Next Game: Salisbury Away on Saturday 25th March at 3pm - all ticket

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Very Happy New Year


All of us involved with Bulls News would like to wish all our readers a Very Happy New Year.


HUST Board To Meet Jon Hale On Monday


This from HUST:

The HUST board will be meeting with Jon Hale on Monday night to go through a number of points raised over the past few days. The meeting is a fact finding exercise and no key decisions will be made.
The final decision on whether HUST agrees to the proposal from Jon Hale, or any other partnership or model, will be entirely for the whole membership to decide in a one member, one vote poll. This will be done when the Board are able to offer detailed information regarding any proposed scenario so that members are able to make their decision with as much correct information as possible.
In relation to reports that there are three interested parties that have approached Herefordshire Council over Edgar Street, we can confirm that no other party has, as yet, approached HUST regarding any future plans for the ground. We would welcome discussions with any party that intends to keep football at Edgar Street, in line with our Aims and Objectives, and are open to HUST members forming working groups to examine other possible pathways. The HUST board comprises nine people and has limited time and resources that is being taken up by the influx of new members and other day to day business that has grown exponentially over the last two weeks.


Statement From HFA About UITC


Herefordshire Football Association Chief Executive Jim Lambert has set out his organisation's position about UITC, United In The Community.



HFA Position relating to UITC

The situation regarding the exclusion of Hereford United from the Giantkillers Cup is a very simple one. Hereford United were affiliated as a club back in April when Lee Symonds as club secretary quite properly entered the first team in the FA Cup and FA Trophy and the u18 Youth team in the FA Youth Cup and the HFA Giantkillers Cup.
As the situation relating to the ownership of Messer’s Agombar and Landsdale unfolded steps were taken in August to set up UITC as a separate club to ensure that the Youth teams under Rob Purdie and Steve Brotherwood would be able to stand alone.
The Football Association was informed that Hereford United no longer had a Youth Team as they were now UITC. The HFA in a number of communications with The FA supported the inclusion of the team run by Rob Purdie as the Hereford United team, confirming their affiliation, and it was on that basis that the team played in the FA Youth Cup with such distinction.
If the team had still been in the competition they would have had to have been expelled from the FA Youth cup on the 19th December when the club were wound up and were no longer an entity.
It is on the same basis that Hereford United has had to be excluded from the Giantkillers Cup.
The explanation for this regrettable but necessary action was communicated to the Chairman of UITC.

For Clarity on HFA Support for UITC

On Monday 22 December a number of communications were made to The FA to clarify the position of the UITC teams. It was confirmed that there is no way that the UITC team could take over from Hereford United in the Giantkillers Cup. (It was asked if UITC could take over from HUFC in the Southern League surprisingly the answer was no to this as well.)
The situation relating to all the UITC youth teams that play as Hereford United was also reviewed. With HUFC no longer being an entity The FA required the HFA to sanction the youth teams being allowed to continue playing in their current Leagues as UITC which the HFA was very happy to do. The Football Association nor Herefordshire Football Association have any wish to prevent youth football being played and would make every effort to allow the teams to continue.
There will be, we all hope, a new club bearing the name of Hereford to commence next season. Whichever phoenix entity emerges with the lease to play at Edgar Street will receive the full support of the HFA to be placed at the highest possible level in the pyramid.

Jim Lambert
Chief Executive, Herefordshire Football Association

News Round-Up


Former Bulls goalkeeper and Supporters Club stalwart Mick Farmer has died. Farmer made only one appearance in the Southern League in 1968, later joining the Supporters Club committee. His funeral is at Hereford Crematorium on Monday, January 5th at 10.30am.

Wimbledon say they have negotiated with a number of parties over the sale of their current Kingsmeadow home. The site, previously owned by Kingstonian and still used by the Ryman League side, will be vacated by the Wombles if they get planning for their new home in Merton. Chelsea are one party that the local paper claims to have done a deal on the site, with the move to use it for their youth and womens sides possibly affecting Aldershot's income from the Premier League side.

Danny Leadbitter has had his Bristol Rovers career so far assessed in the local paper. In a hit or miss review of the Pirates' summer signings, the Bristol Post writes of Leadbitter: Has had an up and down start to Memorial Stadium. High point came with a goal against Lincoln in September and has played well when coming in to cover for injuries over the Christmas period. JURY OUT

Evesham's Jubilee Stadium was ransacked by thieves over Christmas, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. Having stolen a small amount of petty cash, a TV, and some beer, the thieves proceeded to leave the beer pumps to flow onto the floor, while mustard from the canteen was sprayed around walls. The attack comes after thieves smashed through the roof at Tamworth and stole money from fruit machines.


HFA On Giantkillers Cup


The HFA have posted a series of tweets regarding the decision to remove Hereford United from the Giantkillers Cup:

The HFA supported Hereford United's Youth Team to play in the FA Youth Cup following questions from the FA when claims that UITC were playing.

Hereford United entered the Giant Killers Cup, UITC never entered but have since affiliated, with our advice/support, as a separate club.

The HFA will work with any new phoenix club to help support their development, for example we offer advice on club structures & funding.

Cup competition rules need to be applied to ensure fairness to all participants.It is the same for all teams who enter & is open to appeal by club


Update From Hereford FC


Jon Hale, of Hereford FC, has given an update on their new site.

He says that the amount of interest seen in Hereford FC in the past few days has been 'extraordinary' but recognises that there is 'much work to do'.

http://www.herefordfc.co.uk/2014/12/31/jon-hale-blown-away-interest-hereford-fc/


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

UITC Out Of Giantkillers Cup


Rob Purdie's UITC squad will not be able to take any further part in this season's HFA Giantkillers Cup.

