NEXT HOME GAME - SUTTON ON NOVEMBER 29TH IN THE FA TROPHY
NEXT AWAY GAME - CHESHAM ON TUESDAY NOVEMBER 25TH AT 7.45PM
UITC YOUTH TEAM AWAY AT BURTON ON WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 26TH

Sunday, November 30, 2008

News Round Up

Oxford have sacked manager Darren Patterson after a poor start to the season. Patterson won just 24 of 59 games in charge missing the play-offs by ten points last season, and are 11 points short of them this term. Veteran Jim Smith, the man he replaced, is back in charge on a temporary basis. Morecambe have backed down over admission fees for their abandoned FA Cup match with Cheltenham. They had originally announced no discounts or refunds on the replayed match but have now halved prices after Chesterfield announced they would charge only £1 admission for their game.

Bournemouth chairman Paul Baker has denied speculation linking him with a takeover of Chester. In a Q&A with their Supporters Trust he admitted the club were losing significant sums and that they hoped a cup run would help to cover mounting losses. Cammell Laird, a Unibond Premier side have announced that they will revert to amateur status with immediate effect due to the credit crunch.

Gillingham have reported a loss of £1.6million last season after restructuring the debts of the club. A third party now holds the stadium and a large amount of the club's debt, with the club recording a £400,000 operating profit on £4.9million turnover. Wages were £2.3million for a total of 96 employees, excluding matchday staff, and the club paid £440,000 in bank interest on their debts.


Colchester Coach Travel

HUISA - Departs Edgar Street at 8.00 am Fare £22. Bookings can be made through the Club office (08442 761939).

FUNBUS - Departs at 8.30 am. Fare £17/18. Contact Young Ben on 07812 144831.

A full travel guide will be published midweek.


Vicinity Policing at Demonstrations

The subject of vicinity policing around football grounds is likely to stay in the headlines for some time. The cost of policing around Swansea's new stadium for the visit of Cardiff City earlier today must run into many thousands of pounds. Under police guidelines some of that cost could be laid at the door of Swansea City even if it was proved that Cardiff City supporters caused most of the trouble.

The bill sent to Hereford United after Swindon played at Edgar Street is still understood to be under discussion. In effect the police view appears to be that Hereford United staged the game and therefore are liable for the cost of policing not only in the ground but outside it as well.

The day after the Swindon game a demonstration was held outside the Sequani Laboratory in Ledbury. The number of police there was understood to be over one hundred with dogs and a helicopter included in the back up.


So who foots the bill for all this?

It would be unfair to send a bill to Sequani as they didn't organise the demonstration. So, if there is any logic in this, the bill should go to the protesters.


But they will say they have every right to demonstrate against the company who they believe to have an animal experimentation facility at the laboratories. And the 200 or so protesters appeared to have made sure they were not organised so it would be very difficult for the police to know to whom to send any bill.

So at the moment it appears that if there is a football match at Edgar Street, West Mercia police can charge Hereford United for vicinity policing.

But if there is a demonstration in the area, police would find it difficult to send a bill to anyone for vicinity policing.


Home Game against Leeds Goes Ahead

Hereford United's home game against Leeds due to take place on January 3rd will go ahead. Leeds are not in the third round draw of the FA Cup after Conference side Histon beat them 1-0 earlier this afternoon.

Last season Hereford United defeated Leeds in the First Round of the Cup. However it took a replay and a goal from Lionel Ainsworth to get the Bulls through.


Former Millwall Chairman looks at Woolworths

The man who revived Millwall Football Club is reported to be one of the parties interested in buying Woolworths.

Theo Paphitis became chairman of the South-East London club in April 1997 and soon set about improving its image.

"When someone says, this is a dog, I see it as an incentive," said Paphitis at the time.

Reminded that Millwall fans main chant was '"No-one likes us. We don't care!' Paphitis retorted with 'The fact that no-one likes us, that was me all over. That job had my name on it!'

Paphitis, recently in the limelight because of his appearances on Dragons Den, was asked why he was keen on taking over at Millwall.

"It's got to have a good brand image and a name. All the companies I've bought, the City hated. But the customer perception was totally different... If the product is right and there's a market for the product, if you believe in those things, the rest is a piece of cake."

Paphitis has turned around several companies such as high-street stationer Ryman. When he purchased this company it had liabilities of £13m. Not long ago the company had no borrowings and profits in excess of £3m a year. It was said to be worth £20m.

He did even better out of La Senza

British lingerie retailer La Senza is being sold to private equity firm Lion Capital by owner Theo Paphitis for an estimated £100 million.

"Millwall's slightly different, because I'm football nuts and I used to live in Peckham. I was pretty confident that with Millwall I could actually do something. And, basically, there was no-one else there."

He gave the club a five year plan which said it should go back to its roots and in particular develope young talent.

"There were a lot of groans and moans about not being ambitious enough," said Paphitis. "But, actually, a lot more got behind me than I thought would. A lot said, 'Yes, let's do it right this time - but don't let us down'."

Another part of his plan was to get the fans on board. He set up a supporters club and also fans forums at which any supporter could ask any question of any of the management team.

