray Trew, a former Lincoln director, has been funding the side recently.

Portsmouth will have paid a total of £5.7million for Fratton Park according to details of the agreement with former owners Portpin released by the Supporters Trust. They have paid £3.45million upfront for the stadium and other debts, with £125,000 due to be paid in both the 16/17 and 17/18 seasons and a further £2million due if the club return to the Premier League. Veteran striker Jack Lester is to retire after captaining Chesterfield in tomorrow's game with Exeter. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Loanee Bush Among Seven Released By Heed

Bulls loanee Chris Bush is amongst seven players released by Gateshead.

The former Wimbledon man departs after falling out of favour since Ian Bogie's dismissal, with spells at Edgar Street and Lincoln in the second half of the season.

Also leaving is striker Yemi Odubade, who spent the second half of the season at Forest Green, and defender Glenn Wilson, who ended the term on loan at Salisbury. Winger Peter Bore, and strikers Liam Henderson, Ryan McGorrigan, and Nathan Fisher are also shown the door.

Supporters Trust Meeting Set For May 23rd

The Steering Group can now confirm than an Open Meeting, looking into the possibility of a Hereford United Supporters Trust, will take place on Thursday 23rd May at The Richmond Club, 69-71 Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JP. The meeting will commence at 7.30pm.

The agenda for the meeting will be publicised nearer the time, but there will be representation from Supporters Direct and from Trusts at other football clubs.

We would encourage supporters to attend the meeting to discuss how a Trust could be of benefit to Hereford United.

News Round-Up

Newport beat Grimsby 1-0 in last night's play-off match at Blundell Park. A late own-goal gave the Exiles the lead ahead of the second leg at Rodney Parade. Former Bulls Tony James and Byron Anthony played the full game for the Exiles, but Joe Colbeck missed the match for the Mariners due to a suspension that also includes the return leg.

Bury's wage bill is reported in the national press to have been paid by Gary Neville. The TV pundit and England coach's father was previously on the board at the club. Torquay say they will clarify their managerial situation next week. Boss Martin Ling has been off work since January and had been expected to return in May.

Cambridge have released six players from their squad. Winger Rossi Jarvis, defenders Charlie Wassmer, Curtis Haynes-Brown, and Joe Anderson, midfielder Billy Gibson, and keeper Craig Ross have all been shown the door. The club have also confirmed keeper Jonathan Hedge, who ended the season at Southport, is transfer listed alongside defender Scott Garner, who was on loan at Lincoln.

Ebbsfleet chairman Jessica McQueen says the club needs £70,000 'in a matter of days' to avoid Administration. McQueen has pleaded with fans to donate funds to the club to cover the debt, which includes a £35,000 tax bill. The Fleet Trust are to become 50% owners of the club, with former chairman Phil Sonsara taking the other 25% previously held by MyFC, but talks are still continuing with proposed investor Carlos Kabir Karami.

Kidderminster have confirmed that there will be Police inside their ground throughout the game with Wrexham on Sunday after the problems with Stockport. It will be the first time since 2009 that Police have attended a game at kick-off at Aggborough, with Wrexham handed a reduced allocation of 1,600.

Crewe say they will name a starting XI, for their final game with Walsall, entirely made of of graduates of their Academy. The XI will only feature one debutant - England u19 keeper Ben Garrett - with the oldest player being 24. Oxford have handed manager Chris Wilder a new one year deal, but chairman Ian Lenagan has told him he will have to have a squad next season that is 25% made up by youth team graduates.

Farnborough are reported to be on the verge of Administration again with debts, according to the BBC, of £2million. The Conf South side only reformed in 2007 after the original side went bust at the same level. Kettering are facing another winding-up petition from the taxman. The Poppies have already been relegated from the Southern League Premier, and will face the court on Monday.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Gateshead to stay at International Stadium

Chairman Graham Wood has confirmed that The Heed are to remain at their present home for the coming 2013/14 season despite the pitch being unplayable since New Years Day.

"A lot of money was spent on it, a lot of things went wrong, but we've identified and corrected the problem. We expect a perfect playing surface."

Six alternative venues were used during the latter stages of the 12/13 season as well as them having to concede home advantage for their FA Trophy match against Barrow.

If You Happen To Pass Kilimanjaro...

Bulls fan Dennis Johnson has left a little bit of the Bulls up a mountain. He told us:

Having just climbed Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (Africa's Highest Mountain) for charity it is traditional after to give your porter a gift. Mine, a gentleman called Richard (not sure was his real name), wanted my Prize Hereford United hat. He loved it and now wears it all the time up and down the mountain. Any Hereford fans who make this epic journey if you see him with the hat on you know where it came from!

I did tell him we were a Premiership club (slight porky there!)