BN understands that any team playing in that cup has to be affiliated to a club.

Unfortunately the demise of Hereford United with whom UITC were affiliated has put a stop to any further progress in that competition.

Purdie is hopeful UITC can complete all its other fixtures but this depends on agreement by the FA.

Ronnie And Ricky On The BBC


BBC3 are showing a "50 Best Moments Of The FA Cup" programme on New Years Eve, featuring Ronnie Radford and Ricky George.

Uggable has posted on the Bulls Banter forum after speaking to Ronnie, quoting him: "I hope you can all keep positive about OUR club. Our club will be on the tv again. Ricky and I are on the programme, "The 50 Best Moments of the FA Cup" New Years Eve 9.00 -11.0 on BBC3. God bless you and your family and all those marvellous supporters at Hereford. We wish you all a Happy New year."

The Newcastle FA Cup tie will also feature on BBC2 this coming Saturday with FA Cup Rewind (11am) featuring that game and Shrewsbury vs Everton.


Possible League For New Hereford Club


At present there is no certainty that a new 'Hereford' club will be playing at Edgar Street from next August but assuming all goes well and a new club is ready, in what league will it play?

Radfordbull has been looking at the prospects

I'm not sure what league we will end up in but I think it could be the Midland Football League, either the premier or division 1. 

If we are lucky we may get dropped 1 league to Southern Division 1 S&W. I can't see us starting as low as West Mids Prem with Welly and Peggy.

I believe Southern League Division 1 and Midland Football League premier players get £100-200 per week. Lower than that ie West Midlands premier it's around £50.

Admission is between £5 and £10 for adult / £3-£7 concessions / free - £3 for under 16s across the 3 leagues.

Programmes are between 50p to £2 across the 3 leagues.

Southern League Division One South & West Lowest/Highest/ Average Attendances:

AFC Totton 210 451 287
Bashley 83 215 136
Bishops Cleeve 44 281 106
Bridgwater Town 114 1112 272
Cinderford Town 97 361 144
Clevedon Town 46 184 107
Didcot Town 80 160 129
Evesham United 136 381 201
Fleet Town 70 158 102
Larkhall Athletic 90 185 130
Mangotsfield United 77 301 140
Merthyr Town 305 703 423
North Leigh 50 145 88
Sholing 64 309 123
Shortwood United 58 149 87
Stratford Town 114 303 202
Swindon Supermarine 92 151 123
Taunton Town 197 465 266
Tiverton Town 160 351 222
Wantage Town 48 124 75
Wimborne Town 93 408 203
Yate Town 135 307 202

Midland Football League Premier Division highest and average attendances:

AFC Wulfrunians 138 101
Alvechurch 103 78
Basford United 115 86
Boldmere St Michaels 187 99
Brocton 110 74
Causeway United 80 78
Coleshill Town 115 97
Continental Star 81 55
Coventry Sphinx 131 90
Dunkirk 86 54
Heath Hayes 77 62
Kirby Muxloe 60 46
Long Eaton United 96 72
Loughborough University 90 64
Lye Town 155 136
Quorn 195 156
Rocester 101 83
Shepshed Dynamo 214 133
Stourport Swifts 84 71
Tipton Town 67 61
Walsall Wood 116 89
Westfields 162 143

Midland Football League Division One highest and average attendances:

Alvis Sporting Club 63 36
Atherstone Town 131 120
Bolehall Swifts 60 52
Bromsgrove Sporting 300 237
Cadbury Athletic 141 74
Coventry Copsewood 35 23
Heather St Johns 171 73
Highgate United 98 59
Hinckley AFC 226 195
Lichfield City 106 75
Littleton 132 78
Nuneaton Griff 148 84
Pelsall Villa 33 27
Pershore Town 58 41
Pilkington XXX 105 55
Racing Club Warwick 100 49
Southam United 171 81
Stafford Town 58 48
Studley 62 51
Uttoxeter Town 137 106.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Prize Bull Draw 32


This from HUST:

Prize Bull draw No.32 took place on Monday night. The winning numbers are 3, 5, 19, and 23. Should you have the winning combination, please contact liaison@hufctrust.co.uk to claim the jackpot.

To play the Prize Bull Lottery please see http://www.hufctrust.co.uk/the-prize-bull/
prizebull logo click


Merthyr Extend Free Entry Offer For HUST Members


Merthyr Town have extended their free entry offer for HUST members to the end of the season.

The next game at Penydarren Park is against Wantage Town on Saturday, January 3rd. After that they entertain Fleet Town on Saturday, January 24th with seven further home games before the end of the season.


Hereford FC Launch Website


Hereford FC have launched their new website.


 

Hawker Joins Rushall Olympic



Former Hereford United defender Josh Hawker has joined Rushall Olympic FC.

20 year old Hawker arrived at Edgar Street earlier this season and became a regular in Jon Taylor's starting eleven.

Hawker came on as a sub for his new club during the second half of their game on Boxing Day when they defeated Trafford 3-0.

Rushall play in the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier Division and are managed by Richard Sneeks who was a coach with Hereford United for the 2011/12 season. 
  

From The Archives - December 29th 2001


Thirteen years ago today Hereford United played Staylbridge Celtic in a Conference League fixture.

Here's a look back.

HEREFORD United 3 - 0 Stalybridge Celtic (December 29th 2001)

Hereford United made it full rewards from their Christmas period with a 3-0 win over relegation-threatened Stalybridge Celtic at Edgar Street this afternoon.

The Bulls won 1-0 at Telford United on Boxing Day and today's win extended their unbeaten run to three games but one couldn't help feeling that the margin should have been wider.