"They've got every right to give me a hard time," Paphitis retorted. "Their job is to keep you on your toes. I consult with them on a lot of things, just to get the feedback. But if it's whinging just for the sake of whinging, I ignore it. One of my skills is that I can separate the bull from the shit."

Paphitis was the boss and admitted he had to take tough decisions especially when it came to managers. One of those was to appoint Dennis Wise as Millwall manager.

"Don't get me wrong, we're not democratic in that view. We don't do things by committee. I'm prepared to put my balls on the line and take unpopular decisions without blinking an eyelid.

"That's the shit part of being chairman of the football club.

"There's no point in hiring them (managers) and then getting in their way. I'd love to be a lot closer to the players than I am, but that's because I'm a fan. I'm in danger of letting that spill over. I see them at dos and things like that and I see them about their contracts, but then I leave the manager alone.

"We could be a reasonable force to be reckoned with. I'm not saying we'll beat the Manchester Uniteds or Arsenals or Liverpools of this world, but we could be there to be a serious irritant to the big names. And that's me all over."

Pathisis resigned as chairman in July 2006. Some thought he had become bored at the helm, but there's little doubt his hard work had put life and soul back into the club. He was said to have brought professionalism into the boardroom without losing sight of what the club was really all about - the fans. And many of those fans thought Paphitis was the best chairman they've ever had not only for his business acumen but also for giving his managers plenty of authority and for his work in reducing football hooliganism.

And soon he might be in charge of Woolworths.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

News Round Up

Bristol Rovers are set to get a £1million bid from Bolton for striker Rickie Lambert, according to the News of the World. Lambert has scored 17 times this season. Swindon's 'dream applicant' is claimed to be England u-21 boss Stuart Pearce, with bookies slashing odds on the former Man City boss. Peterboro have cancelled the contract of Micah Hyde by mutual consent after he rejected a series of loan moves in the last month.

Chester's asking price is £2million according to boss Stephen Vaughan. He has confirmed speaking to John Batchelor, but claims he has another 'serious bidder' that has shown interest. Grimsby are to renegotiate repayments on their tax debt after falling gates broke their budgeting. The debt has been reduced from £750,000 to £100,000 over the past three years but the current climate makes further repayments impossible.

Scunthorpe have unveiled a 10 year plan to redevelop Glandford Park. Earlier plans to move to a new ground have been scrapped due to the recession, with other plans to redevelop land by the ground also shelved.


Colchester pull away from relegation area

Three points from their game at Northampton have helped Colchester pull away from the League One relegation area.

Next Saturday Hereford United visit Colchester who are now 16th.

In the other League One game this afternoon Walsall defeated Swindon.

Northampton 1 Colchester 2
Walsall 2 Swindon 1

Bottom of League One:

19 Brighton 18 -5 19
20 Swindon 18 -5 19
21 Yeovil 18 -10 18
22 Hereford 18 -17 12
23 Cheltenham 18 -22 12
24 Crewe 18 -21 9

Meanwhile in the FA Cup local rivals Cheltenham Town will have to play their game at Morecambe again. Foggy conditions meant it was called off during the second spell.

However Kidderminster are in the third round draw having defeated Curzon Athletic. And Forest Green Rovers are also in the hat having defeated Rochdale 2-0 at the New Lawn.


Hereford 'Heckler' calls for community based club

An article in the latest edition of the Hereford Heckler calls for Hereford United to aim to become a community based club.

SWITCH IT TURNER!

What is going on at Edgar Street? Out of the cup, unable to score, low crowds, low morale on the pitch and terrace. Have we just been unlucky or are we not good enough to stay in League One?

Everyone knows goals win games and if you’re not scoring them then you’re not going to win much. It doesn’t take a genius to see we need a striker or two. Defensively we haven’t been too bad so maybe splashing some cash on a couple of players will change things. But the transfer window doesn’t open till January, and at the rate we’re going we’ll be down by then.

Compared to last season we’ve been very unlucky with injuries. Giant goalkeeper Matt Murray and speedy winger Lionel Ainsworth are the latest players to be side lined. But at least are not as crap as Cheltenham Town!

There have been some quiet murmurings about changing the board or the manager, but let’s face it, it’s not really the best time to be looking for new owners. The best long term possibility would be for United to become a community owned club, it wouldn’t guarantee success but at least there’d be more input from the supporters
who pay their money every week.

And as managers go two promotions in three years isn’t all that bad. Let’s hope Graham Turner can switch things around a bit and get it sorted. What ever happens, this is going to be a long season.


Unfortunately for the Bulls, in another article the 'Heckler' suggests:

If you’re in need of some quality sporting entertainment this winter and ticket prices elsewhere are putting you off, we recommend you get yourselves down to Wyeside (home of Hereford Rugby Club) and cheer on the lads. Where else can you enjoy a pint of quality local ale while watching quality local sport?

(The Hereford Heckler is published by the Hereford Solidarity League)


News Round Up

Leyton Orient boss Martin Ling is the new bookies favourite for the manager's job at Swindon after a flurry of bets. He has moved ahead of ten other names including John Ward and Ian Holloway. Oldham have cut ticket prices for their home match with Leyton Orient on December 20th to just £10 for two adult tickets. Concessions will be just £2. Scunthorpe have extended the loan of Krystian Pearce until the end of the season.

