NEXT HOME GAME - SUTTON ON NOVEMBER 29TH IN THE FA TROPHY KICK OFF 3.00PM
NEXT AWAY GAME - TRURO ON SATURDAY DECEMBER 6TH AT 3.00PM
UITC YOUTH TEAM AWAY AT CHELSEA ON WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 3RD AT 2.00PM

Monday, June 30, 2003

FA slash television income

Clubs who are chosen for live television coverage in the early rounds of the FA Cup will notice a decline in their income, according to reports.

The Football Association, who cut prize money in a meeting a few weeks ago, have also slashed television income to £50,000 for an appearance in the first or second round on either BBC Television or Sky Sports.

In the past two years, United have benefitted from £100,000 windfalls when their first round matches against Wrexham and Wigan Athletic were shown on television, and Chelsea chairman Ken Bates said last November that he had backed a plan to double the income to £200,000, but it was blocked by Adam Crozier, the former FA chief executive.


Turnover figure is important

Last Friday's AGM is understood to have agreed the latest annual accounts of Hereford United.

These accounts are now available to supporters to look through and as usual there are several points of interest.

As HU-FC.co.uk reported on June 6th the accounts show a small loss of £21,670. We shall look at the reasons for this loss in a future article.

Turnover is now one of the most important figures in the accounts because of the new 65% rule regarding players wages recently introduced by the Conference. In essence this will help to stop clubs spending money on players that they cannot strictly afford.

For Hereford United the turnover in the year to May 31st 2002 was £625,409. Turnover is defined as representing amounts invoiced during the year exclusive of value added tax.

65% of the turnover came to £406,515. Graham Turner has recently spoken of a figure of £400,000 which he considers a little low for the new 65% rule although after a year or so he expects to be able to cope with the figure.

The wage bill for the year was £527,828 which includes directors emoluments of £110,333 and £4,800 on Graham Turner's pension. These figures are for an average nineteen players and six staff in administration which includes the three paid directors. It is reasonable to assume that the three admin staff might be paid in the region of £10,000 each so these figures suggest that the amount spent on players wages was about £350,000 plus social security costs of around £31,000.

Last season's figures are unlikely to be much different as Richard O'Kelly's first year will be included. This season's figures will depend on deals made with players recently. The move to other clubs by Ian Wright and Matt Clarke will take two of the highest paid players off the bill but to obtain the services of another striker could be costly. Another fact to be taken into account is that Hereford has had to pay more players through the summer break,albeit on fall-back terms, than last year when only six players were kept on the books.

It is also unlikely that Hereford will receive much in broadcasting fees this season, unless there is a long cup run, so turnover will be reduced. Against that, attendances improved last season and if kept at these levels this adds about £60,000 to turnover compared with 2001/2002.

A cautious forecast of turnover for this new season could be about £590,000. Applying the 65% rule to this gives a wage figure of £384,000 which includes about £38,000 in social security costs. It should be noted that National Insurance is now levied at 11%.

It is easy to agree with Graham Turner's request for some leeway in the 65% figure. Unless this happens Turner will have little to spend on attracting new players to Edgar Street.

It could even be in the club's interest to maximise turnover to keep the 65% figure as high as possible. Transfer fees are believed to count as turnover.


Sunday, June 29, 2003

Conference television introduced

As from next season, highlights from all Nationwide Conference matches will be shown on the league's own television channel.

Ten minutes from each game will be broadcast on the broadband channel, visible at www.tffc.tv, although this will be through a subscription costing £49.99 for the whole season.

Subscribers will also be able to watch new programmes, interviews and special features with a total of about three hours of new content every week. This is a subscription channel
and will have content twelve months of the year starting at the end of July. As well as an annual subscription, a six month membership is £29.99, a one month subscription is £5.99, and a one week subscription is £1.99.

The clubs benefit from the new service, as a share of the revenue is divided up between the clubs.


Saturday, June 28, 2003

Cup money reduced

Conference clubs winning FA Cup matches this season will earn reduced prize money compared to last season. Live TV coverage fees have been lowered too reports confguide.com.

The prizes from the third round onwards have not been changed, but the new figures for the earlier stages are:

Extra Preliminary Round winners:£500
Preliminary Round winners: £1,000
First Round Qualifying winners: £2,250
Second Round Qualifying winners: £3,750
Third Round Qualifying winners: £5,000
Fourth Round Qualifying winners: £10,000
First Round winners: £12,500
Second Round winners: £15,000
Third Round winners: £50,000
Fourth Round winners: £75,000
Fifth Round winners: £150,000
Quarter-Final winners: £400,000
Runners-Up:£1,000,000
Winners: £2,000,000

In comparison, the prize money for the First and Second Rounds last season was £20,000 and £30,000 respectively.

Hereford United enter the competition in the Fourth Qualifying round.



Unkind to Hereford

Graham Turner feels that the computer that selects the Conference fixtures could have been kinder to Hereford United.