Merton Meadow Housing Plans Submitted

Plans to redevelop the Merton Meadow car park have been submitted this week.

Sanctuary Housing have submitted plans for 192 houses and a 60 bed care home on the 800-capacity car park. 35% of the homes are scheduled to be 'affordable'.

Meanwhile, steelwork has begun to be erected on the Old Market site, which is due to open in 12 months' time.

Wrexham Take Play-Off Lead

Wrexham beat Kidderminster 2-1 in the opening play-off match last night.

The Dragons took the lead through Dave Artell, whose three match ban for a red card was questionably lifted by the Welsh FA only hours before the game, but the Harriers equalised through a Michael Gash penalty. Former Bull Josh Gowling then gave away a penalty, converted by Neil Ashton to hand the Welsh side a first leg advantage.

They play the second leg on Sunday as part of a double-header with Newport and Grimsby's match on Premier Sports. Bulls boss Martin Foyle will be providing match analysis from Aggborough.

The Exiles face the Mariners tonight at Blundell Park, with former Bull Tony James passing on his experiences of previous play-off games. He told the South Wales Argus that when the Bulls finally won the play-offs at the third attempt, he was injured:

“It was gutting for me, I’ve got to be honest, but it was a lovely gesture from (captain) Tamika Mkandawire to lift the trophy together. It was a great day and the play-offs is a great way to go up.

“I’ve had a chat with one or two of the lads who asked me about the play-offs and I tried to pass on my experiences. I’ve played in five play-offs campaigns and they’ve all been different. I’ve been in a team that wasn’t playing well and we turned it on for the play-offs and the opposite where we were flying and it didn’t quite work out, so you never know what will happen.” 

News Round-Up

Luton are reported to be signing Southport defender Andy Parry, 21, in addition to teammate Shaun Whalley. Parry has made over 60 appearances for the Sandgrounders in the last two seasons. Plymouth have rejected a ground-share proposal from relegated Conf South side Truro City. Truro have to find a new ground after their former owner sold it to developers.

Chester fans have backed price increases for the coming season. Adults will pay £259 for a terrace ticket, which will drop to £216 if they sell 750 prior to the start of the season. Matchday terrace admission will be £14. Gateshead have confirmed that manager Anth Smith will remain in charge of the club for the coming season. The former Sunderland man originally took charge to the end of the current campaign.

Stockport boss Ian Bogie says he current team 'would struggle to be in the top half' of Conf North next season. He is expecting a mass clearout when he meets the players later this week, with only a handful holding contracts for next term. Alfreton chairman Wayne Bradley says the club's wage bill will be cut by 25% in the move from full-time to part-time. Boss Nicky Law has agreed to stay next season, with Bradley saying ticket prices will not rise again but they are unlikely to fall from their current £18 level either.

Luton have agreed deals with defender Scott Griffiths, for next season, and striker Alex Wall, for two seasons. Chief Executive Gary Sweet also says they are looking for transfer fees for several of their transfer listed players. Bury say they are in 'lengthy and complicated' discussions over potential new investment but have nothing to confirm at present.

Stockport will charge Adults £15 to watch the club in Conf North next season. An early bird season ticket will be £225 with the early bird discount, and £300 normally. Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart says he has put £30million into the club since taking it out of Administration. The Millers lost £1million in each of the four years they were at the Don Valley Stadium, while their New York stadium cost £20million.

Telford are reported to have made departing Southport boss Liam Watson their top choice as their next manager. Watson has been combining his role at Southport with a job at a local hospital and would need to be persuaded to go full time with the Bucks. Portsmouth have named caretaker boss Guy Whittingham as their permanent manager. The Supporters Trust owners say they have raised £1.9million from individual pledges plus £1.6million from 'high net worth individuals'.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One for the future

With one eye already drifting towards next season and with all the excitement that it brings, I give you Welling United FC.

Promoted as Champions from the Blue Square South (or whatever it is to be called in the future) Welling have, in every previous season we’ve played them, always provided a first month fixture for The Bulls.  So unless the sophisticated Conference team matching methods produce some remarkable change to tradition the likelihood is that we will reacquainting ourselves with "The Wings" sooner rather than later.

For those fortunate enough to have avoided Park View Road on our previous visits then the good news is that you have missed the worse.  Once described by some scribe from near a corner flag as "an allotment and two garden sheds", Park View Road has benefited from a new covered stand and floodlights (the previous set having blown away in a gale).

The San Siro awaits.

Apparently no longer a pile of Barney Rubble (Smileything).

Watch The Five Play-Off Games For £9.99

Premier Sports has launched a full-blown streaming service for their channel, allowing fans to subscribe online for £9.99 a month with no contract.