Gillingham boss Mark Stimson has admitted money is so tight that he can no longer afford to scout matches. He is relying on DVDs from other teams to scout future opponents. Carlisle are giving a trial to former Czech u-21 attacking midfielder Jakub Hottek. The 25 year old was with Livingston last season. Rushden have submitted plans for a 150 room hotel on a car park at their Nene Park home.

Northwich have confirmed that their squad is on half-pay as they stuggle to cover the wage bill due to low gates. Six players have been put on the loan list including ex-Bulls loanee Matt Bailey with the club agreeing a repayment deal with the taxman over £300,000 in unpaid tax. Bournemouth could be sold again after just four months. Local press are reporting that Alan Pither, who failed with a bid to get the club from the Administrators, is in talks with the current owners Sport 6 - who may in turn enter talks to take over Chester.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Brown takes Barrow to Round Three

Two goals, one a penalty from former Hereford United striker David Brown (pictured whilst at Edgar Street), were enough to take Barrow through to Round Three of the FA Cup this evening.

Visitors Brentford had their goalkeeper sent off which resulted in Brown's penalty. Charlie MacDonald replied early in the second half but Henney put the Non-league side ahead again after seventy minutes.

Brown joined Hereford United in June 2003 and played 67 times for the Bulls scoring 22 goals. In March 2005 he moved to Accrington Stanley and onto Barrow last month. Earlier this season he had a trial with York City.

Barrow will receive £30,000 for their victory this evening.

In other news this evening Mk Dons have been taken to task for not trying to rearrange last Tuesday's League One match with Hereford United.

The BucksFizz site suggests that playing the game tomorrow would have made the Dons up to an extra £30,000 from gate recepits etc.

The site makes reference to the fact that only 200 fans supporting Hereford came to the game.

Those who know about Herefords away support will tell you the hardy 200 that made the awful cross country trek to Stadium:MK was well down on their usual numbers. A Saturday fixture would have seen treble that even though they are in the relegation zone.


Virgin Media and Bulls News

Virgin Media have approached Bulls News and asked us to update our link to them. They have already put a link to Bulls News on their site.

The new link is Virgin Media Hereford.

This link from Bulls News takes the reader to Virgin's new dedicated Hereford United club page.

"This page will always have the latest Hereford highlights showing from the latest game and will always have the latest club news," said Virgin's Steven Javorsky.

"We have recently launched our new dedicated Hereford club page on virginmedia.com. We’ve noted the popularity of your site amongst passionate Hereford supporters and have hence listed you as one of our related links."


Police Costs will hit Lots of Clubs

On November 4th Bulls News published an article suggesting the costs charged by police forces for each 'police person' at an event.

Today Ciderspace, the respected Yeovil website, has come up with some more information on these police costs and how they might effect not only football matches but other events.

Below is a slightly edited version of the Ciderspace article:

Following our item on the battle between Hereford United and West Mercia Police (31st October) - the club are still taking legal advice - more is emerging on the plans of the Association of Chief Police Officers on the recovery of costs.

Each police officer will be charged for at a minimum of six hours, indeterminate of the period actually spent 'on duty' in relation to the relevant football club. This is purported to be to cover the time required to parade, obtain equipment, be briefed, transported to deployment points and then returned to base, and debriefed. So what does this mean in practical terms?

The most recent figures we've found to hand are the hourly rates effective from 1st January 2007. On those rates six hours would be charged at:
£312.72 (£475.92 on a Public Holiday) per constable; £374.76 (£564.84 on a Public Holiday) per sergeant. Each inspector would cost £356.76. Any police dogs, horses, specialist vehicles and helicopters deployed would be costed separately and additionally. Likewise other officers from adjacent forces linked to the policing of the football match would be charged at unspecified 'special duty rates'. Where coming from distance one could see charges being levied for far more than six hours. Further revision of charges is proposed to take place every January 1st. Though we've not seen if that occurred in 2008 one doesn't suppose there'll ever be revisions downwards.

So just a small presence at a stadium of twenty constables, a couple of sergeants and an inspector would weigh in at £7,360.68 (and £11,004.84 on a Public Holiday). However the police are of course in the Hereford case attempting to charge for all ancillary policing of highways and byways, public car parks etc. away from the stadium; and presumably the 'drop-ins' we frequently see at local pubs on match days, the presence at railway stations and so on are all to be racked up at six hours per officer. Therefore even clubs that have little or no cause to need policing at the ground for the vast majority of their matches could find themselves presented with potentially huge bills for every single fixture.

This is a football site, so naturally we are concerned with the issue from that perspective. But before any smug types who think football is the home of hooligans and yobs, we've brought it on ourselves, and it has nothing to do with them, turn away: all profit making events - every sporting event from Royal Ascot to the local gymkhana, concert, trade or agricultural show to village fete - where direct or indeed indirect policing, like a bit of traffic control, is deemed necessary by the police is open to charging. On the way to a recent football match we were driving through a small village in the heart of 'middle England' which was holding its annual Oyster Festival, and six officers (those were the ones we saw) had been deployed on traffic control. Cough up a minimum £1,876.32 please. Even charitable events, though at a reduced rate, will be eligible to be charged.