"It seems to be our lot that we get a real challenge on the opening day of the season," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester. "To go to Tamworth was always going to be a difficult one, especially a side that won the Dr. Martens League.

"We are particularly disappointed with the Christmas/New Year games. To have to travel to Exeter and for them to come to us, it's a long way for these games. I know they are geographically a long way from any other Conference clubs but for instance we pass Forest Green going south and they are going north past us up to Telford. It leaves me baffled how we've got a fixture like that and I'm sure our supporters will be disappointed with the amount of travelling involved in the New Years game."

Trevor Owens then asked Graham Turner how the fixtures were selected.

"What happens is that you get a form which asks if we want to be paired with anybody, are we close enough to a premiership or league club we want to avoid being at home on the same Saturday. There is no problem with us in that respect. Then we get a choice of games over Christmas. We put down our three preferences which were Shrewsbury, Telford, or Forest Green. So as luck has it we have got none of them.

"And then any other dates we want to avoid so we asked for Grand National Day, to avoid being at home on that day simply because last season it coincided with a big race meeting at Hereford. It wasn't just the National although there is a lot of interest in that but I think we lost a fair bit of support to the local racecourse so we asked if we could avoid that day and they have done that for us."

Returning to the first game of the new season at Tamworth, Turner continued: "It's a big challenge for them and we know what we will face a ferocious game. I made the comment after the game when they played Burscough in the Umbro Trophy might come back to haunt me. Some Tamworth supporters asked me how I thought they would do in the Conference and I said they would be relegated by Christmas on the evidence of what I saw against Burscough.

"But I have seen them other times than that and I know they are a decent side with a lot of experience there. We could not ask for a tougher opening game. It's a tight little ground and there will be plenty of vocal support for them from the terraces but we have got to prepare right through pre-season. We have a well-balanced programme now and we shall be ready for the day and we shall have completed our squad of players by them."



Friday, June 27, 2003

65% too low

Graham Turner has asked the Nationwide Conference for an extension to the squad budgeting figure issued to Hereford United. This is the amount of money available to pay players which is based on 65% of turnover.

He claims that the figure would be unworkable for next season, but confirms that in the long-term it would be attainable.

Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester: "Some clubs have been paying out big money, whilst others already have players on contract from last year."

"I can't understand how they can be aiming to operate within their squad budget when they are signing such players. So there is obviously going to be some leeway with the Conference. They must be aware of that for this coming season and certainly I think with our conversation and our application to have ours raised, it looks as though it will be looked at favourabaly for this coming season."


Welcome back?

Players returning to their former clubs are guaranteed a lively reception, either welcoming or hostile. I think we will see an example of each in the coming season, when Matt Clarke and Ian Wright step onto the Edgar Street turf in the colours of Telford United and Burton Albion respectively.

Both have been strong favourites with the crowd over the years. They are both hardworking, committed, honest players with a few years service to the club. However, Ian Wright was released by the club, and Clarke chose to go even though he was offered a new contract.

I think even Wright’s most enthusiastic fans would have to admit that his best years were behind him and that it was best for club and player for him to move on. His contribution to the club will be remembered and I’m sure there will be a good round of applause for him when he runs out next season.

Matt Clarke will, on the other hand, probably experience the “Gavin Williams effect”, and be booed and barracked. No set of fans like to hear that one of their favourites doesn’t want to play for them any more. Clarke was also the subject of lots of rumours about opening nightclubs and so on, which while improbable, were bound to arouse “who does he think he is” feelings amongst the supporters. If he wants to know what to expect he should have a word with Williams.

On a serious note, I think a bit of barracking and mickey-taking of the former player is all part of the game, but the ritual cries of “Judas” directed at Gavin Williams were just silly. It’s not a betrayal, it’s just a man taking what he thinks will be a better job and trying to make a living at this level of football, which can’t be easy.


Thursday, June 26, 2003

Opportunity for Disabled Footballers

Hereford United Disabled FC have just finished playing their first season in the National Multi-Disabled South West Division and ending up 3rd in the league.

With the new season just around the corner, the team is looking to increase its squad and giving more disabled people in the County the chance of playing 11-a-side football against the likes of Chelsea, Birmingham and Bristol City.

If you are over 16 and interested in training on a regular basis and playing 11-a-side football, then why not give Phil Hall a call on 07952 002732.


Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Curtis and Devlin unlikely to move

Northwich Victoria midfielder Mark Devlin and Morecambe striker Wayne Curtis are unlikely to switch to Hereford United.

Devlin, who was the subject of rumours with potential moves to Shrewsbury and Hereford, has agreed to stay with Northwich, and manager Steve Davis told the Northwich Chronicle: "He is with us for another two years and that is brilliant, he is a key member of the team."

Attacker Curtis, out-of-contract at Christie Park, has been offered an improved deal by ex-United midfielder and Shrimps boss Jimmy Harvey, and is expected to sign.

Speaking to the Morecambe Visitor, Harvey said: "I am confident that Wayne will sign again for us. We made him a new, improved offer which he seemed happy with."