Manager Phil Robinson made one change to the side that won at the Bucks Head with Paul Parry, suspended for the Boxing Day encounter, replacing the veteran Ian Rodgerson in midfield. There was still no place for striker Steve Piearce on the bench. Stalybridge, managed by ex-Southport boss Paul Futcher, were without the suspended Steve Pickford having not played on Boxing Day when there game with Leigh RMI was postponed.

From the start Hereford made most of the forward moves. Phil Robinson headed wide from a Paul Parry freekick at the Blackfriars End after just two minutes, and captain Ian Wright missed with a similar opening soon after.

John Snape had a shot deflected over after twelve minutes following good work from Matt Clarke as Stalybridge had little work to do due to United's wayward shooting. Matt Baker had a save to make at the other end when Gerrard Courtney knocked on a long ball and midway through the half, Richard Peacock was prevented from taking the lead when his volley was tipped over by Baker.

With twenty six minutes on the clock, a Paul Parry shot was deflected to Gavin Williams who skilfully lifted the ball over Celtic stopper David Fish to give Hereford the lead. A minute later, Rob Elmes headed just wide from a Parry shot to squander the chance of extending Hereford's lead.

However, the Bulls fans had to wait literally seconds to see John Snape link onto a Williams pass and hit a smashing volley home from the edge of the box. Hereford deserved their lead and Celtic's defence was in tatters.

Ged Courtney wasted an opening to get Celtic back into the game before the Bulls were presented with the perfect chance to make it 3-0. Gavin Williams was brought down in the area by Chris Perkins with ten minutes of the half remaining and the referee awarded a penalty. Defender Tony James stepped up and hit the ball to the left of the keeper - and the goal - as Hereford's dreadful penalty record continued.

Scott Goodwin tested Fish with a looping shot in the closing minutes of the first half, as did Paul Beesley at the other end with Matt Baker equal to the header.

There were no half time personnel changes, but the away side came out with increased determination and attacking prowess which they were visibly lacking in the opening period. Former Hull City midfielder Richard Peacock threatened with a free kick, and Chris Perkins and Sam Ayorinde both tested the Hereford back line.

Gavin Williams did well to cut inside and create an opening on fifty six minutes which was cleared and the midfield grit of John Snape and Phil Robinson gave Celtic few chances of breaking forward. Rob Elmes had a header cleared off the line by Perkins before Ged Courtney nodded wide at the other end.

Scott Goodwin picked up his second yellow card of the afternoon as he made a rash challenge on Ged Murphy after sixty seven minutes and, despite going down to ten men, Hereford had extended their advantage within two minutes. A left wing run by Gavin Williams allowed Tony Capaldi to overlap and he swung in a perfect cross for Rob Elmes to head home from six yards out.

John Snape had a long range effort sail over with ten minutes left before Ged Murphy came close to scoring a Celtic consolation. However, his shot from just inside the box bounced off the crossbar and was cleared.

The vast majoity of the 1,633 crowd will have enjoyed what they saw as the Bulls jump one place in the Nationwide Conference table to fourteenth, and today's showing should urge them to return. Hereford host Telford United on New Years Day, kick off 1pm, looking to make it nine points out of nine over the festive period.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Matt Clarke, Tony Capaldi, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain), Tony James, Scott Goodwin, John Snap,e Rob Elmes (off 79 minutes), Gavin Williams, Paul Parry
Subs: Jimmy Quiggin, Lee Evans, Mark Williams, Scott Voice (on, 79 minutes), John Shirley
Yellow cards: Scott Goodwin (12 minutes, foul) Rob Elmes (36 minutes, foul)
Red cards: Scott Goodwin (67 minutes, second booking)
Scorers: Gavin Williams (26 minutes) John Snape (28 minute) Rob Elmes (69 minutes)
Man of the Match: Gavin Williams
Attendance: 1,633
Referee: Mr. I. Williamson (Reading)
.

Love Me Tender


Andy Walkden considers the Council tender process for the Edgar Street leases:

No, not a cue for another song (but don’t let me stop you!). There have been a few comments re the process that Herefordshire Council will use to select the next occupiers of Edgar Street. I’m expecting some sort of a tendering process (hence the song title). I’ve done a few tenders in my time for the charity sector with a decent success rate (modesty forbids exact figures) so what can we expect?

Let’s get two obvious things out of the way. We have no control over the specification/scoring system that the Council decide to adopt, equally we don’t know who else is going to chuck their hat in the ring. I’d hope the Council will adopt a stance of community benefit and advantages to the local economy and weigh the scoring accordingly. As regards other possible bidders we need to put them to one side, all we can do is ensure the bid we want to be successful has the best possible chance, and leave other bidders to it, without harassment (might give them cause to appeal and drag it out for even longer).

I don’t want to say too much on here about the details, however I’d advocate a real partnership approach and get as many people/ organisations behind us (B&Bs, pubs, restaurants, taxi firms for a start).

The Hale/HUST group need to pay much attention to the information required. I’ve known bids fail simply for the wrong information on the envelope, something not included or questions not answered properly. There may also be a short timescale – I’ve worked well into the night and asked others to do the same on a number of previous occasions.

What does success look like?
A real community club without the fear of any individuals/groups coming in purely for profit in the future
Jobs for local people
Opportunities for local businesses to benefit from people coming to watch a game and supporting a local football team
The chance for young people to develop more widely (not just their football skills), within a sustainable structure that enables them to reach their full potential.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

HUST Surge Past 1,000 Member Mark


This from HUST:

There are now over 1,000 supporters signed up to HUST. More than 100 people signed up on Christmas Eve, pushing the total into four figures, with even more joining since then.
We would like to thank everyone that has signed up or donated over the past nine days, and indeed to thank all our members for continuing to spread the word. The strength of HUST will demonstrate to the FA that a phoenix side is the continuation of Hereford United and will enable the new side to start at the highest possible level of the pyramid.