Fans can subscribe today to watch tonight's first play-off semi between Wrexham and Kidderminster on their PC, iPad, iPhone, or Android device with a minimum of a 1Mb connection (3Mb recommended). The subscription also includes the three other semi-final games and the final as well as all of Premier Sports other sports coverage.

Fans need to be aware that the £9.99 service is a recurring subscription and needs to be cancelled 10 days before the next billing date.

Existing subscribers to the channel can access the service for free by submitting their viewing card number on the sign-up page. Up to two devices can watch the stream from a single account at any one time.

Alfreton To Drop To Part-Time Status

Alfreton have decided to revert to part-time status after two seasons as a full time outfit.

The decision comes after failing to attract larger gates to the Impact Arena, with their average this term of 752 down by over 300 on last season.

Attendances in the Conference have dropped generally this season. Fellow minnows Barrow, Ebbsfleet and Braintree have seen attendance drops over 20% while some of the bigger spending sides have also seen little return for their money.

Luton averaged over 7,500 last term but just under 6,000 this season. Forest Green, despite over £1million being pumped into the playing budget, managed just over 100 new faces through the turnstiles each game. Even champions Mansfield saw no increase through the gates over the season, seeing their attendances drop by 100.

Of the play-off contenders Newport's move to Rodney Parade added 1,000 extra fans on average, while Grimsby added 500 but Wrexham lost a similar number and Kidderminster only added 100.

Attendance figures are on the ESPN stats site for 2012/13 and 2011/12.

News Round-Up

Accrington chairman Peter Marsden says their board had to put £300,000 into the club this season to keep them running. He is in talks with potential investors in a bid to inject more funds into the club. Ebbsfleet's MyFC owners are yet to issue an official statement on yesterday's vote that should hand the club to the Supporters Trust. The Trust have asked fans to keep donating so it can keep the club running while the transfer is made.

Hyde have frozen season ticket prices at Ewen Fields for next season. Adult admission will again be £199 at the early bird rate, with kids tickets £49. Llanelli have been wound up at the High Court after failing to pay a £21,000 PAYE bill. The club tried to claim the sum wasn't due as they had reverted to amateur status last August, but the court found that £3,000 of the sum was due prior to the move and wound the club up. The club is reported to be appealing the decision.

Coventry are to take the local council to court to see whether the council's part-purchase of the Ricoh Area was a lawful use of public money. The move is seen by club owners SISU to bankrupt the stadium company and buy the ground on the cheap. Newport have been allowed to increase capacity at Rodney Parade to 7,000 for their play-off match with Grimsby. The addition of new turnstiles has allowed the partial opening of the Hazell Stand seating for an extra 1,320 capacity.

Lincoln have handed manager Gary Simpson a three year contract after he guided them to last-day safety. The former Macclesfield boss will continue to be assisted by Grant Brown. Nuneaton boss Kevin Wilkin wants Hereford-born keeper Lee Burge to stay at the club next season. The Coventry stopper, 20, made 17 appearances on loan this season.

Lincoln are to close one of their stands next season to cut costs. The Stacy West stand will remain closed unless a large away following is expected, with away supporters moved into a corner of the stadium currently being used as a family stand. Stockport have announced the addition of two new faces to their board. Local radio commentator Jon Keighren becomes communications director, while potato magnate Richard Park has also joined the board.

Wimbledon chief Erik Samuelson says relegation will not be a disaster for the club, with it having risen so far from nothing. The Wombles need to beat Fleetwood on the final day to stay up and not rely on results elsewhere. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Released Players Profiles

While many players still having their futures up in the air, five players have been released today along with two that had already departed.

Brian Smikle leaves after starting six Conference games, with 18 further sub appearances. The former loanee never officially signed a long term deal with the club.

Michael Townsend made a total of 100 appearances for the Bulls, netting once, but failed to appear at all in 2013 due to injury. The former Cheltenham man had occasionally captained the Bulls.

Simon Clist made as many starts for the Bulls during his loan spell in the first half of the 11/12 season as he did during his 18 month contract with the club, with his last appearance a 14 minute spell against Telford in January.

Andy Gallinagh missed three months of the season through injury, a fact that probably cost him a longer stay at Edgar Street. The former Cheltenham man was a regular until Christmas but struggled afterwards.

Dan Hanford started the season between the sticks with James Bittner injured and quickly impressed, but he seemed to fall out of favour quickly when Bittner was fit and wasn't even named on the bench on a regular basis.

Also departing are James McQuilkin and Will Evans. McQuilkin was released a month ago but remains under contract after failing to agree a settlement. Evans will be released from his contract once his loan deal at Newport expires after he agreed a deal.

Also leaving is Ian Rodgerson. The 47 year old spent eight years in total as a player at Edgar Street, plus two further years as physio.