Bring back Albano!

HU-FC.co.uk's Huw Williams looks at the benefits of re-uniting Hereford with one of last season's attackers...

According to recent reports, Graham Turner is considering offering terms to Albano Correia for next season. This is excellent news. It’s been a long time since we had a real character in the team at Edgar Street, and I think he might just be the man. He has the unpredictable quality which while it can be infuriating some times, can really give the crowd a lift when he pulls off the unexpected.

However we don’t want a clown doing tricks for us, we want someone who can play a part in making us serious contenders for the Conference title. I still think he can do the job. He scored three goals in half a dozen games for us last season, and if he could maintain that strike rate throughout an extended run in the team then he would rapidly become a new Edgar Street hero.

Inevitably there will be a few games when the cry of “Get him off, Turner” will ring around the terraces, when the fancy stuff isn’t working, but that’s the price you have to pay for a maverick performer. I for one would put up with the occasional iffy game to see his ludicrously long limbs baffling opposing centre halves on a regular basis. Most of the goals scored by United last season were the result of sheer hard graft. It would be good to see a bit of inspiration to go with the perspiration now and again.


Tuesday, June 24, 2003

First painting day cancelled

The Hereford United painting day, scheduled for this Saturday, 28th June, has been cancelled by the club.

This is because at last night's liaison meeting, the club revealed that volunteers dealt with the most pressing matter, the dressing rooms, yesterday.

However, the other painting day (5th July 2003) will still go ahead, and the players are due back for training on Tuesday (1st July).


Website renews sponsorship

HU-FC.co.uk recently renewed their long-running connection with Chelgames.com for the 2003/04 season.

Chelgames are an independent discount wargames retailer stocking Warhammer, 40K, LotR, Skirmishpack, Battlepack, WH 40K CCG, War Cry CCG, War Machine, Mage Knight, MechWarrior, Marvel and DC HeroClix, and more. They are also the official UK retailer of Confrontation by Rackham of France, and accept various payment methods, and can be accessed through the banner on the news section of this website.

Many thanks to Chelgames.com for supporting HU-FC.co.uk, allowing us to maintain our service for another season and part-fund the continued sponsorship of Hereford United coach Richard O'Kelly.


Monday, June 23, 2003

Net fans group look for new members

BOLSA, the Bulls Online Supporters' Association, are looking for new members to join both their organisation and main committee.

Formed last year, BOLSA are committed to raising money to assist the club and have many avenues open to do so. Membership of BOLSA is free (voluntary donations can be given) and anyone can join.

The organisation are looking for a new vice chairman, a treasurer, and ordinary members. The first two of these positions are currently vacant, while the ordinary member will become vacant as I will not be standing for re-election due to other commitments.

The current committee members are chairman Graham Johnson (aka. Grayham), secretary John Perkins (jensenbull), Press/PR official Martin Watson (MW) and also Jamie Griffiths (Uncle Larry). All will be continuing in their roles for next season.

"Those of us on the commitee were elected by the official forum users, and we recognise that not everyone registers to use the official forum so we are not an exclusive club only for the official site," wrote Graham. "We are open to all internet fans and will answer any of your questions whether posted on the Independent Forum, the Official forum, or by email if you wish a bit of anonymity. All we want to do is help our club, so come and join us!"

If you want to help BOLSA, as a member or committee official, please take a look at their website at www.bolsa-hufc.com or email contact@bolsa-hufc.com.


Sunday, June 22, 2003

Opening match has added spice

Hereford United will play their first fixture of the new season away at Tamworth on Saturday, August 9th.

The newly promoted team are expecting a large gate for the game, perhaps as high as 3000 according to Tamworth management, and with the probability of rivalry in the Turner family, all points to a lively encounter.

Graham Turner, the Bulls manager, will be keeping a close eye on his son, Mark, who is a Tamworth defender.

Mark, aged 31, started out with Wolves and had spells with both Telford United and Hereford before joining the Lambs in 1999.

Meanwhile Stuart Hammonds in the Non-League Paper suggests that the way the fixtures have been arranged for the last day of the season may suggest a bet on Hereford for promotion could be worthwhile.

For the last three seasons, Chester have played a side that has already clinched, or could win, promotion. In 2001 it was Rushden, 2002 being Dagenham and this year was Yeovil.

The last Conference fixture for Chester this coming season is away at Hereford United. If it happens again the Bulls could be worth a pound or two with current odds at Skybet of 20-1.


Moves afoot in non-league structure

The Football Association ratified the pyramid changes at a meeting in Torquay yesterday, meaning two 'Alliances' below the Conference from the 2004/05 season with twenty-two teams each.

Most people have welcomed the move, but the Isthmian League have said that they may fight the move in court.

The FA are also considering expanding the Four Nations International Tournament to six or even eight teams, as there has been a lot of interest from potential competitors.

Meanwhile, reports linking Hereford United with a move for Chester City attacker Dave Cameron appear to have been dashed as he looks set to join Welsh Premiership side Rhyl.