To join the Hereford United Supporters Trust you can fill in the online form on their website - http://www.hufctrust.co.uk/membership-form/ - or complete the downloadable PDF (link) and mail it into their address with payment.

Full Membership costs £10 per year, with the year running from AGM to AGM in September. Junior membership costs £1 and can be registered at the same time as Full members.

Corporate Membership is also available for £50 per year. The membership includes a listing on the HUST website. Please see http://www.hufctrust.co.uk/corporate-membership/ for details.


Liquidator Already Assessing Club Assets


It is understood that the Official Receiver attended Edgar Street on Tuesday (Dec 23rd) to begin assessing the assets of Hereford United.

Staff from the Bristol office turned up onsite to begin the work of cataloging the remaining property of HUFC 1939 ahead of a liquidation sale.

Several items currently at the ground are understood to have been claimed by third parties, with much equipment and memorabilia only having been on loan to the club. It is understood that there are a number of finance agreements outstanding on some items that are no longer at the ground - including a series of motor vehicles whose whereabouts are currently unknown.

Given repeated claims by the previous regime that financial records had been wiped prior to their takeover, it could take some time for the receivers to identify the true owners of some assets.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pay To Play

 
Andy Munsley looks back at the history of fan owned clubs.
 
They say history is written by the winners, but the Supporters Trust stories are far from all winners. Some of the early 'experiments' at fan ownership have failed and the Supporters Direct model of ownership is far from perfect. For every Chester or Telford there is a Bournemouth or a Notts County.
 
Northampton were the first fan-owned club in 1992 but, today, their Trust owns just 7% of the club and keeps a place on the board only by demand of the local Council as part of the deal that built their Sixfields stadium.

At Bournemouth the fans bought the club near death in 1997 and went on an ambitious stadium redevelopment that bankrupted the club once more after ten years of fan ownership. Their Trust was dissolved in 2010 as there was no one left to run it.

The Notts County Supporters Trust were the people that handed their majority stake in the club to the infamous Munto Finance. Having taken over the club in 2006, supporters voted in favour of the 2009 deal that wrote off £400,000 of loans for Munto to settle an outstanding £400,000 tax bill and other debts that the fans could not raise. Munto then reneged on most of their promises and disappeared into the night. Does that sound familiar?
 
Success stories like Wrexham needed to sacrifice ownership of the stadium to a local University to achieve a deal. Telford had to rely on the local Council to buy their stadium from the bank it was mortgaged to by the former owner. Chester also needed local Council assistance to get their fairly modern ground back to working order. None of these clubs are much beyond the infancy of ownership, the honeymoon period so to speak.
 
Exeter are beyond that period. It is ten years since they agreed a ten pence in the pound CVA to clear debts inherited from previous owners that were eventually jailed. An FA Cup trip to Old Trafford virtually cleared the balance in one fell swoop, but the club have spent the last five years trying to resolve the problems of financing the redevelopment of the ageing St James Park without much success.
 
Like Exeter, the new Hereford club hope to inherit an aged stadium in need of redevelopment. How do you finance that? How much is Herefordshire Council prepared to pump into Edgar Street to return the ground to full capacity and enable it to host football next season? Their financial issues are well known and there remains a small group of Councillors who would prefer the bulldozers to move in and give them a cash boost. You would think the larger the cost to the Council, the larger that small group of Councillors becomes.
 
Over at Portsmouth, their Trust owns 51% but does not have control of the boardroom. Just three of the seven Directors are from the Trust Board, meaning that the balance of power is in the hands of the twelve 'Pompey presidents' that invested large sums into the club. The Trust is protected by an agreement that any future sale of shares must be agreed by holders of 75% of the issued shares - giving the Trust a blocking vote against any undesirable new arrival as long as they retain 26% - and the club is protected as not one shareholder can claim a dividend on their holding so all profit goes back to the club.
 
At Portsmouth, to get their 51% stake, the fans had to raise nearly as much as their 'presidents' put in. Owners of football clubs have to put money in to call themselves that.
 
Supporters cannot expect 51% of the new club at Edgar Street to be Trust held without putting their hands in their pockets. 
 

Petition Calls On Council To Assign Leases To Hereford FC


A petition has been created calling on Herefordshire Council to hand leases on Edgar Street to the newly formed Hereford FC.

The petition reads:

I applaud the swift action of Herefordshire council in taking back the leases to Edgar Street in the aftermath of the liquidation of Hereford United (1939) LTD.

As a Football fan and Supporter of the former club, I urge the council to favour the tenancy application tendered by the Hereford FC consortium headed up by John Hale. This phoenx option is invloving HUST who represent a large body of supporters. The amount of "follows" and "likes" of the Hereford FC social media pages is in my indication a clear indication that this option carries the support and will of supporters of the previous club, the people of Hereford and football fans in general as the chosen successor to Hereford United FC's history and traditions.



Top Bid Of £1000 For Ronnie Radford Print


Steve Niblett updates readers about the Ronnie Radford 'Auction'.

The auction for the Ronnie Radford Picture in the dressing room taken in March 2014 has now finished. David Fletcher, a migrant from up North over 33 years ago now residing at Harewood End made the winning bid, in fact upping his first bid by £300 to reach 4 figures. The print itself is being framed and will be ready in a few weeks. Speaking to David, an ardent Man City fan from ‘when they were rubbish’ as he put it, he has followed the Bulls for the last 10 years. David fondly remembers the 2006 and 2008 seasons and cites Ben Smith, Gary Hooper and Sherjill McDonald as perhaps the most exciting players to have graced Edgar Street.