If the proposals as they currently stand are affected, and if all policing, both on site and ancillary to the event, is directly charged in full it's hard to see how many smaller teams and events will survive, and not just in football.


Carlisle set to offer VAT Deal to Supporters

Carlisle United are to consider cutting all admission prices by £5 at a one-off chosen league fixture later this season as the club's way of handing on savings to fans from the government's reduction in VAT. And that game could be the one against Hereford United on a Tuesday night in early February.

As reported earlier this week on Bulls News, admission prices include VAT and in theory the dropping in the VAT rate next month should mean as reduction in admission prices if the drop is passed on. However as Carlisle's managing director, John Nixon, says to drop prices by around 30pence would only cause problems at the turnstiles. And there is another problem - how to recompense season ticket holders.

Carlisle may introduce a one-off £5 reduction at a forthcoming League game. £5 is roughly equivalent to the drop in VAT averaged out over their remaining home games.

"The reduction in VAT is taking football clubs into unchartered territory as far as changing admission prices are concerned. No one I have spoken to so far at any club has really known how to react to it. It is a real dilemma, which hopefully the Football League will have something to say about," said Nixon.

"My own view is that we should make a reduction of £5 on all admission prices for one particular game. From our point of view we might consider this for the game against Hereford on Tuesday February 3. We are at home to Colchester on the previous Saturday and we know it is not easy for fans to afford two home games in four days, especially in the current economic climate."

Whilst Nixon doesn't make it clear how season ticket holders may be treated the club could simply give them £5 at the turnstiles the evening of the Hereford game.


Injury Crisis at Edgar Street

Including yesterdays loan signings Hereford United now has a squad of 29 players of which ten may not be available for the Colchester game a week on Saturday.

Below is a list of players and, as far as Bulls News understands, how they are reported to be at present.

Darren Randolph - sent packing by Graham Turner back to Charlton
Richard Rose - available for selection
Robbie Threlfell - long term injury
Toumani Diagouraga - available but has broken finger
Gary Breen - available
Kris Taylor - available
Moses Ashikodi - available after several weeks out
Ben Smith - available
Steve Guinan - available
Bradley Hudson-Odoi - available
Clint Easton - available
Sam Oji - long term injury
Craig Samson - available
Sam Gwynne - recovering from hamstring injury, may be fit
Jack Macleod - available
Stephen O'Leary - long term injury
Karl Broadhurst - suspended for Colchester game and has hip injury
Craig Jones - available
Andy Williams - available
Richard Jackson - available
Matty Done - ankle injury, may be fit
Simon Johnson - available
Nick Chadwick - available
Bruno N'Gotty - long term injury
Dean Beckwith - available
Matt Murray - long term injury
Lionel Ainsworth - knee injury, probably not fit in time
Josh Cowling - available
Chris Weale - available


Expensive Exercise with Loan Players - Turner

In his weekly interview with Jamie Griffiths, the Hereford United manager spoke about the expenses required to compete in League One.

"Leeds made a profit of £4.5 million but at the same time Millwall reported losses of £6 million that follows a loss of £5 million the previous year," Graham Turner told the Official Website.

"We're in with some very big boys, some high finance. I've only got to talk to clubs about signing the quality of players we are looking for - the wages are frightening.

"But I've said all along this season we have to survive. It has been an expensive exercise with the loan players who are been out for so long. We have to pay the wage bills.

"We would have been quite happy to have invested the money to get the players in just to survive.

"We've worked every so hard to get to this level. And we're prepared to gamble, within reason, to stay there."


WMP Boss talks about 'Vicinity Policing'

Paul West, the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, was interviewed on the Howard Bentham breakfast programme on BBC Hereford and Worcester earlier this morning.

Responding to an e-mail from Bulls News about vicinity policing and the reported bill for £15,000 sent to Hereford United after the Swindon game, the Chief Constable won't comment specifically on the case.

"I can't comment on the specifics of the Hereford United case because that is currently subject to negotiation but I can certainly put the general point.

"This is to do with national guidelines that exsist. It is not just West Mercia policy. National guidelines in policing which are to do with charging for what are called special police services. Those are policing services that are provided in the vicinity of private sector events which are being run for profit.

"So you can think of football matches as an example, big pop concerts, other sporting events which by the very nature of their scale or location involve a degree of policing in the area.

"These are events which are being run by private organisations for profit and I think all of your listeners, I'm sure all of your listeners, would agree that in times of constrains on public finances there is a big question mark as to whether local peoples council tax should be used to subsidise the pockets of private sector entrepreneurs.

"So that's what it is all about. If there is a big event happening whether it is football, whether it is a pop concert, or another sporting event which requires a degree of policing there has to be a sensible balance and agreed level of charging levied against the organiser for that policing. And that is the issue."

Bentham then spoke about the Worcester Warriors, who often have four times the attendance compared with Edgar Street, and asked if it was a similar picture for them.

"It's exactly the same everywhere," said the Chief Constable. "There has to be an agreement struck which, certainly for sports clubs, is agreed at the start of any particular season as to what the arrangments will be.

