NEXT HOME GAME - ARLESEY TOWN ON NOVEMBER 8TH AT 3PM
NEXT AWAY GAME - FA TROPHY AT TOTTON ON SATURDAY NOVEMBER 1ST

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Youth Team To Play Chelsea


It doesn't get much better than this, UITC's youth team are to play Chelsea.

'Youth Team have drawn Chelsea FC away in the PLFL National Cup 2nd Round to be played on Weds 3rd December.'

The venue is yet to be confirmed.

The tie comes two days after Hereford United's next appearance at the High Court.

Johnson Thanks Real Fans And Taxpayers


Council leader Tony Johnson has written an open letter on the subject of Hereford United:

My thanks to the many real fans and taxpayers who sent messages in support of recent action by the council. The position is not yet fully resolved but we have received £52k of outstanding amounts owed as a result of that action. 

There is however another group out there who care little about football and even less about the fans and seek merely to make political mischief of anything. The mindless  tweets and e mails say much about those who write them. Their purpose is to damage the council, not to support the club. So, self publicists jump in front of every camera they see.  They ring the HT with every rumour they hear or concoct and, incidentally, came close to damaging our defence of your interests last week. (it’s election time again!). True fans are rightly angry and anxious about the club and can be assured that we will do everything legally possible to keep football at Edgar Street. 

 To keep you informed we have published a range of material about HUFC on the Council website along with the development agreement. You will see from this information that we have responded, as we must, to enquiries from people with an interest in running the club in the event that HUFC is wound up. This information should be read in conjunction with the development agreement, which includes a number of restrictions.

We are of course obliged to conduct HUFC matters within the law, but that will not prevent us acting vigorously to protect your interests, which is our sole motivation. We are always happy to answer questions from real fans and taxpayers, but ask for your patience as we work towards the winding up petition on 1st December.

Tony Johnson     
Leader   
Herefordshire Council      


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Club Headlines HT For 32 Straight Weeks


Hereford Times reporter Paul Rogers says the paper will again focus on Hereford United as it's lead story in tomorrow's edition - for the 32nd consecutive week.

Meanwhile, player no. 42 of the season is Jay Knight - who is understood to be a former Grays Athletic u21 man, where one of the coaches was new Edgar Street coach Jeff Wheeler.

Knight made his debut as a late sub on Tuesday night.


Timeline Of Events


There is a new page on the menu above. A timeline has been added detailing events since Tommy Agombar's takeover at Edgar Street.

The timeline has been put together by Lexington.


Young Bulls draw at Blues

Today we travelled to Birmingham City's training ground in our first away league fixture and came back with our first draw

The game was played on 4G which although gave a good surface to pass on, also made the game very slow and so naturally defenders came out on top. The first half was controlled by us, we played some good football but never penetrated their defence. This was due to poor final balls and sloppy play. The pleasing thing was our work rate, winning the ball back quickly in the opponents half on numerous occasions but again creating very little. The half finished with no real goalmouth action.

The half time team talk was easy, an extra 5-10% from everyone around the pitch and the game would become comfortable for us! unfortunately it went the other way. Birmingham had the better of the second half as our sloppy passing continued. Our defence stood firm with Joe Davies and Chris May performing extremely well with our young 15yr old keeper James Aurelius vocal behind them. Even though we were under pressure for most of the second half we kept them at bay enough that James only had 1 decent save to make. The match finished in a 'bore all' draw!

After the game I asked why there was so much difference from the first half to the second, the answer was easy. Our full backs in the first period played 7/8 balls in behind to stretch the game which allowed our midfielders to get on the ball when their defence started to drop. Neither full back played one of these balls in the second half, alone with the midfielders and centre halves. We are a passing team, but you can only pass the ball when you have the space to play and to get the space you need to push the defenders back. In the second half the Birmingham defenders held a line 5-10 yards in their half and still we tried to find the strikers feet, a simple ball over the top a willing runner would immediately push that line back 5 yards, the next ball over them would create another 10 yards and so you now have the space to pass the ball. We have worked on this in training, but we have to do it more in games.