Boyes Denies Bulls Talks

The season ended two days ago, so silly season begins with news that departing Barrow striker Adam Boyes has denied he has held talks with the Bulls.

The 22 year old is leaving the Bluebirds after two years, with both Gateshead and the Bulls already linked to the former Scunthorpe trainee. But Boyes told the North West Evening Mail he was yet to speak to anyone:

“I’ve just heard the rumours about Gateshead and Hereford, and that’s it. I haven’t had any contact myself. I think I can play at this level, and I’ve loved it here, so obviously if we’d have stayed up it could have been a completely different story."

He claims that Barrow still owe him money, not only from the most recent wages but for cup bonuses this season - and for goal bonuses from last term.

Hereford United's Retained List

Hereford United manager Martin Foyle has wasted little time in drawing up his retained and released list which has been issued this afternoon.

Out go Brian Smikle, Andy Gallinagh, Dan Hanford, Simon Clist and Michael Townsend. (James McQuilken was released a couple of weeks ago)

Offered new contracts are Sam Clucas, Marley Watkins and Ryan Bowman.

Foyle says he may offer new contracts to several other players. They are Rod McDonald, Luke Graham, Chris Carruthers, James Bittner, Marlon Jackson, Josh O'Keefe, Joe Heath, Craig Jones and Stefan Stam.

Joe Connor, Kingsley James and Chris Bush have returned to their parent clubs.

As of today only Chris Sharp will definitely be at Edgar Street next season.

Also leaving Edgar Street is Ian Rodgerson, the club physio.

News Round-Up

Lincoln chairman Bob Dorrian says the club will take an 'educated gamble' to increase their playing budget next season in a bid to secure a play-off spot. The Imps only secured safety on Saturday after beating Hyde. Former Bull Darren Peacock has been confirmed as the new Head Coach of Evo-Stik side Lancaster City. He will take charge of his first game on May 4th.

A war of words has erupted over the Kidderminster-Stockport disorder. Stockport chief Ryan McKnight blames the Harriers for the disruption for not making the game all-ticket and having no Police in the ground, while attacked player Lee Vaughan is quoted as hoping the Hatters get relegated for a second time after the incidents, calling their fans 'a disgrace'. A man has been charged in relation to the incident.

Macclesfield dropped prices for their home game with Cambridge to just £5 for Adults and £1 for kids, but attracted a crowd of under 2,000 for the game. Ebbsfleet owners MyFC are reported to have voted 70% in favour of relinquishing the ownership of the club to the Supporters Trust. 10% voted to put the club into Administration. An official statement from the organisation is expected later.

Forest Green boss Dave Hockaday has only two players out of contract this summer. 21 year old midfielder James Rowe is to be released at the end of his deal after starting just seven games this term, while teenage striker Saul Williams is to be offered an extension. Former Bulls keeper Jose Veiga was sent off for Harrogate in their goalless draw with Stalybridge at the weekend. Lee Morris scored for Leek in their win over Mickleover Sports at the weekend.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stam Hopes For New Contract

Stefan Stam With Chris Sharp At Telford On Saturday
Hereford United captain Stefan Stam has given an interview to a Dutch Football Site,, in which he talks about his time at Hereford United. The 33 year old appears hopeful he might be offered another contract at Edgar Street but he knows it will be for much less money than he has been earning.

First Stam mentioned the problems in getting back into the Football League, which he knows won't be easy.

"The Conference only promotes one club directly and there are some really big clubs in the competition," said Stam.

"Clubs with rich, ambitious chairmen.

"They want (promotion) so badly.

"Hereford has had troubled times. We work with a very young team, but this season the budget has been halved.

"I get my paycheck just yet paid but you notice that it is not quite alright. 

"The club is losing thirty thousand euros per month, this needs to be addressed.

"A good cup run is almost vital for clubs. If a few games are live on TV the club earns as well."

When the article first appeared the season wasn't quite over.

"Personally I have a Football League contract. The manager is satisfied. The club will be offering me something at the end of the season.

"But it remains a precarious exsistence especially as the contracts are shorter and there is less money. I've never had a summer without some income."

Stam says he wants to continue playing football hopefully with Hereford but if not perhaps in Spain.

"People know me here. Yes, sometimes I have an injury, but when fit I play at a good level.

"My partner is from Seville. If we decide to leave England we will go there. But I'm hopeful I can play football in the Football League again.

"I'm captain at Hereford and life is good. It's not Seville or Amsterdam but Hereford is fun.

"I'm a typical English defender with a Dutch left leg."

Stam has played more games this season (45) than in many previous campaigns.

"I play every season about twenty games, but I've had some bad luck with injuries. But I have always earned a new contract."

(Stam's quotes have been translated from Dutch to English and therefore might not be 100% accurate)