The monies from the auction were designated to the unpaid youth team but with all players being catered for, the monies were then to be donated to the management team of Peter Beadle and Steve Jenkins. Both very kindly refused the monies and now they will be held in trust until the new team is formed and plans for the campaign have been made. Peter Beadle expressed a wish to identify where it could be best used and David will consult him later in the year as to where the monies could be best channelled. David intends the pic to be hung up in the Starlite Rooms for all to enjoy once the new club takes shape.

Thanks to everyone who have donated to all the causes in respect of the unpaid people at Edgar Street over the last year or so. The figures have hit well over the 5 digit mark that I have been involved with and has certainly had a major positive effect for a number of ex-staff. The truth remains that despite the fundraising, many ex-employees are still majorly out of pocket, as well as many creditors. It is doubtful that this will be addressed but the kindness and generosity of the fans who have endured so much themselves demonstrates how there is a will to get professional football to remain at Edgar Street. A Happy New Year 2015 to everyone and here’s looking forward to helping re-build something we can be proud of again at Edgar Street.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Ex-Kitman Appleby Planning Club Bid


Former Hereford United kitman Lawrence Appleby is planning a bid to resurrect the club.

Appleby has created a Facebook group - AFC Hereford (link) - and plans to bring in Irish investors according to posts made to the group on Christmas Day:


Appleby ended his Bulls kitman role in the summer of 2007, becoming Secretary of Bedlington Terriers. He later was assistant manager to Trevor Benjamin at Morpeth Town and still resides in the North East.


Ex-Bull Sammons Fires Redditch To Win


Former Bull Ashley Sammons netted four first half goals as a near full strength Redditch side beat the HUST Fans Team with a dominant first half display.


With the Fans Team fielding five of the UITC u18 side to show them the step up to senior football, it was youth team stopper Benn Pugh that watched Sammons fire a succession of pinpoint shots out of his reach with the former Birmingham trainee showing the class that he has demonstrated throughout the Southern League season so far.


Half time came with the side 7-0 down, but that was the end of the scoring as changes and a torrential downpour limited the home side in the second half. A string of fine saves from replacement Fans Team keeper Luke Brimfield kept the second half goalless.

Pic - Steve Niblett
Later in the second half the Reds fielded Javia Roberts, who is expected to sign for them after leaving Edgar Street. Bilal Yafai was also in attendance, and he told supporters he is to trial with Oxford United early in the New Year.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

UITC Players In Fans Team Squad


Half a dozen of the UITC u18 players will bolster the HUST Fans Team side when they travel to Redditch tomorrow.

Former Edgar Street youth teamers Max Kontic-Coveney and Callum Brennan, who were both part of the FA Youth Cup run last term, are also joining the squad with both interested in pulling on the shirt for the reformed club next season.

Redditch boss Liam McDonald has spoken to the Redditch Advertiser after losing their Boxing Day game:  “It’s a tragedy that Hereford has been wound up but I am sure the fans will bounce back.

“They are a big club but it’s a warning to other clubs that they must plan properly instead of focusing on the short term. It could easily have happened to Redditch before Chris Swan took over the club.”

McDonald was pleased that the HUST Fans Team were able to raise a side with his top of the table side facing a 12 day gap between games following the loss of the original fixture. Chairman Swan placed the call to get matters in motion on Monday morning.

The game kicks off at 3pm at Redditch's Valley Stadium. Entry is £5 for adults and £2 for kids, with directions on the Redditch site - http://www.redditchutdfc.co.uk/contact-us/how-to-find-us/.


Taylor Setting Up Match For Former Squad


It is understood that Jon Taylor has contacted several of his former Edgar Street squad to play a trial game at Nuneaton in early January.

With the Conference side facing a blank Saturday on January 10th, having dipped out of the FA Trophy, Liam Daish is seeking new recruits with his side second bottom in the table having lost all five of their matches so far in December. 

Meanwhile, Torquay have released former loanee Dan Sullivan. The 20 year old striker, who was due to have remained at Edgar Street until January, netted Hereford United's final goal in their 1-1 draw with Dunstable Town.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas From Bulls News


Bulls News would like to wish all our readers a Very Happy Christmas.

Lee Symonds To Work Full-time At The HFA


Former Hereford United secretary Lee Symonds is to increase his role at the Herefordshire Football Association.

Symonds will become administration manager for the association from January 5th.

He will combine this with his existing job as schools football co-ordinator.


Fans Are Nothing Without Football


Ken Kinnersley feels that 'fans are nothing without football'.

Many Bulls fans didn't think the nightmare of the past 9 months would ever end! But it has and to a large part the creditors, who were also fans, played a big part in seeing off Agombar and Co.

The creditors parted with their money, some very large sums, or continued to supply goods, or services, in order to keep our club afloat over recent years. Last August they voted against the totally unrealistic CVA offered by the regime and supported the winding-up petition(s). They put our club before their financial interests in full knowledge that they were effectively signing away any chance of recovering their losses. Thank you, all of you!

Our club “is” all the fans - it's intangible just as all our past memories and history are intangible but they are our memories and our history. As such, they will live on forever, no matter what name is eventually attributed to the limited company that follows. It now seems that we are likely to be known as Hereford FC and I'm very happy with that.

Sadly, as we all know, the current FA “Owners and Directors Test” is totally inadequate. It is only applicable “after” a share holding has been acquired rather than before. Thus in our case all the damage had long been inflicted before the result of the ODT was made public and disqualification ensued, albeit, not enforced.