I have learnt a lot of how I manage from my time under Graham Turner. When I played under him we were a passing team but the strikers had to work hard in the channels for those first 10 minutes to allow us to play. Willing runners in Steve Guinan, DCB and the loved and missed Adam Stansfield to name a few, were needed to play passing football, and at the level we are at we will need to continue that trend.

Aside from that a draw away at a strong Blues side is a good result, especially when it comes with a clean sheet. Plenty to work to do next week when we entertain Exeter City at home, I'm confident we can improve on today and I am proud of the boys. A note aswell for James Aurelius and Harry Needmore. Both under 15s got game time today and did themselves no harm against 18/19 year olds!


Team: James Aurelius, Liam Taylor, Chris May, Joe Davies, Simon Morgan, Lewis Fletcher, Tom Jenkins, Alex Lilwall, Matty Owen, Robbie Trumper, Tom Gameson 
Subs: Harry Needmore, Benn Pugh

UITC Youth Draw At Birmingham


UITC youth team drew 0-0 away against Birmingham City this afternoon.

More details when available.

More From MP Norman On Meeting With FA


Jesse Norman MP for Hereford has given BBC H&W more information about his meeting with the FA earlier today.

"This was the second meeting I've had with the FA so I had several goals," said Norman.

"The first was to really communicate in absolutely unmistakable terms the anger of fans and the very clear unassailable facts in Hereford United so there can be no doubt about where their obligations as the FA should lie.

"The second thing I wanted to do was to put a whole series of issues in front of them.

"One - Outstanding debt which the club owes to people who have helped and supported it in and around Edgar Street over the last months and years.

"Secondly - The status of the owners and directors test which is not transparant and not properly enforced.

"Thirdly - What is actually happening with some of the people around the club now, Mr Gambrill, Mr Agombar, people who has failed the ODT and yet still seem to be exercising a powerful influence over the club.

"Fourthly - The situation with Mr McCarthy, the man to whom the shares have now been transferred. He is technically the 57% owner of the club and against whom the FA have just brought an enforcement action.

"And finally the Southern League which I don't think has covered itself in glory.

"After covering all that I did come away feeling they have got the message.

"I also think they understand.

"It is not easy matter for the FA but I hope they will come back to us relatively soon and annouce some concrete progress.

"I am pretty determined about it."

Asked how he felt the FA had handled the whole thing, Norman said that they are trying to hold the line.

"It's not a straight forward process say the FA. Hereford United is a very complex situation. Some of the submissions that have been made require court certification and other public bodies to respond. It's not realistic to have that done in 14 days.

"Frankly I thought that was a sensible arguement, I wasn't happy about it but I can understand where they are coming from."


MP Norman Speaks To FA On ODT


MP Jesse Norman has met with the FA today to discuss the ODT rules:

Norman has repeatedly pushed the FA for action, with the second reading of the Football Governance Bill set to be done next week. The Bill, sponsored by Hereford educated MP Damian Collins, is listed as being:

A Bill to require professional and semi-professional football clubs in England to disclose the identity of their owners; to give the Football Association powers to block the ownership of a club by anyone whom they consider is not a fit and proper person; to require all creditors of a football club to be compensated equally should the club go into administration; to facilitate the raising by supporters’ organisations of the finance required to acquire a controlling stake in a football club; and for connected purposes.

Meanwhile, Hereford United have made a brief response to the FA charges over the failure to submit ODT forms for Alpha Choice Finance owner Alan McCarthy.

The statement reads:

The Club are investigating these issues and preparing a response.


Pell Joins Mariners On Loan


Former Bull Harry Pell has joined Grimsby on loan from AFC Wimbledon.

The former Bristol Rovers trainee, 23, has made only five sub appearances for the Dons in the League this term after being a regular feature last season. Boss Neal Ardley told the local press:

“He has had limited chances to date and all parties feel a month of competitive football would help Harry get back to his best.”

Pell joined AFC Wimbledon from Edgar Street in January 2013, and has made 59 appearances since.


Council To Scrutinize Lease Granting


Herefordshire Council say their Overview and Scrutiny Committee will review the process which saw the new Edgar Street leases granted, but not 'until all pending legal actions against the club have concluded'.