Friday, June 20, 2003

Phillips welcomes plans

In a press release yesterday, Herefordshire Council leader Roger Phillips welcomed new plans for the multi-million pound regeneration of a 100-acre site close to Hereford city centre, known as the Edgar Street Grid.

Local people are being asked to give their views on ideas contained in the four options before Herefordshire Council’s cabinet meets in mid-July.

“The ideas that have been presented are exciting and provide the vision we need for the development of the area over the next 20 or 25 years,” said Councillor Phillips. “The status quo is not an option for us and our partners from the public and private sectors. It is vital that local people and organisations comment on the options that have been produced over the next few weeks so that the council can take on board local views before picking one option to take forward.”

Changes to the traffic system could involve a new road taking an arc north of a redeveloped football ground, crossing Widemarsh Street, going past the station and joining Commercial Road. Plans for the development of the football ground explore the potential of an integrated conference and leisure or cinema facility and car parks would be moved and redesigned with no loss of provision.

The unveiling marks the start of an extended period of consultation which will end with the final masterplan being included in the county’s Unitary Development Plan (UDP) as supplementary planning guidance. The consultants worked with a stakeholders group which met twice over the study period to help identify the key issues for the city and the county over the next twenty years.

The group included representatives from Hereford United Independent Supporters' Association (HUISA), the Civic Trust, the Chamber of Commerce, voluntary organisations, the council, the Herefordshire Partnership, the Canal Trust, local schools, the College of Art and Design and the Courtyard Theatre. The consultants also held a series of meetings with Hereford United Football Club, key businesses, landowners and organisations within the regeneration site area.

Those interested can look at the plans at www.herefordshirepartnership.com or by visiting the council planning office at Blueschool Street. Downloading the plans from the internet does take a little time but the detail is better.

Hereford United supporters will be pleased to find that the stadium features in future plans and to have the whole area improved will transform the surroundings. However, the car park facilities are open to question as, with option one, there only appears to be one entrance/exit and with option four it is difficult to see where the parking will be. There could be an argument that to provide some sort of parking area just for away fans could be beneficial.

Another point with option four which could involve moving the pitch by 45 degrees is whether this could mean difficultues for players with sun in their eyes whilst defending the Meadow End. Of course, if the new stands are high enough this would not be a factor.

The future of Hereford United looks more certain than for some years with these new plans. Let us hope it is not too long before we see some action.


Thursday, June 19, 2003

Mid-winter madness!

Traditionally, Boxing Day and New Years Day has seen Hereford United play a local derby, along with the rest of the Conference. The Bulls have, in years gone by, played Kidderminster Harriers, Chester City and Telford United.

However, it's all change for 2003/04, as United must make the trip to the south Devon coast on New Years Day to play Exeter City.

It is bad enough making the trek of 138 miles to the Grecians', considering that last year's trip to Telford was just 64 miles, but the Conference have also scheduled Telford to play Forest Green Rovers.

Surely it would have been better to put down Hereford vs Telford and Exeter vs Forest Green?

The potential revenue loss for a lucrative festive fixture will be notable for Hereford, as well as Telford.

As for seaside trips, the fixture list offers little. There are five clubs in the Conference who are situated near the coast, but Scarborough, Morecambe, Exeter and Gravesend & Northfleet are all visited in the winter. It's likely to nippy at Margate too, as the match is played on March 20th.

The match against Scarborough is on December 6th, the day of the FA Cup second round. If either side reaches this stage, the amount of Hereford fans making the trip for a re-arranged evening fixture will be minimal.

The away attendance isn't expected to soar for Hereford's midweek trip to Accrington Stanley, either, to be played on 11th November. A three and a half hour journey is not likely to attract many spectators, although Halifax Town do have to travel a similar distance to visit Edgar Street for an evening match two weeks later.


Tamworth away to start

The Nationwide Conference fixture list for the coming season has been released this morning.

The competition starts off with an away game for Hereford United against Tamworth on Saturday August 9th.

The Christmas/New Year double is against Exeter City, which is a bit of a trek.

The full list can be found on the fixtures/results page, accessible by clicking the link on the left menu.


Bulls still considering Albano move

The return of Albano Correia could still happen, according to Hereford United boss Graham Turner.

The former Bristol City striker, who joined the Bulls for a short period at the end of last season, is still without a club and Turner told the Hereford Times: "Albano could be in the frame for next season because, as a former defender myself, I would not like to play against him every week.

"Albano is unpredictable but he certainly knows where the goal is - and he's not out of the frame."

Meanwhile, the HUISA Painting Days will be held on Saturday 28th June and 5th July, starting at 9am. The changing rooms are the priorities, but the organisers are hoping someone can supply step-ladders, paint brushes and rollers and a steam cleaner.


Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Conference fixture list to be revealed tomorrow

The Nationwide Conference fixtures for next season should be available tomorrow, according to reports.