To save other clubs from our fate the FA must review their regulations and in this respect “thanks” are also due to Jesse Norman MP, for his Parliamentary debate on Football, the pressure he has continued to apply on the FA and Herefordshire Council and for his very public support of our club.

Repossession of Edgar St. followed very quickly after insolvency, thus “thanks” are also due to Hereford Council for keeping to their word and repossessing the stadium. This was an important step and it can now reasonably be assumed that with repossession, the “undesirable” interest in Hereford United has followed the European Finance Guarantee – Proof of funds. However, we still have to make a successful bid to be able to rebuild at Edgar Street.

My long held view is that Edgar Street is crucial in successfully establishing a new club. I very much doubt that any other location would garner the home attendance required for the club to be sustainable. Edgar Street is our “home” and we must do what we can to ensure it remains so.

Hopefully, through the work of Jon Hales in putting together a consortium and working in conjunction with HUST we are in a position to submit a strong proposal to Herefordshire Council. The recent update that makes reference to limited shareholdings and democratic decision is very welcome.

What I really didn't anticipate was that there would be an urgent need to repair the division in our fan base. Sadly, our individual decisions whether to boycott or not has proved to be very divisive. It was always acknowledged by HUST that the boycott was a matter of personal choice. It is also the case that not all those staying away from games were members of HUST.

There is no doubt that there have been some particularly strong differences of opinion between fans – and this is to understate the situation! This has saddened me because we are all fans of a fantastic club. We are the club! There is a misconception that there was a “right” and a “wrong” decision regarding the boycott. Not so in my view, it was a personal decision that each of us, as a fan, had to make, based on how we saw the situation.

I fully respect the decision of the fans who have continued to support the team and I am hopeful that they will respect my decision not to support the team. As a fan the only sanction open to me was to withhold my money. I had no issue with the players but I just could not pay money to help sustain what I believed was a regime that had not acted, and, on the evidence of deeds, were unlikely to act in the best long term interests of my club.

The fans that didn't boycott games could well claim that “owners come and go” but, no matter, they were continuing to support the team as part of their club and with whom they had no disagreement. An equally valid opinion.

Similarly, I could not continue to be a member of HUISA given the principal aim of the Association was to provide financial support for Hereford United. Thus, my formal proposal to the 2014 HUISA AGM, for the Association to be “wound-up” and the assets passed to HUST. Setting aside the division of the assets, the majority were in agreement but I am well aware that there were fellow HUISA members who were, understandably, very upset at the dissolution of HUISA.

At Aldershot in April 14, we were unified fans of Hereford United, whether we went to games this season, or not, we are still the same people, we still have the same feelings for our “club” and each and everyone of us now needs to consider whether the continuing abuse and dissent aimed at fellow fans, just because they took a different decision, will change anything. In my view it won't.

The only effect is that the departed regime will gain some consolation if they believe they have, at least, divided the fans. So, my plea to any of us who still holds a grudge against another fan or thinks an individual should not be welcomed at Edgar Street in future, or posts derogatory or obscene comments on public bulletin boards is to please reconsider and, if you care for the club, please try to accept that we can have different opinions but still be united as fans.

If we really want a successful new club then we are going to need each and every fan we can muster. The more fans that join HUST the more evidence HUST and the consortium can put before Hereford Council to prove that football at Edgar Street is sustainable. We are going to need a large volunteer base to help in getting any new club established. We are also going to need fans to pay at the turnstile and the more support we get the quicker success may come.

It is still very much to be hoped that many fans who have not yet joined the Trust will
consider doing so.To this end I have requested the HUST Board to consider hosting a meeting just for non Trust members, so that, any reservations or questions fans still have can be aired and addressed in an atmosphere of reconciliation.

Finally, I'd like to wish every Bulls fan who reads this, where ever you may be in the world, “A very Happy Christmas and a Healthy, Prosperous and Happy New Year” and I'll leave you to reflect on the words of that old Scottish “Striker” Rabbie Burns who scored in 1788 with,

“Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon; the flames of love extinguished, and fully past and gone.”

They say that “Football is nothing without fans!” I take a slightly different view in that “Fans are nothing without football!”

Edgar Street - Two Other Interested Parties


The Hereford Times reports that two other parties in addition to the Jon Hale group have contacted Herefordshire Council over Edgar Street.

It is currently unknown who either of these parties are with neither having made public statements, while HUST have responded on Twitter saying they have not been approached by anyone else.

One possibility was that Steve Ford and Stephen Jones may use one of the company names they registered back in August to form a new club. Both men refused to discuss why they had set up the companies, but in mid-November Jones acknowledged on Twitter that they had done it after he was 'pissed off' with an unnamed individual and acknowledged that they may form their own club in competition to HUST.

However Jones has today told people on Twitter that they had discussed the idea but decided not to pursue it. 

Meanwhile, there is a poll on the Hereford Times website on whether fans would watch the reformed club. The poll is at http://www.herefordtimes.com/news/11687834.Poll___Will_you_watch_Hereford_Football_Club_/


Manager Taylor Only Paid £300 Expenses In Six Months


Former Hereford United manager Jon Taylor says he was paid only £300 in expenses for his time at Edgar Street - and that he has 'nothing to say' to Andy Lonsdale.

Speaking to the Hereford Times, Taylor says he was only contacted by Lonsdale some two hours after the winding-up order was announced: “I didn’t get a phone call until 6.30pm. He phoned another three times, then texted me, before phoning again.

“I then answered and he asked if I was ok. I said, ‘what do you think?’. I have got nothing to say to the guy.”