A statement reads:

As previously stated, Councillor Sebastian Bowen chairman of the council’s General Overview and Scrutiny Committee has confirmed that the committee will undertake a full and thorough review of the process through which Herefordshire Council and Hereford United Football Club (1939) Limited concluded the three leases and development agreement relating to the Edgar Street ground.

This however will not take place until all pending legal actions against the club have concluded.


Photos From Banbury


A small selection of photographs from last night's Southern League match at Banbury which Hereford United won 5-1.

Samuel Bobes-Gilroy Scoring Hereford's First Goal

Players Surround Bobes-Gilroy After His Goal
Joshua Hawker Thanked For His Goal
Bilal Yafai (On Left) Scored Hereford's Fourth Goal Of The Evening
The first three photos were taken for BN by Phil Britt of Phil Britt Photos. More photos from the game can be found at:
 www.philbrittphotos.zenfolio.com/p650355375

FA Cup Round-Up


Dan Walker netted twice as Braintree beat Weymouth 5-3 in their FA Cup replay last night. Midfielder Anthony Howell played in goal for Alfreton as they lost 5-1 at Lincoln in their replay, with Karl Hawley being sent off for the Reds. Southport beat Tamworth on penalties after a 1-1 draw in which Richard Brodie got the Sandgrounders goal. Dan Preston was sent off for the Lambs in extra time.


A Disaffected Fan


The Big Cheese has been waiting for good news:

Having sat patiently awaiting any glimmer of good news and reassurance to come from Hereford United over the last 6 months, I feel that it is time to put across the views of a disaffected fan. 

It is plain that Hereford United were in financial difficulties at the end of last season, but the miracle of Aldershot is now a distant memory, and the hope of a new investor who would offer us salvation has well and truly been shattered. The new owners came in with bold claims that we would remain in the Conference but duly had us relegated to the Southern League, claimed they had the funds but yet seemed incapable of paying a bond, let alone the rent as evidenced by last week’s Council actions to reclaim the leases!

The issue of the financial predicament seems to be one which the previous chairman must take a lot of responsibility for but cannot be used by the current owners as a get out on their part. Andy Lonsdale is quick to refer to the level of debt they inherited, but my simple question to him is, where was your due diligence? The Supporters Trust was able to guestimate the black hole in the finances even without being given access to the books, but for some reason the new owners either failed to look at the books as there was greater prize to be had, or were in fact complicit in their own misfortune, by not doing due diligence? If there were indeed all these unpaid creditors coming for their money, then his recourse should be with either their advisors or the previous owner!

The Club are also rattling on about the failed CVA, claiming that if it had been accepted then the financial problems would not exist, to this I would suggest that the CVA was rebuked because the creditors did not believe it was realistic, and have been proven right given the falling attendances and reduced revenue, not wholly due to the boycott but also attributable to the failed promises of Andy Lonsdale and that of the enthusiastic supporter (former unfit owner Tommy Agombar). This regime have offered nothing to the fans that have shown their frustration at the situation created by the owners and boycotted the games, no matter how difficult it is to turn your back on your club, but see it as the only way to show their disapproval of the way the club is being mismanaged.

We now find ourselves again awaiting another court date on 1st December, only after a last ditch promise that investment is coming to pay off the £1.5 million debt (this is interesting as Lonsdale claims that the owners have invested £500 - £600k into the club, so one can presume they are creditors as well?). There is also a promise of a blue chip sponsor. However, I would ask any perspective sponsor do you really want your company associated with this football club at present? I for one will not be supporting Hereford United whilst the current regime remain. Furthermore, given Andy Lonsdale was only supposedly to be doing his mate Tommy Agombar a favour for a few weeks, why is he still here now that Tommy is not allowed to have any dealings with the club?

