Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Just Say NO To The CVA

Nailswortholdbull hopes that creditors of Hereford United will say NO to a CVA.

Below he explains why.

It appears that the current owners of Hereford United (1939) Ltd have decided to apply for a CVA. This was revealed at this week's hearing, in the High Court, of an adjourned application to wind up the company, originally lodged by ex manager, Martin Foyle, but now believed to have other creditors claims attached to it.

If any of you are owed money, by the Club, or who know people who are owed money, then you should be aware of the requirements of the CVA, and the character of those offering it.

A CVA needs the agreement of 75% of the creditors before it can be allowed, and the current owner, Tommy Agombar, has estimated the current debt at £1.3 million. HMRC are one of the creditors, with a demand approaching £100k, and Martin Foyle's claim is around £150k, Hereford Council are owed £65k in lost rent & business rates, the club's printers some £35k, and players & staff are owed wages, some from the beginning of the year. On paper, if all of these people and organisations object to the CVA, it should mean that the application might fail. But, who are we dealing with here?

Chester City's application for a CVA was thrown out of court a few years ago, because it was proved that the directors of that club has served inflated invoices upon the club for, in some instances, non existent goods and/or services. It was an effort to fraudulently achieve the 75% agreement needed for the CVA which would have allowed the directors to asset strip the club at leisure. The creditors would never have received a penny of the agreed terms of any CVA proposed by the board of that club. Chester have since, to their great credit, risen again, as a community based, fan funded, club, run by a supporters trust. The criminal who lead that failed fraudulent attempt is now banned from involvement in any football club under the FA's jurisdiction.

At least 2 of HUFC's current owners have criminal records. Everyone, you might say, deserves a second chance. I said it myself, many weeks ago, when Mr Agombar bought the Club from David Keyte, for just £2. But, since that time, Mr Agombar has made a laughing stock of Hereford United, and fools of the many people who trusted him.

The staff, the players, promised 4 or 5 times in the past few weeks that they were about to get paid. They are still waiting. Ian Pritchard, groundsman, promised again and again, that he was about to get paid the £30k plus that Agombar owes him. Still Waiting! Hereford Council, STILL waiting for £65k of Hereford tax payers money to come into their coffers in unpaid rent & rates! YOUR money, good citizens of Hereford!

Many local football clubs, Weobley, Ledbury, Westfields, and others, have refused, point blank, to play friendlies against Agombar's version of HUFC. A great many fans have said they will not return to Edgar Street whilst Agombar's gang are in charge, the licence has been withdrawn from the bars, and the function rooms are now closed (other than being used as a dormitory for a bunch of trialists).

Among the CVA requirements is this:
"It must be a viable business that can return to profitability"!!

HUFC has no manager, no players, no pre season friendlies, no season tickets, no income streams from outside football. How can they generate ANY income?? Let alone enough to return to profitability. Agombar, or Lonsdale, will tell you they can, because they are prepared (as their track record proves) to tell you whatever you want to hear.

Another requirement:
"The introduction of of appropriate levels of working capital IN ADDITION to the restructuring of debt." All the money that Agombar has promised to put into the Club, since he took over, has failed to materialise. This includes the repeated failures to pay wages, the promised injection early on of £100k on Monday, and a further much larger sum, later in the same week. 

In short, Tommy Agombar and his associates, are NOT to be trusted.
So, to all you creditors, is there a way of getting back some of your lost money?

Well, yes, there is. The Hereford United Supporters Trust garnered pledges of in excess of £200k, when they asked fans to step up to help buy the Club from David Keyte. Keyte turned his back on them, and did a deal with Agombar, which suited HIM, and not the football club, or it's creditors. HUST is still active, and it's membership has grown even more since then. They have been joined by a group of local businessmen, all of whom are supporters of the Club and, most importantly, are willing to invest in a phoenix club, which will, hopefully, play at Edgar Street. IF they succeed in their efforts to take over the club, they will need suppliers, and you, the current creditors, will be in pole position to regain some of your losses by trading with it into the future.

We have a groundsman, who relaid the pitch, and nurtured it until it was held up as one of the best in the Conference. I'm sure his would be one of the first doors to be knocked on by the new owners. Food suppliers, kit suppliers, breweries, wine merchants, plumbers, electricians, printers, etc. You will all be needed.

Think on this. Keyte and Agombar have lied to you repeatedly. If you vote for a CVA, chances are they will make all the right noises about paying you, but have no intention(OR ABILITY, OR RESOURCES)to do that. Say a resounding "NO!" to the CVA proposition. The club will go into liquidation anyway, either within the next few months, or straight away. 

Don't think "My debt is too small to bother about." That's what the board WANT you to do, it gives them an easy ride. This applies to some of our wonderful young players, from last season as well. Go to the Creditors Meeting, kick up a stink, tell them they have no credibility, and then say "No" to the CVA. You will be giving the phoenix club a chance to get started, and most importantly, for you, to start giving you business and profit, which will help mitigate the disaster caused by Keyte, Agombar, and their associates.

Just say "NO!!"