"Increasingly over the years, because stewarding and private sector security is now accredited, has become much more professional you see fewer and fewer police officers actually inside the grounds of sporting events. It is run by the stewards. That is good but it is also a means by which those events have managed to reduce the policing costs.

"But if there is a requirement for a good number of police officers who could and indeed should be patrolling elsewhere in any force area to be tied up in and around the vicinity of a private sector event of whatever nature it is, I think it is absolutely right that there has to be a common sense approach to charging for those services. And that's the position nationally."

Bentham then pointed out that he thought the Warriors weren't formally charged for this and then asked if 'Hereford United might be being picked out here slightly'?

"I'm not going to be drawn into comments on the specifics of any particular case. What I would say is that the agreement on charges for special policing services is a nationally agreed approach and it is applied equally everywhere."

The Chief then contrasted the position with a public function such as the Remembrance Day parade in London. There was no question that the Royal British Legion would be charged he said.

"There is a very clear distinction here between public sector, public space events and big events being organised by private entrepreneurs for profit."


Thursday, November 27, 2008

O'Leary could be out for months

Graham Turner has told Trevor Owens for BBC Hereford and Worcester that Stephen O'Leary's back problem is worse than thought.

"We have lost Stephen O'Leary with a prolapsed disc. He is going to be months rather than weeks," said Turner

However Turner had better news about Lionel Ainsworth.

"He has had a scan down at Watford. It was a jarred knee. We're hoping early next week he will be back in training. The situation with him isn't too serious."

Later in the interview Turner was asked how the injury and loan problems were hurting his budget.

"Some of them are on standard loans like Darren Randolph so it's three, four, five months but the emergency loans Bruno N'Gotty for instance we had just resigned him for a second month and it was only a week into that second month so we have to continue paying Leicester, same with Wolves, same with Watford.

"It does impact on the financial situation but the most important thing for me is survival at this level so if we have to got to put more money out for loan players that has to be done.

"We've got to make every endeavour that we remain a first division club."


Winger Not Joining Weale At Bulls

Bristol City winger Jennison Myrie-Williams will not be joining teammate Chris Weale at Edgar Street.

The Robins' official site states: "Jennison Myrie-Williams is going nowhere after turning down overtures of the same club."

The site has also been updated saying Weale initially joins only until December 24th, making it the bare minimum 28 day loan. He will therefore only be currently eligible for three games. This arrangement is presumably to allow the Robins to have recall on him past the 28 days during the busy Xmas period.


Profile of Josh Gowling

Taken from Wikipedia:

Josh Gowling began his career as a trainee at West Bromwich Albion under the guidance of Richard O'Kelly, who was later Bournemouth's assistant manager.

Following his release from Albion, he signed for Danish Premier Division club Herfølge Boldklub, making 17 appearances in 2003–04 and 13 appearances in 2004–05. He soon became disillusioned with life in Denmark, and returned to England.

He joined Bournemouth on a trial basis to begin with in the 2005 close season, and signed a one-year contract after impressing in various pre-season friendlies. He began the 2005–06 season in good form before rupturing his knee ligaments after about a minute's play in the away match to Brentford F.C. – this serious injury ruled him out for the rest of the season. Having gradually returned to full fitness following his injury, Gowling featured in over 30 league games during the 2006–07 season.

His performance in the 2–0 home win against Yeovil Town on 15 March 2008 saw him named in the League One Team of the Week. In 2007–08 he made 39 league appearances as Bournemouth were relegated to League Two.

On 19 June 2008 Gowling, whose contract with Bournemouth had run out, signed for Carlisle United on a free transfer. He agreed a two-year contract with the club, who had lost in the League One play-offs the previous season.


Chris Weale back at Edgar Street

Not unexpectedly Chris Weale is to join Hereford United for a second time in his career.

He may be joined at Edgar Street by a team mate, with the Bristol City official site adding: "Jennison Myrie-Williams could also be set for a loan switch, possibly to Hereford who have made an enquiry about the winger."

Weale will join the Bulls from Bristol City for a month long emergency loan starting in time for Saturday weeks game at Colchester. He can also play in the two following games - against Hartlepool and Huddersfield before the loan ends on December 24th.


His profile from Wikipedia:

Christopher "Chris" Weale (born February 9, 1982 in Yeovil) is an English football goalkeeper currently playing for Bristol City. He had previously played for Yeovil Town.

Weale made his debut in the 2000-2001 Season and played at Huish Park for six seasons, until a cruciate knee ligament finished his 2005-2006 season. During this time, he became Yeovil's most important goalkeeper. During his time at Yeovil he also underwent a trial at West Ham United where he appeared for their reserve team.

His contract expired at the end of that season, and Weale joined Bristol City under the Bosman ruling. He was joined by former team mates Phil Jevons, Liam Fontaine and Lee Johnson and former manager Gary Johnson.

He made his debut on the February 10, 2007, against Huddersfield Town after Adriano Basso was sent off, and played in the FA Cup replay between City and Middlesbrough and saved a penalty from Yakubu, but City lost the penalty shootout 5-4.

On 8 August 2007, Weale joined Hereford United on a month's loan, but was recalled from his loan spell on 13 August, after an injury to city's first choice goalkeeper, Adriano Basso.


Gowling Joins On Loan

Carlisle defender Josh Gowling has joined the Bulls on loan until January, the club have announced.

