|Steve With Pete Beadle After The Aldershot Game Last April|
It will come as no surprise to those people that know me that I have decided to terminate my association with Hereford United 1939 Ltd. With only a few staff members left, the final nails were hammered home during this week as the web team reluctantly had to serve their notice to quit. In effect I departed with Mark Farmer and Jamie Griffiths last Wednesday and my sentiments are replicated in Mark Farmer’s exit statement.
It is plain to see that the club has been solved off for less than a price of a cup of coffee in order to absolve the previous owners of the incredulous amount of debt accrued over the last 3 to 4 years. The club has been snapped up by a company that appears to be more interested in the potential value of the leases more than the future of Hereford United Football Club. Promises of reparation by the purchaser have immediately been broken and approaches to transfer the leases over to the private company within days of the sale look to be the main aim of the deal. The Chairman David Keyte had been given other offers to sell for the same price, certainly to the Hereford United Supporters Trust (HUST) but did not entertain their bid. Why he chose to sell to a company that has no links to Herefordshire instead of to one of the representative groups of the loyal supporters who have given so much time and effort over the past couple of years, the fundraising, the sacrifices, the hardship of the players and staff, in my eyes is totally questionable. The last 6 months the club has run on goodwill alone, and for me personally, the fundraising initiatives I have been involved with, I have totted up that it has netted over £15k if not more in the last 12 months. Personally I feel cheated, anger, despair, disgrace, frustration, incredulity – choose your own adjectives. It appears over 4000 people also feel the same going by the number of signatures in the online petition
Upon reflection over the last 12 years for me there were some great highs and lows; 2 promotions, 3 relegations (or does this season count as 3 making a total of 6), a 200 page book, Ryan Green’s abs, Andy ‘Cat’ Ferrell, Travis the Strawberry blonde, Matt Bailey, 12 Guy Ipouas in Saxtys, the incredible Adam Stansfield , O’Neill Thompson, the trainer on the Meadow End, the silver streaked Tupsley Whites, and a streaker even. Ironically though the last 2 matches of the 2013/2014 season brought about a change in fortune only football can give and gave for me the best ever memories. Seeing my 5 year old son come out as mascot on the last home game of the season v Alfreton along with the most honourable player there could be Luke Graham and witnessing Jarrod’s Bowens first league goal. The whole experience at Aldershot, the celebration by fans and players after 6 months of hell, snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat with a winner 2 minutes from time and an equaliser elsewhere condemning Chester to relegation. Of course it mattered for nothing as some weeks later those games were in vain as the club was unable to support itself on a bed of promises and chester gained a reprieve.
I feel for everyone who has had to endure this experience and the situation the club now finds itself in. For me the club is currently dead, I have no faith that it will be able to pick itself up in the current situation. I can’t bring myself to even drive past Edgar Street right now. Nevertheless though I am upbeat, in fact very upbeat because the worldwide base of Hereford fans are converging, movement is afoot. The good times will return and I hope that in 10 years time we can be playing in the Football League in a decent modern ground, and every player who represented us in this past season would be in attendance at the opening day of the season, and we, the fans and people of Hereford can say to them, SORRY.