Finally, I refer to Andy Lonsdale’s recent radio interview whereby he asked if the fans were against the new owners because they were from London. Where you come from has no bearing on the situation, our actions are due to your constant broken promises and treatment of the fans that have seen their club taken away from them and humiliated by your regime. Out of interest Andy, did you think that because we came from ‘sleepy little Herefordshire’, that we would simply roll over and be grateful of the next set of owners who rode in claiming to be our saviours? Unfortunately for you this county’s people are very bright and protective of their own communities, so you and your paymasters are in for for a long battle with your continued actions. We will be here watching and waiting for you to fail, as we are going nowhere, this is OUR HOME, OUR COMMUNITY, OUR CLUB!

I had planned on finishing this here, but it now appears that Hereford United have breached the FA’s Owner and Directors Test by failing to supply details for the current owner  Alan McCarthy to be assessed.

How far can we keep falling!!!



Kenyon Calls For Public Enquiry


Cllr Jim Kenyon has called for a public enquiry into Herefordshire Council's dealing with Hereford United.

"We need a full public enquiry because if we have an internal enquiry there will still be questions as to what's been going on," Kenyon told BBC Hereford and Worcester this morning.

"Historically Herefordshire Futures was set up and it was at arms reach. It was an organisation that made a lot of decisions about Hereford.

"There was no accountability, there was no minuteing, there was nothing.

"People need to know what what's going on.

"By having a public enquiry, the public will know what is going on and will realise we are doing things properly for a change.

"What we need to do is learn lessons.

"Way back last year when the (Hereford United) leases were first looked at being changed I went to a meeting at Plough Lane and I was assured this was going to be done correctly.

"And they weren't done correctly.

"We've had external solicitors look at the leases and I don't think they were done properly.

"We don't want this to happen again.

"We lost the Racecourse, but this was a new lease that was done recently.

"You would have thought they would have learnt from the Racecourse that safeguards should be in place.

"But there are chinks in the armour and that what has been exposed by the current owners.

"There's something there that is keeping them there."


Purdie Out For Up To Six Weeks


Former Hereford United player and current manager of UITC's youth team Rob Purdie, now with Tamworth, faces a spell out of the game after suffering an injury last week.

He missed Saturday's FA Cup-Tie.

"It looks like medial ligament damage and so he could be out for up to six weeks," said Tamworth boss Andy Morrell.

"It's a big blow for us as we have not got that many bodies as it it right now."


FOI Response Leaves Supporter Confused


Recently several Hereford United supporters have sent Freedom of Information requests to Herefordshire Council.

Here's what a Leominster based supporter requested and the Council's response.

While the majority of Hereford United fans are grateful for the Council's recent interventions in the excruciating debacle unfolding at Edgar Street, recent emails procured by a well timed FOI by a fan have left him feeling terribly confused.

Recently he sent off an email to the council's official channel for directing questions to meetings, who can be reached at the address councilservices@herefordshire.gov.uk. His original question was phrased this way:

Councillor Johnson:

Can the Council comment on the seeming habit of discussing vital community issues such as the freehold of the Edgar Street Leases in un-minuted meetings with out of town businessmen of questionable background, and will the Council commit to minuteing all future meetings on these subjects?

After a few tweaks, back and forth, redactions and elocution lessons, the question was allowed into the council chambers.




"What a relief", he thought.

Then this came out:


So, hang on, has the Council lied in response to his question in an official (minuted) meeting? Is there any other way of looking at this?

Perhaps the council took the decision to enter into negotiations over the 999 year freehold with a figure from Evesham-based (the home town of Jed McRory, no less) enterprise " alcester.com" entirely without discussion?

He feels some more questions may need to be answered here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Banbury Swept Aside


The Main Stand At Banbury This Evening
Hereford United beat Banbury Town 5-1 in today's Southern League Premier match.

Jon Taylor made one change to his starting eleven with the return of Louis Cutajar in defence, which allowed Obi Onyeike to move forward. Bilal Yafai was dropped to the bench.

Both Sam Akinde and Aboubakar Kone were missing but there was a place on the bench for Jay Knight who was the 42nd player listed by Hereford this season to date. 

Two of Hereford Scorers - Bilal Yafal and Samuel Bobes-Gilroy
After conceding within 45 seconds, Jon Taylor's men equalised three minutes later through Sam Bobes-Gilroy.

Josh Hawker gave them a half time lead. 