The former Bournemouth central defender was the subject of speculation that he was a Bulls target in the summer, but opted to join Carlisle over the likes of Walsall. But the move north has not worked out and he has started just three League matches for the Cumbrians, making a nine minute appearance at Edgar Street as a late sub as the Bulls won 1-0 in October.

Previously he spent three years at Bournemouth, partnering Karl Broadhurst on several occasions. He will be seen as a direct replacement for Bruno N'Gotty, whose loan spell officially expires today.

Carlisle boss Greg Abbott told their official site: "Again, this will give the player the opportunity to get some regular first team football under his belt. That wasn't quite happening for Josh here with us at the moment, so this move will provide that opening for him."


Loan Deadline closes at 5pm

The deadline for emergency loans closes at 5pm this afternoon.

No doubt Graham Turner will be hard at work to see if he can strengthen the Hereford United squad which with injuries and suspensions is looking short of numbers at present.

Perhaps luckily, the Bulls have not got a game this weekend. They next play at Colchester on December 6th.


Update on Murray's Injury

Some new information has been released about Matt Murray's injury sustained at MK Dons on Tuesday. This from the Express and Star.

Wolves’ head of medical services, Steve Kemp said: “Matt has had his scans and will undergo surgery tomorrow.

“He’s expected to be out for the rest of the season. This is a completely new injury and Matt’s left knee is fine. This is an injury to his right knee which he has no history of problems with.

“It has come completely out of the blue and is not career threatening. Matt will be looking ahead to his recovery in the New Year.”

Boss Mick McCarthy extended his sympathy to Murray.

The manager said: “It’s bitterly disappointing for Matt. He was just coming back and getting some football under his belt and now he’s suffered this setback.

“It’s too early to make any long term judgements but knowing Matt Murray, his strength of character and the way he has battled back before he'll be fighting tooth and nail to do so again.

“He’s a great goalkeeper and a great personality and everyone at the club wishes him well.”

Chief executive Jez Moxey also has faith in the keeper to make a full recovery from his latest injury.

He said: “We all feel for Matt after this terrible setback. But if anyone can come back from it then I'm sure he can. We will do everything in our power to help and support his recovery.

“The club are behind him, the fans are behind him, and I’m sure his family are behind him and we all believe he will return.”


Chief Constable on H&W Tomorrow

The Chief Constable of West Mercia, Paul West, is expected to be interviewed on BBC Hereford and Worcester tomorrow morning around 8.15am.

Hopefully Howard Bentham, the breakfast presenter, will be able to raise the question of vicinity policing.

Recently Hereford United were presented with a £15,000 bill from the WMP for costs involved with policing the Swindon game.

Meanwhile Graham Turner was set to speak to the clubs solicitors in Birmingham yesterday about vicinity policing.

"They have felt it is important that we meet up and go through aspects of our case against the police vicinity charges," said Turner.


News Round Up

Walsall have signed Austrian stopperAlbin Kajtezovic on a short term contract after Clayton Ince was ruled out for a number of weeks with a groin problem, while Northampton have signed Man Utd's teenage German stopper Ron-Robert Zieler with Frank Fielding's loan expiring in mid-December. The Cobblers have also taken Ipswich's teenage defender Kurt Robinson on loan until January.

Southend are on the lookout for a new chief scout after Dean Austin opted to take the Assistant Manager's job at Watford, while midfielder Damien Scannell has joined Brentford on loan and the Shrimpers have added West Ham striker Junior Stanislas on loan. Carlisle have loaned midfielder Luke Joyce to Barrow until January. The 21 year old has had only limited games this season with the Cumbrians taking Chris Birchall on loan from Coventry.

Cheltenham midfielder Alex Russell has turned down a move to Port Vale and will stay at Whaddon Road to fight for his place. The Robins have added Michael Townsend to the transfer list, taking to eleven the number transfer listed by Martin Allen since his arrival. They have signed Barry Hayles on loan until the end of the season, with him joining on a months 'emergency' loan until the January window when the loan will be a 'season' one, but allowed transfer listed keeper Shane Higgs to go to Wolves on loan.

Ex-Bull Neil Mackenzie has joined Port Vale instead of Russell, with the Notts County midfielder joining til January. Swindon chairman Andrew Fitton has spoken about the 'dream applicant' for the manager's job at the County Ground. Fitton, speaking in riddles, says that someone 'with experience as a manager or assistant in the Premiership' has applied, with the likely successful applicant for the job British.

Hartlepool winger James Brown has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a ruptured ACL in his right knee. He previously had a similar injury in the other knee. Leicester have loaned young striker Eric Odhiambo to Brentford for a month. The 19 year old has 15 senior appearances to his name, but is yet to score. Brighton midfielder David Livermore is set for knee surgery that will keep him out for several weeks.

You wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy, but among the list of early suitors for Chester City according to Stephen Vaughan is John Batchelor. The 'millionaire businessman' tried to buy Mansfield then rename them after fictional side Harchester United. Hollyoaks City, anyone? Huddersfield have cancelled the contract of striker Luke Beckett by mutual consent, with the veteran joining Conf North side Gainsborough. He rejected a loan offer from Bournemouth for travel reasons. The Terriers have also loaned midfielder Michael Flynn to Darlington.