Taylor admitted also: “We certainly weren’t going to win the league or probably make the play-offs, but I was planning on bringing in some new players.”

Taylor identifies David Moli, a former Liverpool u18 player, as one of those set to have come in as claimed by Lonsdale.



Growing So Fast


This from HUST:

Bulls fan and HUST member John Wallace has signed up to HUST the latest addition to the Bulls support with baby Rowan added to the growing membership just 15 hours after his birth.
rowan
John also has his other three children signed up with Theo, Gabriella, and Joshua also Junior Members.
20141129_192258

While Rowan is currently the youngest member of HUST, he doesn’t hold the overall record. HUST Chairman Chris Williams signed up grandchild William when he was just nine hours old back in June.


Hale Group Plans For HUST To Be Single Largest Shareholder


This from the Jon Hale group:

Update From Business Group After Latest Meeting

On Monday 22nd December, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Hereford United Supporters Trust, (HUST), and the business group made up of lifelong Hereford United supporters, held a lengthy meeting to discuss plans for the future of the phoenix club they are aiming to form to play at Edgar Street.

Jon Hale, who is leading the business group, has given the following update on the meeting and, although at this stage the full business plan cannot be released because some key information is not yet available, he has given additional details about some of the content. Mr Hale said:

“Monday’s meeting was hugely productive and we were able to start more serious discussions about how our plan for a phoenix club should progress. Although we understand we still have much work to do to secure a deal to occupy Edgar Street, we feel we cannot stand still while Herefordshire Council carry out the ‘due process’ necessary in terms of reassigning the leases.

“We are delighted with the response and interest from supporters about the formation of Hereford Football Club and its affiliation with the Herefordshire Football Association on Monday morning. 

“I acknowledge that in an ideal world we would have consulted with fans on this name, but we felt we needed to make this one, specific decision very quickly to aid our negotiations with the local authority, as affiliation to the FA has always been a condition of the leases.

“Moving forward to the next stage, it has been agreed that HUST will liaise with their membership over the choice of playing strip and club badge, and I’m sure members can expect to hear from the HUST Board after the holiday period.

“We are aware important, valid questions are already being raised about Hereford FC. We will provide answers when we can, but at the present time it is impossible to answer many of the questions accurately as there are a number of variables that are yet to be determined. 

“For example, in light of recent events at Edgar Street, the obvious decline of our historic stadium and the apparent absence of proper maintenance which could lead to possible implications as a result of the appointment of an official receiver, we have requested permission from Herefordshire Council to undertake a thorough and comprehensive stadium survey with them as soon as is practicable.

“This will ensure that all parties have a full understanding of what will be required capital wise to bring the stadium up to a “fit for purpose” status, which would then permit our proposed business plan to achieve its potential.

“In terms of the ownership structure and the exact percentage for the new club, at the present time – due the variables mentioned earlier - these cannot be determined. However, in an attempt to allay some understandable fears, we can confirm that in our plan HUST – as an organisation representing a huge number of fans – have the opportunity and time to become the largest single shareholder, subject to fund-raising, in the club and that no other individual or corporate benefactor will be able to own more than 24%.

“Supporters will also have an opportunity to donate towards the formation of the new club and further details will be announced in the New Year. Each individual willing to donate will no doubt have a preferred way of doing so and therefore this needs further discussion to ensure various options are available.

“Finally, in addition to wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, I’d like to make a personal, direct appeal to the many people who are already taking an interest in Hereford Football Club. 

“The group of businessmen that has worked hard to put this proposal together is made up of genuine, lifelong Hereford United fans who have felt the pain of recent months as much as all other supporters. 

“We completely understand why many fans are suspicious and wary about almost everything right now, but I would ask that you form your opinions about our plans based on the way we go about things and not on the actions of the final ownership regimes at Hereford United Football Club.

“Our plan is by Hereford fans for Hereford fans, and we believe the collaboration of experienced business people and the passion and spirit of all Hereford United supporters offers the best possible chance of achieving on-field success and ensuring the city of Hereford regains the footballing status it deserves.”


A Tenner Well Spent


Broadcaster Eleanor Oldroyd is one of the newest members of HUST. The 'first lady of Fighting Talk' started her career with Radio Wyvern and became a Herefordshire Ambassador.



To join the Hereford United Supporters Trust you can fill in the online form on their website - http://www.hufctrust.co.uk/membership-form/ - or complete the downloadable PDF (link) and mail it into their address with payment.

Full Membership costs £10 per year, with the year running from AGM to AGM in September. Junior membership costs £1 and can be registered at the same time as Full members.

Corporate Membership is also available for £50 per year. The membership includes a listing on the HUST website. Please see http://www.hufctrust.co.uk/corporate-membership/ for details.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

HUST Update


This from HUST:

We would like to welcome all the new members that have joined HUST in the past few days. Our membership total is likely to exceed 1,000 before the year is out and our growing size will help demonstrate to the FA that a HUST supported club will be the continuation of Hereford United.

We need every fan that possibly can to join up and have their say on the future. With that in mind we call on supporters to end the disputes that have blighted recent events. Individual supporters should not be singled out because of their actions over the past few months and the future club should be welcoming to all without prejudice.

The HUST Board acknowledges that there is a thirst for information at the moment regarding future plans, however there are a number of items that need to be resolved before details of the future can become clearer.

Both Herefordshire Council and the Official Reciever of Hereford United (1939) Ltd have to go though their due processes to evaluate the assets they have recently gained possession of. 

Until both these parties have made their decisions as to value it is very difficult to provide definites about the future in several key aspects. We fully intend to hold a meeting as early as possible to discuss the future, but in order to hold that meeting we need some of the landscape to be known.