Fourteen minutes after the break Steve Vetier made it 3-1.

Afterwards it was nearly all one way traffic although it wasn't until added time that Hereford scored again. 

Bilal Yafai made it 4-1, and then with the last action in the game Obi Onyeike sealed the victory.

Delroy Gordon Applauding The Travelling Supporters With Harry Agombar In the Background
344 watched the game including about 30 following Hereford. However there was no sign of chairman Andy Lonsdale, the two directors, or 'owner' Tommy Agombar.

With the three points from the win, Hereford have moved up one place to 16th with 20 points from 19 games.

Hereford: Williams, Roberts, Cutajar, Hawker, Lee-Gascoigne, Gordon, Onyeike, Bones-Gilroy, Mor Diop, Sullivan, Vetier.

Subs: O'Neil, O'Reilly, Knight, Yafal, Farmer


It's Our County Call For Public Enquiry Into Hereford United Dealings


It's Our County have called for a Public Enquiry into the matters between Herefordshire Council and Hereford United.

Cllr Jim Kenyon will be on BBC Hereford and Worcester tomorrow morning at around 7.40am to speak about the club and their call for an enquiry.


Prize Bull Draw 23


This from HUST:

Prize Bull draw No.23 took place on Monday night. The winning numbers are 1, 3, 10, and 19. Should you have the winning combination, please contact liaison@hufctrust.co.uk to claim the jackpot.


Business Group Meets With Council Leader


The following is from the Business Group led by Jon Hale:

Speaking this evening (Tuesday 28 October), Jon Hale - who is one of a group of local businessmen who have expressed an interest in launching a phoenix club to play at Edgar Street should Hereford United (1939) Limited go into liquidation – has confirmed that he held an informal meeting with Herefordshire Council Leader Tony Johnson and his Deputy, Geoff Hughes, late this afternoon.

Mr Hale also confirmed that he attended the meeting alongside fellow group member Phil Eynon, and Hereford United Supporters Trust Chairman, Chris Williams.

“Our group has remained in contact with Herefordshire Council since the start of the season and therefore, when Mr Johnson invited me to this meeting yesterday, I was happy to accept.

“We have been accompanied by a HUST representative at all our meetings with the council so it was pleasing that Chris Williams was available to attend this afternoon, while Phil Eynon, as a member of our group, also provides continuity from our previous meetings too.

“At the present time there is little I can say on behalf of our group as our position remains unchanged and there are no significant developments to report relating to our plans as a result of today’s meeting.

“We have no involvement in the ongoing situation at Edgar Street and clearly the events of the last few days are very much for the council and the club to deal with.

“However, today’s meeting did give us the opportunity to once again impress upon Mr Johnson and Mr Hughes how serious we are about the business plan we have put together to ensure football remains at Edgar Street.

“We were also able to remind them that we are confident our plan is ready to be implemented should events unfold in a way that means it is needed.” 

Herefordshire Council say they will publish the minutes of the meeting shortly.


Taylor Returns To Familiar Ground


Hereford United manager Jon Taylor returns to a familiar ground when his side travels to Banbury United tonight.

Taylor had two spells at Banbury, most recently as assistant to manager Edwin Stein. Stein was dismissed earlier in the season, replaced by coach Paul Davis who briefly joined Taylor at Edgar Street in the summer.

Physio Malcolm Cowell is also a former Banbury man, while defender Delroy Gordon also lists the Puritans amongst his list of clubs. Taylor will be looking for his side to score their first goal in four games against the league's bottom side to stave off an early threat of relegation. 

Banbury have won only two of eight home matches this term, and are also looking for their first official goal in four games. After three blank scorelines, they did net in Saturday's abandoned match with Slough. A 15 year old has been interviewed by Police after a bottle was allegedly thrown at the referee to cause the abandonment.

Davis has added midfielder Ben Whitehead to his squad, bringing the 20 year old former Swindon Town trainee from lower graded Didcot Town. 