The Football League and Premiership fixtures are published tomorrow and it is hoped that the Conference can follow suit.

Conference chief executive John Moules told the Shropshire Star: "We are hopeful of having the Conference fixtures out by the end of the week and as long as there are no last-minute hitches they should be out tomorrow."

HU-FC.co.uk will bring you the Hereford United fixtures when they become available.


Turner still looking at attacking options

Graham Turner is looking at strikers to support the two currently on the books of Hereford United.

David Brown, Telford United's top scorer last season, joined Steve Guinan as the Bulls' registered attackers but Turner is confident of securing the services of another player.

"We'll see what's on the market and who fancies coming," the Hereford boss told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "The reaction from some of more senior players is 'where is Hereford?' and 'it's a long way from home' and when they start talking like that, it puts you off straight away."

"The ones who are keen and know about the Conference and the club itself pick up a lot of brownie points in the first meeting and those are the sort of players you become anxious to get."

Turner also mentioned that Rob Purdie and Paul Parry could be moved into attack if required, but would rather gain the services of a striker before the start of the new campaign on August 9th.


Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Non-League structure unveiled

The structure for the new Conference and feeder leagues, which is likely to be implemented in 2004/05, has been revealed.

The structure still needs to be ratified by the Football Association on June 21st, but the two new leagues, the Alliance North and South, will have clubs with suitable finances, stadiums and league positions.

Below that four new regional leagues will be formed, with the Southern Premier responsible for the Midland and South & West sections, with the Northern Premier administering the North Division
and the Isthmian the South Eastern Division. The two regional alliances will be administered by the Conference and the feeder leagues, who have a quarter share each.

Each season the bottom three Conference clubs will be replaced by the two Alliance champions, with a third club promoted as a result of play-offs between the second to fifth clubs in each division and a final play-off between the divisional winners.


Monday, June 16, 2003

Bulls miss out on two players

Hereford United chairman Graham Turner has revealed that two potential deals have died.

He said that a move for a young goalkeeper has failed after terms could not be agreed, and also a right-back has signed for another club before talking to the Bulls.

It is thought that Cheltenham Town's Neil Howarth, who signed for Telford United late last week, was the man in question but he has since put pen to paper on a two-year deal at the New Bucks Head.

However, Turner said that he has spoken to two other right-backs and told the official website: "I have a couple more that I’d like to have a chat with as well but I’ve plenty of scope with who I’m looking at and I’m sure we’ll get the right one to fill that position."

Meanwhile, the Annual General Meeting of the Hereford United Vice Presidents' Club will be held on Monday 30th July in the club lounge at Edgar Street. It meeting starts at 7.30pm.


Sunday, June 15, 2003

Turner's style suits fair play

Graham Turner has reacted to the Conference awards ceremony, at which Hereford United won the fair play award and Michael Rose made the team of the year.

The fair play award meant a trophy for the Bulls, and a cheque for 3,000 UKP, and Turner told the Non-League Paper: "We do a lot of preaching about playing the game properly and I think this proves we are getting some things right. To be honest, we have a small squad and we can't afford to have suspensions anyway, but I think it is the way to play football and we believe we are going in the right direction."

Of Rose, who the Non-League Paper rates very highly, Turner added: "He is only twenty-one and doing very well - and this is very encouraging for him."

Meanwhile, former Hereford midfielder Michael McIndoe won Conference player of the year as his Yeovil side gained promotion, and he hopes to be involved in the Scottish international set-up soon.


Cup set for prize money cuts

Non-League clubs could be hit if the FA decide to cut the FA Cup prize money pot by 2 million UKP from the existing 12 million UKP.

Whereas last season, clubs reaching the first and third rounds were awarded 20,000 UKP and 30,000 UKP respectively, that could be reduced to 12,500 UKP and 15,000 UKP if the FA Council ratifies the move next week, report the Non-League Paper

However, orchestrators of the move say that the downfall is balanced out by an increase in prize money for the FA Trophy.

Meanwhile, the Barry Town manager Kenny Brown has suggested that the Welsh Premiership champions should play the Conference winners in a Community Shield-style match at the start of the season. Brown reckons this would improve Anglo-Welsh relations and prove that the Welsh League is of a good standard, as well as generate TV income from both S4C and Sky Sports. Yeovil boss Gary Johnson was cautious towards such a move, saying that the financial side would have to be looked at.


Friday, June 13, 2003

Turner responds to Parry speculation

Graham Turner has said that he has received no offer from Yeovil Town for winger Paul Parry.

The Hereford United boss said rumours that he was about to switch to the Somerset side were unfounded, and that he was not looking to sell players from a squad with promotion aspirations.

Gary Johnson, boss of Yeovil, confirmed that he is interested in Parry but said it did not mean that ex-Hereford star Michael McIndoe was about to leave Huish Park, despite being voted Conference player-of-the-year and generating interest, notably from Southampton.


Thursday, June 12, 2003

Yeovil want Parry

Paul Parry is a target of newly-promoted Yeovil Town.