We can categorically assure our members that they will have the ultimate say on any agreement HUST makes on a phoenix club, and full details will be laid down ahead of a vote. However in order to reach that stage we have to allow these other parties to undertake their required actions.

Also it will likely be some five months before we learn which division a phoenix club will be placed in, with the FA not usually releasing allocation lists until mid-May when the various promotion and relegation issues are resolved.

 
With this in mind we ask for patience as the correct answers are identified and options explored. We do not currently have all the answers - but we will strive to get them and present them to members and the wider community.


The Thoughts Of A London Bull


London Bull Justin Griffiths-Williams looks back over recent events surrounding Hereford United and thinks that there is a wonderful opportunity ahead.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."


Romeo and Juliet - Shakespeare

Sunday morning: How am I feeling? Actually, quite good. Excited even. Optimistic. There’s still a little residual sadness, but I have trouble justifying it. How can I feel sad for the loss of something I didn’t really believe in? How can I feel sad that after months of hard work and commitment, our fans have managed to wrestle control of the football club we love, from the hands of criminals, fraudsters and charlatans.

But the name? Surely the name… Hereford United 1939; Well without wishing to be too reductive, for me that is all we’ve lost; a trading name, a historical curiosity on Wikipedia. If you believe, as I do, that the heart and soul of a club resides with its fans, then the corollary of this is that the club can’t be killed in Companies House. We are the club. Our history belongs to us, our achievements are not just written on trophies, but in the hearts of each and every one of us. If you believe that, then everything else becomes peripheral. Yes, even the name.

It’s been quite an eventful few days. I had driven down to Hereford from my home in London, to attend the HUST meeting on Thursday night. I wanted to hear what Andrew Lonsdale would say to those fans who had so admirably held him to account. In retrospect I’m glad he didn’t attend. What could he have possibly said? What assurances could he have given us to justify the lies, debts, and dishonesty that had brought the club to such depths?

Thankfully the meeting was a huge success without him. The room was packed, and the absence of Lonsdale gave a space to trust members to air their concerns freely, question the board, and discuss the future of our club constructively. A catharsis of some sort. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who left the meeting on a high, imbued with renewed enthusiasm.

And so to the High Court for the fourth time. Would Mr Lonsdale come up with a million pounds of his own money, or would he continue to play the system like a fiddle? The smart money was on another adjournment, followed by a nervous Christmas, and a return to court in the new year.

I sat in the gallery with Mitch Stansbury. We’d travelled up and down the country together since we kids; united through cup runs, promotions, and all too many relegation struggles. If I was going to witness the demise of our club, it might as well be with him.

So where was the money asked the judge.

“The transfer has been made but I have not seen evidence of it. Andrew Lonsdale is stuck in traffic”.

Incredulity passed across the judge’s face as he asked the barrister if he had actually seen the document.

“I understand the transfer has been made” replied Lonsdale’s barrister sheepishly.

“Where is he stuck in traffic?” enquired an increasingly exasperated judge. The barrister was unable to respond.

“He’s out of time, there is no evidence before me”

Suddenly, almost anticlimactically, the case was over.

Was is really that simple? We looked around for confirmation, shellshocked. A few tentative hugs. And then finally outside into the London night to face the local media. How to make sense of something we barely believed ourselves?

A denouement of sorts? Maybe. But also a new beginning. Hereford United was not liquidated because of the fans. We didn't kill the club. We were wound up because the people who bought the club, for a nominal fee of two pounds, reneged on every promise, every commitment, and every opportunity to run the club with an honesty and integrity that the fans demanded. There really are more important things in life than football, and our fans were prepared to go without it, in order to prove the point. I couldn’t be more proud.

We now have a wonderful opportunity in front of us. After the disappointments of the Keyte era, and the nightmare we’ve just endured, we finally have a chance to shape our own destiny. If the recent times have taught us anything, it is that we are lucky enough to have a fan base that is committed, resourceful, and hugely talented. The expertise that we can utilise in rebuilding the club is astounding. As Martin Watson said at the trust meeting, “who knew we had so many experts on bond trading in Herefordshire”.

I also understand that not everyone is going to feel the way I do. Some fans are going to need the time and space to come around to embracing the new club. That is understandable. But I hope they at least remain open-minded. Any amount of rationalising on my part will hopefully dwindle into insignificance compared to a packed Edgar Street on a balmy afternoon in August. Do we really want to give Agombar and Lonsdale the power to take that those days away from us?

I’ve met some wonderful people over the last few months. And though I’ve been a supporter for decades, I’ve never felt so close to my fellow fans. From the lovely lady I met at the St Neots protest, who proudly proclaimed that she had recently been fitted with a bovine heart valve, so was “more of a bull” than me, to Mr. John Hancock with his ubiquitous “I Want My Club Back” banner, who attended his first game with his father in 1948, to Stephen Niblett, who selflessly auctioned his own club memorabilia to subsidise unpaid wages, and to all those previously anonymous posters on Bulls Banter, to whom I can now put a name and face. I look forward to seeing them all back at Edgar street in 2015.

The hardships of the last year has made me realise just how important this football club is to our city. Let’s all get together and make this club the very best of what it can be; an asset to our wonderful city, a home from home for generations of Bulls fans to come. A club in which we can all be proud, a club in which we will all have a stake, a club in which we can all BULLieve.

Lastly, a word to a man I’d rather not see back at Edgar Street.Three weeks ago Mr Lonsdale issued a ban to a loyal supporter outside the High Court, for having the temerity to care about the long-term well-being of his football club. I told him, “I’ll be here when you are long gone, Mr Lonsdale”. And indeed I am.


COYW!