The following is a joint statement from Hereford United players of the 2013/14 playing squad, issued to Bulls News this morning:
On the Fans: Players idea to get Fans on board and behind us so that the atmosphere would galvanise the team on the pitch. Young players were struggling to deal with atmosphere at home during Feb/March and uncertainty of future
On David Keyte: David Keyte had no regard for fans and knew he was unpopular so got to the point he didn't care. During the time Keyte was in Barbados, Graham Skyped the chairman to negotiate sums of cash to be paid to players through the office.
Senior players negotiated a £500 bonus for each player and member of staff as a loyalty if they managed to keep the club up. Every player has a signed copy which all signatures involved in bonus which the payment coming from Hereford United 1939 LTD signed by David Keyte. A promise it would come out of his pocket on survival, which hasn't happened.
Every week David Keyte assured senior pros he would meet the outstanding wages in full. On survival David Keyte promised to email players every week to keep them informed of what monies were there to pay players. Instead, Keyte has ignored players calls and asked who they were when answering some players after apparently losing phone numbers.
On Money: Players set up weekly monday meetings with Keyte so that Players were informed of monies for that week. Luke Graham with the assistance of Rhys Evans and Rob Purdie was handed cash to divide amongst the players, Roger (kitman) & Johnny (physio), and young players Jarrod, Billy, Corey etc. Graham made a note of percentages that were paid on an Excel spreadsheet to each individual and Evans was counting cash to check what was there. Payments were regularly made to players in the boot room.
Senior Pros regularly asked each individual for update on finances and paid percentages to individuals on priority ie. mortgage, children, debts. It was a weekly battle to get as much money before players left on Apr 26th knowing that it would be a struggle when out of the building.
On January Transfers: One player who left in January still had money oweing to him, which was pointed out to the board and a reply was "they are now bottom of the pile". It was made clear that when players left they would struggle to get their monies owed.
Luke Graham, on learning two clubs had made a bid in January in March, asked to leave with a club still willing to pay a substantial fee to take Graham on loan and a permanent contract for next season. The club refused it and stated the board would personally make sure Graham got paid every penny he was owed by them, which hasn't happened. The Players supported Graham, which in turn galvanised him.
Players hoping PFA will make an emergency payment to help them get through next few weeks.
On training: Players spoke about striking yet senior pros were concerned how it would look on younger players CV at such an early stage in career so decided against it. A couple of time players went to train and had no where to go, going to a school once and everyone had to jump the fence to use a concrete playground we didn't have permission to use. Next to us were 5 year olds using AstroTurf which we couldn't afford to book up or pay for.
On Tommy Agombar: No contact with him apart from u23s offered contracts with most choosing to move on due to lack of communication and money.
On the rest of the Board: Colin Addison did most of the talking at big meeting with players and told us he 100% trusted Keyte and we would get our money. The board room on certain days, give or take, consisted of Colin Addison, Stuart Blake, Bob Pritchard, Dave Preedy, Keith Dodd, Grenville Smith and David Keyte.
No one connected with the board has rang to apologise other than a text from Dave Preedy to some personnel. There were clear rifts amongst the board with one comment aimed at Preedy "I don't see the great Dave Preedy dipping in his pockets!"
There were other people connected with the board on a match day and were on the match day coach for games who knew the full extent of what was going on. They are all playing dumb and asking what is going on when they knew what went on. They are all to blame for allowing it to get this far in players view but of course Keyte has most to answer for.
On Goodbye: The last two months of season players built a rapport with fans as planned which made a 12th man out on the pitch which all came together against Aldershot -Thankyou
A scene no player will forget and thanks the fans in galvanising the team, every player is as upset about the club being expelled as the fans and hope the club can move forward.
Thank You to the fans of Hereford United.