MK Dons have loaned winger Craig Dobson to Wycombe for a month. The former Stevenage player links up with ex-boss Peter Taylor. Former Bulls loan signing Ryan Flynn, who never made a debut for the club due to injury, has joined Wrexham on loan. Colchester have added Shrewsbury full back Marc Tierney on loan until January. The Shrews current player of the year is out of contract in the summer and unlikely to sign a new deal.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Leeds Announce £4.5million Profit

Leeds United have announced a profit to the end of June 2008 of £4.5million.

The excellent figures have been largely on the back of player sales, with a £3.6million profit in the transfer market but the club did make £900,000 on normal trading on a whopping turnover of £23.2million over a 14 month period, meaning Leeds were turning over in a month what the Bulls were turning over in the season.

The Whites intend to seek to repurchase their Thorp Arch training ground and Elland Road itself, both sacrificed during their troubles in 2004, over the next 12 months. Chairman Ken Bates rated the purchase cost of the two, earlier in the year, at around £19million.


Murray out for twelve months

The Wolves keeper Matt Murray will be out for twelve months after snapping a tendom in his right knee according to BBC Midlands which has shown footage of Murray going down following a clearance last night at MK Dons.

"As he was leaving the field of play he was devastated," said Hereford United manager Graham Turner. "He was almost in tears with the pain and the realisation of what might happen to him.

"Over at the hospital where we saw him a bit later, he had come to terms with it.

"Wolves were fantastic with getting things organised."

Turner was asked if there was a more unlucky footballer in the Midlands.

"Well there might be but I've never met a nicer one and that's all the more reason to feel sorry for him."

Murray had a scan this afternoon and later this week will undergo his fifteenth operation of his career.


Murray sees Specialist

According to Wolves, Matt Murray saw a specialist earlier today to have his knee injury assessed. He has also undergone scans on the knee.

Murray, on loan with Hereford United, was just over half way through his third game for the Bulls when after clearing the ball he fell to the ground in pain.


Goalkeeping Problems at Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers face a goalkeeping crisis with not only Matt Murray but Carl Ikeme both getting injuried last night.

Ikeme was stretchered off with bruised ribs and a gashed shin just before half-time in their game against Sheffield United. Welshman Wayne Hennessey took over between the sticks.

And as reported earlier Matt Murray was also stretchered off during the second half of Hereford United's game at MK Dons. He is said to have a ruptured knee tendon.

It is not thought that Ikeme will be out for long but his injury might have given Murray a chance to have become Wolves sub-keeper for a while. That won't happen as the injury to Murray seemed serious just at a time when he must have hoped he could resurrect his playing career.


News Round Up

Yeovil's decision not to extend the loan of Stockport man Gareth Owen was an 'economic' one with Chief Executive Martyn Starnes saying the club were already over budget. The playing budget was heavily cut by as much as £350,000 in the summer according to press reports. Crewe have confirmed that Steve Holland has left the club. The deposed manager was offered other roles with the club, but has chosen to leave.

Cheltenham have transfer listed three more players after boss Martin Allen was refused permission to sign another striker due to financial reasons. Shane Higgs, Gavin Caines, and Alex Russell have all been put on the list, with Russell expected to join Port Vale. Loanee Lewis Montrose has also been returned to Wigan due to financial reasons. Brighton defender Adam Hinshelwood needs more surgery, on the other knee to the one that has kept him out for most of the last two years.

Southend have signed Salisbury winger Liam Feeney on loan until the end of the year with a view to a permanent deal. The 21 year old was due to sign for Dagenham last week. The deal sees Shrimpers' forward Charles Ademeno go the other way on loan. Chester have confirmed they have received interest in the club from a German company representing an American consortium that have been pointed in their direction by former owner Terry Smith.


FL To Vote On Player Rules

The Football League has called an EGM to vote on a 'Home Grown Players' rule.

The vote, on December 18th, will decided whether to implement a requirement for clubs to field a set number of home grown players, with a FL press release stating:

The new rule would require at least four players from clubs' sixteen man matchday squads to have been registered domestically, for a minimum of three seasons, prior to their 21st birthday.

The rule change, if implemented, would take place next season but would make little difference to the Bulls. Of the 16 players named last night by the Bulls, 14 would qualify under the ruling with only Moses Ashikodi - who spent time in Scotland - and Craig Samson not qualifying as 'home grown'. Even Toumani Diagouraga would qualify, having been with Watford since he was 18.


When it rains it pours says Turner

In his post match interview after last night's game against MK Dons, Graham Turner expressed his sadness about the injury to on loan keeper Matt Murray.

"It looks very serious, that has absolutely devastated the dressing room," said the Hereford United manager whilst talking to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"His knee gave way under him and he looks in a bad way, he was fairly upset and it looks very very serious for him.

"That's after a couple of years trying to get back.

"We feel absolutely devastated for him.

"That's the story of the way it's been going. We've had loan players injuried for long time including Lionel on Saturday.

"Things haven't gone our way."

Turner spoke about the transfer situation.

"The deadline is 5pm Thursday for emergency loans provided you haven't got any fit goalkeepers at all there is a special dispensation.

