Monday, June 16, 2014

I Despair As A Fan Says MP

Hereford MP Jesse Norman is following the situation at Hereford United very closely.

"We've a got a situation in which Mr Agombar has not repayed yet the rent owing to Hereford Council," Norman told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"He's not paid back wages to staff.

"He promised a fans forum but hasn't had one.

"And I've said today that since the FA's attention is on Brazil, there should be a four week delay now so when they can back, they can do a proper assessment on Mr Agombar, tell us whether he is a fit and proper person to be able to have a majority share in a football club and only after that should the Council negogiate with him in terms of these leases on which he is seeking a transfer.

"(The FA test) has only be done once before that I'm aware to a man called Steve Vaughan, it been done many times before but there's only one man who's failed it. And this man has a significent criminal record. 

"I'm pressing the FA for more detail so far without success. They will have a procedure for assessing whether a person is of the appropriate character, means etc.

"I despair as a fan, it's a disaster for the club and for the fans and the city.

"Those are the people we need to be paying attention to and if we are going to save this club we can only do it by reconstituting it as a community led, support led club and from that basis I think we can claw things back, but it has got to go to that place first.

"I do have a concern about the recent share issue. I haven't seen the details but there have been some concerns privately expressed to me by people involved in that share offer that it may not have been entirely appropriate.

"I also worry that the club that the club may have been insolvently trading and that is a serious matter. That's trading when the board of directors knows in advance that it can not pay the debts of a company as they fall to you and if can be shown in court that that was done deliberately and fraudulently that's potential a criminal offence.

"So there are serious issues to be addressed here on a whole varieties of different fronts with the club and Mr Agombar.

"There's been huge frustration with the way the agony of the club has been dragged out over the last few weeks with the Conference and the success of staying up on the final day of the season and then losing it all because Mr Agombar wasn't prepared to, or wasn't able to meet the financial test of the Conference.

"What we need time now for the Council to be able to take a proper assessment of the legal powers it has in regards to the leases. We need time for the FA to be able pass judgement on whether or not the new owner, the majority owner, is a fit and proper person and it is only with time we will get those answers.

"But we do need Mr Agombar to come to the table more quickly than that and start to give us information, open discussion, transparancy, his own expectations and ideas and frankly financial strengths and what ever he proposes for the club whilst he owns it.

"We had a brief conversation which got cut off. I'm happy to continue the conversation.

"I've talked to the Council about this on many occassions and it was to me that the Council revealed that it had no plans of any kind to sell the leases. We now understand it's transfer that Mr Agombar is seeking and it's the transfer potential that has to be watched very carefully by all fans, because obviously there is a risk that the football could go out the window and this becomes a purely commercial opportunity and many people are worried that might already be happening.

"That's the focus of it.

"And of course there are minority shareholders here, 43% owners of the company who are not Mr Agombar and those people have to absolutely sure that their interests in the club is properly and legally protected as well."