News Round-Up


Lincoln are facing a £150,000 loss this season due to lower than anticipated attendances, with chairman Bob Dorrian saying they are losing £3,000 a week. The Imps are hoping to bridge the gap with a FA Cup run, facing Alfreton in a replay on Tuesday night. The Reds have announced that they have only 11 fit players for the tie - and no goalkeeper. Both the club's first team stoppers are injured and the FA have refused them dispensation to sign another.

Kidderminster say they will continue to display a paid advertising board at Aggborough for UKIP after protests from fans. A club statement says that any political party can pay for advertising, with the local MP and MEPs previously paying for advertising. Truro have signed Ed Palmer from Weymouth after the former Torquay man, 22, struggled to get regular games after picking up a three match ban.

Southern League Division One Central side Daventry Town are to hold an EGM on Thursday after slashing two thirds from their playing budget. Just eight of their squad have agreed to continue playing with several having already left along with a coach. Daventry currently sit 11th in the table, and were beaten at home in front of 112 spectators at the weekend, having finished fourth last season.

Paulton Rovers have signed Cirencester captain Shayne Aston. The versatile defender led Cirencester to the Div 1 S&W title last season. Paulton have allowed midfielder Josh Klein-Davies to join Frome Town with the former Bristol Rovers man unhappy at a lack of games.


Club Announces Lonsdale Passes ODT


Hereford United have announced that Andy Lonsdale has passed the Owners and Directors Test.

A brief statement reads:

The Club can announce that it has been notified by the Football Association that Club Chairman Andy Lonsdale has passed his ODT test.

The news comes nearly two months after Lonsdale told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he was awaiting the results 'any day now', noting on Friday that he was still awaiting the results. 

Lonsdale's ban from being a company Director, and his community order for illegally dumping waste are both considered 'spent' under the rules applied by the FA and would not have prevented him from holding office.


FA Charge Hereford United With ODT Breach


The FA have charged Hereford United with misconduct over a breach of the Owners and Directors Test rules.

But, despite numerous infractions, the target is Alan McCarthy as he has not submitted to the test despite being the majority shareholder in the club.

This from the FA:

Hereford United FC has been charged with misconduct under FA Rule E.1(b) and Regulation 4.2 of The Regulations for the Owners’ and Directors’ Test for Clubs (the “ODT Regulations”).  

It is alleged that Hereford United has breached Regulation 3.1.1 of the ODT Regulations in not submitting to The Association a duly completed and signed ODT Declaration in respect of Mr Alan McCarthy, the majority shareholder in the Club.

Mr McCarthy has been charged with misconduct under FA Rule E.1(b) and Regulation 4.3 of the ODT Regulations.  

It is alleged that Mr McCarthy has breached Regulation 3.1.3 of the ODT Regulations in that he has acted as an Officer of Hereford United without written confirmation from The FA that he may do so.

Both the club and Mr McCarthy have until 3 November 2014 to respond to the charges. 

Update: For more information about Alan McCarthy go to: http://saveedgarst.blog.com/2014/10/22/alpha-choice-finance-a-lesson-in-corporate-deception/


Owners And Directors Test Isn't Working Says MP Norman


Not for the first time, Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire has said that the FA Owners and Directors Test isn't working.

Speaking on BBC Hereford and Worcester earlier this morning, Norman said that Hereford United was a perfect example of it.

"It is supposed to be adminstrated before someone buys the shares, but that didn't happen.

"It's supposed to give answers within fourteen days and we've been waiting for Mr Lonsdale's results one way or the other since the beginning of September.

"It's not being enforced because it looks like Mr Agombar is spending a lot of time at the club in a way that doesn't look like a man who has actually sold his shares.

"I've got serious concerns and I will be meeting again with the FA this week in order to press the case.

"The idea that someone can fail the 'test' as Mr Agombar and one of two others of his colleagues did in August and not know about it while there are pending court proceedings is appalling and disasterous for Hereford United."

Interviewer Andrew Easton then mentioned what had happened at Lonsdale's previous club Feltham. What signal does his history send to Hereford United?

"It doesn't inspire any confidence at all and I think you've done well to stand up the story but this is one that has been circulating for months and so there has been a great deal of concern at grass-roots level about Mr Lonsdale.

"And frankly with the passage of time we will probably get more revelations of this kind.