The Hereford United midfielder scored ten Conference goals last season, and Yeovil boss Gary Johnson has confirmed that he is tracking Parry.

He told the Western Gazette: "I'm always following up good players and people like Paul Parry, along with several others, fall into that."

After Hereford United's 1999 FA Cup run, when they lost to Leicester City in a third-round replay, Parry was rumoured to have interest from Liverpool, Leicester and Celtic, although no firm bids materialised for the player.


Supermarket proposal for city centre

A superstore could be built on the site of Hereford cattle market, instead of new council building, a library and police headquarters.

The Hereford Times today reports that the market, next door to Hereford United's Edgar Street ground, could become a retail centre as outlined in two of the four proposals being recented to the council.

By selling off the land, Herefordshire Council could expect to raise up to £20 million, with which it could help fund the rest of the project. This will include a new football ground, which will stay in the area under all four proposals.

Another major development is that the Blueschool Road inner ring-road will be lost to through-traffic, with a new link being built between the north of the football ground, though Widemarsh Street, to Commercial Road, near the railway station.

New council leader Roger Phillips said that the redevelopment of the Edgar Street Grid could take twenty-five years, and meetings have taken place with the football club and other parties to assess their role in the proposals.


United set-up three more matches

Hereford United have confirmed the dates of three more pre-season friendlies, report the Hereford Times.

The Bulls will go Grosvenor Park on July 17th, Ludlow Town on the 24th and Bromyard Town two days later.

Also Graham Turner has said that the new Conference squad budgeting will allow Hereford United 400,000 UKP this season, with the first 40,000 UKP going on National Insurance contributions.

Meanwhile, congratulations to both Jamie Pitman and Tony James, who both had their weddings last Saturday. Pitman tied the knot to Kate Lloyd at Stretton Sugwas church, while James married Vikki Criasia at the Left Bank Village.


Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Morecambe striker looks set for transfer

Morecambe striker Wayne Curtis has warned that he is not happy at Christie Park, and he is considering his options.

The Morecambe Visitor newspaper reports that Curtis has been linked with Burton Albion, Hereford United, Telford United, Northwich Victoria and Barrow after rejecting his initial contract offer.

Curtis said: "I've spoken to Morecambe and they've offered me better terms, but I'm still not happy with them, so I haven't signed for them yet.

"A few different teams from the Conference have spoken to me so I'm just going to have to wait and see.

"I don't know what Morecambe are going to do at the moment. The manager's away but they've sent me a letter back. Me and the guy who's advising me aren't happy with it so we'll wait and speak to them soon.

"Pre-season starts in July, so I definitely want something sorted out by then."

Meanwhile, it has been suggested that Exeter City could start next season with a -12 points total because they are currently in administration. New rules were recently implemented to punish clubs with financial problems.


Board appointments on the cards

New additions to Hereford United's board of directors are expected to be announced soon.

Since the end of the season, two directors have resigned from the club, leaving just Hugh Brooks, Grenville Smith MBE and Aidan McGivern alongside company secretary Joan Fennessy and chairman Graham Turner in the boardroom.

George Hyde resigned after winning a seat at the recent Herefordshire Council elections, where he headed the Independents. He has since formed an alliance with the Conservatives, and is deputy leader, so resigned as a conflict of interest could potentially occur over the Edgar Street redevelopment. He has sold his shares in the club.

Ron Jukes also stepped-down as he moved to Telford United as chief scout and a director. He has retained his shares in Hereford United, though, as he does not wish to cut off all ties with the club.

Generally, since becoming chairman of the club, Graham Turner has chosen to appoint those close to the club or with local interests, as well as the financial acumen to help the club through troubled times.


Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Rose rewarded for excellent season

Hereford United's Michael Rose has been rewarded for his first season at Edgar Street with a place in the Nationwide Conference team of the season.

Rose, who joined the Bulls last summer from Chester City, was nominated by Conference managers for the position after a solid season.

Meanwhile, the Evening News reports that at the Conference AGM, it was agreed to restrict player wages to 65 percent of turnover with those clubs failing to comply facing a 10,000 UKP fine and three points knocked off their total.

Graham Turner, the Hereford chairman, said of the move: "It might be a great leveller."

Other points coming out of the AGM is that Hereford United should enter next season's LDV Vans Trophy, while Sky Sports will show a minimum of ten Conference matches, although this number could be increased if last season's popularity is maintained.


Sporting Opportunities For All

On Sunday 22nd June from 10am-3pm, disabled people in Herefordshire will have the opportunity to go along to an Inclusive Sports Day at Hereford Leisure Centre.

The open day will be open for anyone with a disability to try new sports alongside their peers including football, cricket, tag rugby, acoustic shooting and many more.

Phil Hall, Disability Sports Development Officer, is running this event with the help of the Herefordshire Sports Development Unit in conjunction with the Hereford Leisure Centre. Phil also helps to run the Hereford United Disabled Football Team.

It is hoped that from this event, more sporting opportunities will be open to disabled people to participate in local clubs around the county.


