Thursday, July 17, 2014

We've Got A History

Will Wright thinks the supporters groups should keep talking to the club owners:

As the social media bandwagon increases in speed and mass with the honourable focus of calling on all creditors to formalise their claims and seek compensation, there is an alternative view that potentially increases the sums ultimately paid to creditors as well as ensuring the achievements of Hereford United Football Club are not consigned to history.

Before continuing it should be pointed out that it is completely correct that there is no sympathy towards the new owners in respect of debts being greater than they anticipated if they were foolish enough to purchase a business without completing due diligence. There is no excuse for not settling the football creditors ahead of the Conference AGM, so condemning us to Southern League Premier Division at the very best. The “footballing man” and “community club” tag lines do not in any way mitigate the dubious histories of virtually all those now involved in the management of our club. But equally, the sole focus of all supporter organisations should not be to accelerate the demise of the club through expulsion from the Southern League, eviction from Edgar Street and rejection of the CVA by creditors.

It could be said that the solution best suited to the long term future of the club is open engagement with club officials through the appropriate channels. During these conversations several things can be established, notably whether or not the current owners either have or ever had the ability to service even the £300k of debts. At this point the supporters organisations can come to a fully informed decision as to the best course of action, with the two extremes being co-operation with the current regime or the commencement of legal proceedings with similarities to Salisbury City’s recent battles that established their majority shareholder had fraudulently misrepresented during the sales process.

The role of the supporters organisations should be to persevere for significantly longer than 6 or 7 weeks to secure the future of the club we all love. It is clear that there are frustrations that initial, yet predominantly informal, meetings have yielded nothing that resembles the truth but 20 meetings is too few after which to give up. As are 1,000 meetings too few. Pressure on the new owners to justify their actions should be maintained through the boycott and the suggested communications. This is not about letting the current regime continue with no fan oversight, it is about preserving Hereford United for future generations.

The creation of a community based phoenix club is a wonderful premise, but with it come the harsh realities that the creditors including the saviours of last season will receive nothing more than can be raised through charity, the new club will not be able to run Edgar Street as a footballing venue if the Council were to offer them the leases, the crowds will plummet after an initially impressive start and the Council will be left with no alternative but to sell off the prime development land and all will be lost apart from a cul-de-sac called John Charles Crescent. And most of all, any new club will not be Hereford United. Ronnie Radford will not have scored for them at Edgar Street. Their fans will have not had that magical day at Leicester.

Remember that we currently have a history to be proud of and in which we rubbed the noses of opponents travelling to Edgar Street with the cries of “you’ve got no history”. Remember that we have a ground that although it could be described as ramshackle it has seen some amazing moments.  Remember that we are Hereford United fans. Remember that no individual is bigger than this club.