"Any one who cares about football in Hereford isn't going to want anything like this to be replicated and is going to want to have a wide berth from Mr Lonsdale and Mr Agombar."

The interview with Jesse Norman took place after H&W's political reporter Matt Bone had explained to listeners about Lonsdale and Feltham FC.

"Feltham was given permission in 2007 to rebuild its ground after it had fallen badly into disrepair.

"Andy Lonsdale was the club chairman. He was also a director of a company called All Transport Services Limited.

"As part of the deal it was agreed that the soil from nearby building sites could be dumped on the ground as part of its redevelopment.

"This proved lucrative business with developers paying large sums of money for someone to take unwanted soil off their hands.

"And Mr Lonsdale's company was paid for taking this soil and then the money could help fund the ground's redevelopment.

"The company had been given permission to dump around 15,000 cubic metres of soil on the site but at the end of the project surveyors estimated that around 73,000 cubic metres had been dumped, nearly five times as much.

"The rebuilding project was later abandoned as the football club merged with another team.

"The council later estimated it would cost £300,000 to sort out the damage."
 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lonsdale Backs Out Of Radio Interviews


Hereford United have issued a statement backing out of the radio interview announced by BBC Hereford and Worcester, and saying that communication will only take place through the club website.

The statement reads:

Andy Lonsdale will not be appearing on BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Hereford United Chairman Andy Lonsdale wishes to make known that he will not be appearing on Andrew Easton's morning show tomorrow Tuesday 28th October between 8-8.30am as wrongly advertised elsewhere. 

There are no Radio interviews arranged with any channels for the foreseeable future. 

Club policy will now be to inform Hereford United supporters of progress/news through the official website only.



"Offer The Site To Competitive Bids From Tesco And Morrisons"


InspectorBull has been sifting through a raft of emails:

An email released to the public under a Freedom of Information request shows that then Hereford Futures boss Jonathan Bretherton told senior Council officials that the Edgar Street site could be a possible supermarket.

Bretherton, according to other emails also published under the FOI request, was deeply involved in discussions on the Edgar Street leases with Hereford Futures having agreed in 2010 to help seek development partners according to their website

However Bretherton also suggests the 'radical' solution of demolishing Edgar Street entirely and seeking 'competitive bids' from Tesco and Morrison for the site.

Bretherton made the suggestion to Strategic Asset Manager Tony Featherstone and Geoff Hughes, the Director of Places and Communities, after a meeting with Old Market developers Stanhope - who are reported to have told him the Blackfriars End site was too small and that the pitch would need to be moved to accommodate any development for them.

The 20m depth suggested would have left no room at all on the Blackfriars End for a new stand, with building work almost touching the existing pitch.

The Hereford Times has previously reported that Bretherton was one of three signatories on the Heads of Terms of the Edgar Street leases, but the Council have previously refused to release emails detailing Hereford Futures as they did not come under Freedom of Information rules.

Hereford Futures e-mails will now be even more concerning as it appears that the company and it's chief has had quite a significant involvement in past discussions about the development of Edgar Street.

Update Tuesday 1pm: 

Since the article was published, BN has been informed that the council would not consider development other than for the uses as described in the lease documents which restricts commercial development to only 5000 square foot of retail space at the Blackfriars End which was agreed following the leases to end users following the development of the cattle market site. Waitrose certainly would not have taken their site had there been a plan for a larger supermarket chain adjacent.

Bretherton's  radical change was to move the stadium towards the meadow end and create a three sided ground with the whole of the Blackfriars end being considered for commercial development.

This was rejected by the HUFC board and its consultants as it was viewed not to achieve best value for the construction of the new stands  and with a 30m depth of site it still supported commercial development and a 1200 capacity stand as set down by the previous board.

Whilst Tesco has been mentioned it is part of their portfolio to acquire sites for joint use commercial with residential apartments over, however Stanhope is a keen operator who were in discussions with HUFC upto the takeover of the club.