Monday, June 09, 2003

Goalkeeper in Hereford talks

Graham Turner is talking to a potential replacement for Ken Griffiths, after the reserve goalkeeper was released at the end of the season.

Griffiths, who spent just one season with Hereford United, is now on-trial with Exeter City and Turner has told the club's official website that he has spoken to a young stopper, although he hasn't yet revealed his name.

Furthermore, Turner hinted that another attacking signing could be on the cards, and has a shortlist of potential signings. He said: "If we can get one of the ones I want, we should be quite a threat going forward."

A new right-back and midfielder are also on the shopping list.


Burton favourites to get Curtis signature

Hereford United have been linked with Morecambe attacker Wayne Curtis, but he could be set for a move to Burton Albion.

Curtis, who scored eighteen Conference goals last season, has rejected a new deal at Christie Park, is thought to have had enquiries from Hereford, Burton, Telford United and Unibond League side Barrow, his home town club.

It is thought that Burton have made him an offer and are favourites to capture his signature.

Meanwhile, Exeter City, who were relegated to the Conference last month from Division Three, have appointed Eamonn Dolan as their new manager, with Steve Perryman remaining as director of football. Exeter are in a financial mess at the moment, but are confident of survival after a winding-up order was held as the club gained additional time to sort out their debts. The Grecians are considering a CVA to appease creditors.


Sunday, June 08, 2003

Conference leads the way in sorting finances

Yesterday's Conference AGM in Blackpool has revealed major changes to the competition.

It was announced that clubs who enter administration will face a twelve point deduction, and if a club in the feeder leagues is eligible for promotion but in administration, they will not be allowed in, report the Non-League Paper.

Also, clubs agreed to restrict player wages and transfers to 65% of their turnover, and those that don't comply could face a £10,000 fine and three points knocked off their total.

However, the idea to expand the Conference to twenty-four clubs has been halted for next season.


Saturday, June 07, 2003

Brown's potential encourages Turner

Graham Turner has been telling BBC Hereford & Worcester about how he signed David Brown from Telford United.

"David Brown has a good pedigree, starting his career at Manchester United so you would expect him to be technically proficient in the skills of the game. He went up to Hull, Chester and Telford and also had a little spell at Torquay.

"He knows a couple of our players. He was with Michael Rose (at Chester) and I think he is pleased to have joined us. Telford did make him an offer but basically I think he felt he needed a change. He liked what was said about this club, not only by myself in selling the club to him but also from other people. He has slipped down from the heights of Manchester United but I am sure he has enough ability, enough motivation, to start climbing up the ladder again. If we can help him on his way then I'm sure he can help us to achieve what we want and that's league status again.

"He's got that ability to put the ball into the back of the net. I think the service we will provide him with should enable him to get twenty goals plus provided he stays clear of injuries. I'm sure he is capable of doing that for us."

Turner also spoke about the PFA list, which was released last week and names all available players.

"I think there are 150 double sided pages with about ten players on each page," he said. "There are a lot of players there; not only the pros but the youth players as well. There are some interesting names on there. Some we could not get interested in because of the financial side of it but there are one or two of great interest to us and we are following that up.

"I'm starting interviews with players next week. Hopefully, we will bring this squad up to about eighteen players well before the start of the season."


Friday, June 06, 2003

United bring in non-contract player

Following on from Justin Rowe's non-contract signing last season, Hereford United manager Graham Turner has revealed that he is looking at another player at Grosvenor Park.

The Midland Combination side have allowed Rowe to train with Hereford for pre-season, and he will be joined by team-mate John Daniels.

"If John comes in and does well through the pre-season programme there there is a possibility that he may be offered a contract," Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester.


Turner aims for youthful squad

Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford & Worcester that he plans to interview more players next week in his search to strengthen his squad.

He has been scouring the PFA list announced earlier this week, and it seems that he is preferring to look for youth more than experience.

Turner said: "Tony James came in as a youngster and made an impact, as did Michael Rose and Danny Williams last season. So I am quite happy to sign young players provided they have got the right mental approach to things, the right mental toughness, and they can handle the Conference comfortably. With that, younger players also have got that added fitness."


Small loss recorded in 2001/02

Hereford United's accounts for the 2001/02 season, ending May 31st 2002, show a small loss of £21,670.

In the season, Hereford featured live on BBC1 against Wrexham in the FA Cup, and this income of £100,000, looks to have balanced the boat after a £108,913 loss in 2000/01.

The season also saw an increase in directors' pay to £110,333 from £49,783 in the previous financial year, but this is likely to equal out to the predicted salaries over the two years as a whole.

HU-FC.co.uk will review the accounts in full within the next few days.

Meanwhile, the Football League passed unanimously a motion to cut the capacity requirement for promoted clubs from the Conference to 4,000 from its current 6,000.


Thursday, June 05, 2003

Accounts expected soon

It is understood that the Hereford United accounts for the year ended May 2002 are to be published within the next few days according to a source close to the club.

