Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Short Report From Hereford FC AGM

The second Hereford FC AGM took place at Edgar Street this evening. Acting chairman Chris Williams took the meeting.

All the current directors along with CEO Ken Kinnersley and Mark Beven from Acre Accountancy Ltd were on the top table.

12 other shareholders were present.

Williams opened the meeting with his report of the last year and afterward director Mike Cole went through the accounts.

Arising from the accounts there was a discussions about proposed future work at the Stadium and assuming a longer lease is forthcoming the fact that some grant aid may be available.

The items included toilet replacements, rain water retention, floodlights, and the food kiosks.

The issue with the floodlights in the Blackfriars End is because they are not in an area over which the club has a lease. 

There are other issues that may need to be addressed. For example the water used for the sprinklers is stored in tanks behind the Blackfriars End.

The chairman reminded the meeting that the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) continues to ask for improvements which the club has to do to ensure football can be played.

Shareholder Ali McHarg spoke about the lease situation. The current lease has three and a half years to run. A new lease of ten years was being discussed. He felt the Council had needed to see that the club had earned the right to a further term. The club had done that.

The annual maintenance bill was around £30,000 and that's before any improvements.

Craig Goodall representing HUST told the meeting that he had a £10,000 cheque from HUST for a further 10,000 shares in the club.

Mike Cole was re-elected as a director, the auditors were relected and the board given permission to agree their fee.

That concluded the formal business of the AGM.

There followed a number of questions to the board.

One was about the catering at the club. Director Webb gave the background to the decision to appointing someone to run it.

In essence it gives the club a fixed income from catering. He noted that the vast majority of clubs in higher leagues ran their catering on the same sort of basis. However the club is always reviewing how it runs the business.

The relationship between the club and HUST was noted. Both had agreed to look ahead, work together and try to maximise income. For example should the club wish to rise admission charges this would be first discussed with HUST.

CEO Ken Kinnersley spoke about the club's close relationship with Herefordshire Council and in particular mention was made of the Blackfriars End of the ground.

One of the problems was that many of the utilites used by the club were behind the Blackfriars End and this would need to be addresed in the near future.

He also said that the life of the Meadow End is 'limited'. It might have another ten years. Currently there are no grants available for an all terrace stand.

Mention was made of the artist's picture of the one end of a possible new Blackfriars End which appeared in Council documents released last week.

Kinnersley suggested that supporters shouldn't take that image too seriously. He felt it was published to try and attract interested parties to the possibility of redevelopment.

In answer to a question about the board Director Phil Eynon announced that CEO Ken Kinnersley would become a board member from January 1st. He would step down from his position as CEO as board members can not be paid for their work.

The club were currently reviewing whether they would appoint another CEO. Someone would be taken on to do much of the work that Kinnersley was doing. 

Another point raised was whether the club would consider a sixth benefactor should someone approach the club. It was unlikely the club would want to agree to an increase in share capital at this stage, partly as it wasn't needed at present and partly that it would make HUST's task in raising even more money for shares even more difficult. But it was not impossibe that further investment might be welcome at some stage especially if the club had a major project to fund.

Finally acting chairman Chris Williams summed up the aim of the board.

Hereford was a club with a big reputation that was currently in the wrong place.

'We need to get back to where we belong'.

He then closed the meeting.