Visit To St Neots


Gomez The Mexican Cat took in their first game of the season at the weekend:

It has been an odd season for us Bulls fans.  I’ve not been to Hereford since the Alfreton game and with away games in some out of the way places; even they have been difficult to attend.  By this time last season I’d been to 7 games and was off to see us play Hornchurch in the FA Cup.  Roll on 12 months and today I was off to see my first Hereford game of the season at St Neots.  

It is usually around this time that I’ve got to grips with who’s who but with no-one at the club remaining from last season, I hadn’t got much of a clue who I was watching.  Mind you, with what appears to have been a revolving door to the changing room at Edgar Street since August, I think even the most loyal fan this season would struggle.  I’ve been following former Hereford players all season, via the Football League Show watching them on the TV and going down to Welling United to see how Chris Bush is getting on and seeing various other former Hereford players turn out for their new clubs.  Bush has done well this season and it was unfortunate that his most disappointing display was in front of the cameras at Kidderminster when he was lucky not to be sent off, but did incur a subsequent 3 match ban for violent conduct.  While I’ve been entertained down at Park View Road, it just isn’t the same.  The atmosphere down there is non-existent, though to be fair it picked up a bit when Dartford visited and apparently for the Barnet game there will be segregation!  

I will admit to being excited all week at the prospect of seeing Hereford, no idea why really, as reading what I can about what I was likely to see, there hasn’t been a lot to inspire me on the pitch and certainly nothing off it.  Worry would be a better adjective really, especially after the end to the Slough game and the continuing debacle that is Hereford United these days.  The remarks by our new manager Jon Taylor haven’t exactly helped.  Just because we aren’t there, it doesn’t mean we don’t care about what is happening on and off the pitch.  

The club playing chicken with the council over finances also livened up Friday.   As I monitored the Twitter overload, I did wonder whether if at last when I was actually going to make it to a game, it would be called off, but fortunately not.  Quite why they couldn’t have paid it before then if they had the money, which obviously they could find when they had to, brings yet more questions.  

So finally to football itself.  Saturday’s game wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, though I suspect that was more down to the players of St Neots who are riding high, played well, especially second half and if they’d had their shooting boots on, it would  have been far worse than 1-0.  We had a couple of chances, but really were never in the game.  It is amazing what you get used to – squad numbers with names on the backs of shirts makes life so much easier.  As a first timer this season, it was hard to work out who was who and I didn’t come away with any particular impressions of the team, apart from the fact that our goalie is decent.  There was no lack of effort, though I thought we tired towards the end and we are lacking confidence up front – but how many times have we said that over the seasons.  St Neots have a very tidy set up and with the town expanding and new residential developments near the ground, should continue to flourish.  

The one disappointing aspect of the day was the lack of support, particularly from the south-east.  I only saw one other person from the region and with the railway station right next to the ground, it was probably one of the easiest fixtures to get to this year.  Whatever one’s opinion of the boycott at home, I think we should be supporting the team away when we can.  By that we are not giving any money to Lonsdale et al and yet we are still supporting a young team who can’t be oblivious to all the goings on surrounding the club. 

What the future holds for us, I have no idea.  At times the situation seems to change by the hour.  The current owners are dicing with extinction and the longer this goes on, the harder it will be to put back together again.  People will find other commitments on a Saturday afternoon and what was once a way of life will disappear, for some never to return.  While I support the boycott, the likelihood of my going complete cold turkey on visiting Edgar Street is tested every Saturday home game and I am targeting 18th April as a possibility – if we still exist then.  It is said a cat has nine lives, I need mine, I’m not loaning them to HUFC 1939 Ltd!  So Lonsdale and crew – pay up or get out, it really is that simple.

Gomez the Mexican Cat


Council Release Development Agreement


Herefordshire Council have released the Development Agreement relating to Edgar Street.

The document can be read alongside a number of Freedom of Information releases on the Council website - https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/transparency-hufc


Lonsdale on H&W Tuesday Morning


Hereford United chairman Andy Lonsdale is set to be interviewed by Andrew Easton on BBC Hereford and Worcester tomorrow (Tuesday) morning sometime between 8.00am and 8.30am.

Meanwhile TalkSport are expected to discuss the 'fit and proper person' test for club owners, directors and the like this afternoon after 4pm.