The club faces a fine from Companies House for the late publication of the accounts. They were due out by the end of March this year.

It is thought that a date for the annual general meeting of the club will take place towards the end of June.


Birmingham to visit Edgar Street

Birmingham City are to play a pre-season friendly at Edgar Street on Thursday July 31 according to the Hereford Times.

This may mean that the friendly at Ludlow which was to take place on July 29 could be moved.

Other away friendlies have been announced at both Bromyard and Grosvenor Park where Justin Rowe was "found" last season.

Meanwhile it is reported that Richard Teesdale has " put pen to paper " for a second season with the Bulls.


Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Ex-Bulls on the move

Former Hereford United goalkeeper Chris MacKenzie has moved to local rivals Telford United.

MacKenzie, who played in goal in Hereford's 1995/96 Division Three play-off season, was on a free transfer after his recent relegation with Nuneaton Borough, and moved to Telford, where he is expected to be first-choice stopper next season.

The signing was thought to have been orchestrated by Ron Jukes, the scout who recently switched from Edgar Street. After four years as a part-timer with Nuneaton, MacKenzie has reverted to full-time status.

Manager Mick Jones told the Shropshire Star: ""I would put him as one of the top three goalkeepers in the Conference and some people think he is the best in the league."

He joins ex-Hereford defender Matt Clarke at the New Bucks Head.

Another player who used to ply his trade at Edgar Street has also switched clubs. Midfielder Gareth Stoker, who played in the aforementioned play-off season, have rejected a new contract at Scarborough to link-up with ex-United boss Colin Addison at Forest Green Rovers.

Meanwhile, Hereford United have been linked with a move for Morecambe attacker Wayne Curtis. He scored eighteen goals for the side that finished as runners-up in the Conference last season.


Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Hereford have a better chance - Brown

New Hereford United attacker David Brown has spoken of his pleasure at moving to Edgar Street.

The twenty-four year-old scored sixteen goals for Telford United last season, and told the Shropshire Star that it was a wrench to leave. "It was a very difficult decision but I felt I wanted a new challenge," he said. "I loved my time at Telford last season and there were a lot of good memories but I think a lot of things changed from my point of view when Jake (King) left.

"There are always a lot of comings and goings when a new manager comes in. I have had it at other clubs and I just felt it was the right time for me to move on.

"I met Graham Turner a couple of weeks ago and he made me feel very welcome and they have got ambitious plans for next season."

The fact that Telford were switching back to full-time status made the move even harder, according to Brown.

"Telford look like they are going for it next season as well but I think Hereford are at a more advanced stage having just missed out on the play-offs last season so I thought that would be the most sensible option for me.

"The fans have been brilliant to me at Telford and I have not made this decision lightly."


Monday, June 02, 2003

Second player switches from Telford

Hereford United have signed Telford United striker David Brown on a free transfer, following the move of Jordan King last week.

HU-FC.co.uk reported last month that Brown was in talks with Hereford, and today's Shropshire Star has revealed he has rejected a new contract at the Bucks Head to move to Edgar Street.

Brown scored sixteen goals for Telford last season, and new Bucks boss Mick Jones said: "I would be lying if I said we did not offer Browny a deal but, for whatever reason, he has turned it down and moved to Hereford.

"I was interested in him because it would be wrong of me to discount goals from last season and Browny, like Paul Moore who has already signed, got 16 and that was a good effort.

"We were hopeful he would sign but as soon as he hinted he was interested in joining another club, the deal was dead and buried as far as I was concerned and I was moving on to my next target."


Sunday, June 01, 2003

Bookies odds don't flatter Bulls

Despite finishing sixth last season, the bookies don't seem to rate Hereford United's promotion chances too highly for next season.

Skybet quote the Bulls as 20/1 to clinch the Conference title, alongside Halifax Town, Scarborough and newly-promoted Aldershot Town. Their favourites are Chester City at 4/1, with Dagenham & Redbridge, Exeter City, Shrewsbury Town, Stevenage Borough, Morecambe and Tamworth all thought to be more likely victors than Hereford.

Bet365 quote Hereford at 16/1 joint eighth favourites, along with Scarborough and Halifax again. Chester City are 4/1 favourites, with Dagenham, Stevenage, Shrewsbury, Morecambe, Exeter and Aldershot with shorter odds.

Paddy Power have Hereford and Scarborough at 14/1 joint seventh favourites. Chester are 5/1 favourites, with Shrewsbury second at 13/2. From there on, Dagenham, Exeter, Morecambe and Stevenage are all considered more likely to emerge as winners.

At the other end, all of the aforementioned bookies expect Leigh RMI, Farnborough Town, Northwich Victoria, Gravesend & Northfleet and Woking. Burton Albion, Telford United and Margate are also suggested as possible relegation candidates.

If you fancy a flutter, bet online through confguide.com, who run the independent Hereford United forum, by visiting the following link: http://www.confguide.com/cgi-bin/bets_or.mpl.