"We've got Craig Samson but obviously we have to think in terms of bringing another goalkeeper in.

"But right at the moment it is a devastating night for us both in terms of the result and with the events on the field with Matt Murray and Matt Done with ankle problems.

"When it rains it pours."


Bulls dealt cruel luck at MK

How many clichés do you want?

If it was a return to sexy football in the first half, the stimulation and erotica disappeared in the second period as a double dose of bad luck and a confidence draining three-goal salvo condemned The Bulls to another away defeat.

Graham Turner had once again shuffled his pack by providing starts for Kris Taylor in the left back role, Matty Done on the flank and a striking partnership of Nick Chadwick and Andy Williams while Simon Johnson replaced the injured Lionel Ainsworth on the right. United certainly had the best of the first forty-five and could have been a couple of goals to the good at the break. As early as five minutes, Williams lifted an effort just over the bar before Kris Taylor was close with a free kick following Sean O’Hanlon’s clumsy challenge on Chadwick.

A lot of The Bulls' threat was largely due to the direct running of Matty Done whose pace frequently troubled the Don's defence. A Sam Boldock shot sailed wide of Matt Murray’s post before a most distasteful incident involving Don's defender Miguel Angel Llera. He had challenged Matt Murray to a cross and Murray had taken a clean catch and immediately released Done to break quickly on the left. Llera collapsed to the floor holding his head and the referee blew to allow treatment. However, as soon as the promising Bulls breakaway was halted, he got up apparently unhurt and ran back towards his defensive position. Referee Paul Gibbs rightly cautioned him for unsporting behaviour and hopefully explained to him that there should be no place in football for blatant cheating like that.

Toumani Diagouraga met a Done cross and saw his volley effort go just wide before more good work down the left produced a chance for Chadwick but the Strikers hurried attempt was, again just wide. Andy Williams also found himself through on goal but delayed his shot and Willy Gueret was able to clear. The half finished goal-less but with Hereford displaying a far more cultured performance than has been recently seen as they passed the ball well, retained possession and looked more dangerous and direct going forward.

Although a refreshed Dons side stepped up the pace from the start of the second period, United were still looking more than capable of taking something from the game. However, the double blow was soon to hit. Firstly, Matt Murray cleared up field and immediately fell to the ground clutching his knee. Play was stopped by Gueret hoofing the ball into touch. Jamie "the sponge" Pitman was quickly to the scene and almost instantly called for a stretcher. Sadly, it may be some time before we see Matt Murray again. Craig Samson took over and it wasn't long before he faced a very dubious penalty. Karl Broadhurst had been adjudged to have raised his foot dangerously high when clearing a ball that was barely two feet off the ground. Granted, the Dons' Llera had stooped low but that was hardly Broadhurst's fault. A penalty was awarded and Broady collected a yellow for doing his job. Samson dived to his left and got a hand to the ball but Peter Levin's spot kick crept over the line. The hearts of the travelling fans sank as all the good work had been undone by two incidents in just four minutes. Five minutes later, the second goal arrived. Boldock fed the ball in from the right and Mark Wright was there to beat Samson at the near post.

The shell-shocked Bulls took a while to get a foothold back in the match but after a shaky period, the passing started to return and although the threat of the first period was never really repeated it was good to see the finer principles of the game being adhered to. Ben Smith grafted throughout and found time to test Gueret from the edge of the box while Simon Johnson's shot was wide of the target. Kris Taylor also got forward to produce a couple of decent attempts but as time went by it became obvious that despite a great effort and no small amount of skill this was going to be a first defeat in three at the hands of the history-lacking Dons. As the game approached the close Jemal Johnson, who had replaced Mark Wright, beat Samson with a cross shot to give the home side a somewhat flattering 3-0 victory in front of 7189 including a creditable couple of hundred representing The Shire.

It was particularly disappointing to hear that the match sponsors saw fit to award the man of the match prize to "circus act" Miguel Angel Llera.

Yep, when you're down you don’t get the breaks. See you at Colchester.

MK: Gueret, Cummings, Llera, O’Hanlon, Regan (Ngala 23), Wright (Johnson 73), Navarro, Levin, Puncheon, Wilbraham (Gerba 68), Baldock, Unused subs: Abbey, Howell.

BULLS: Murray (Samson 54), Jackson, Beckwith, Broadhurst, Taylor, Done (Ashikodi 90), Smith, Diagouraga, Johnson, Williams, Chadwick (Guinan 83). Unused subs: Rose, Easton.


Stats from Mk Dons

Here are a few of the stats from last night's match at the stadium mk.

Possession: Hereford 53% MkDons 47%

Shots on Goal: Hereford 5 Dons 10

Shots off Target: Hereford 4 Dons 7

Corners: Hereford 2 Dons 6

Fouls: Hereford 9 Dons 10

Attendance: 7189 with about 200 from Hereford (number to be confirmed). Later confirmed as 211.

Karl Broadhurst was yellow carded which resulted in the penalty goal for the Dons. It is thought Broadhurst will miss the next Hereford United game, which is at Colchester in ten days time, as he is believed to have collected five yellow cards.

Ben Smith received an eight for his performance. Matty Done, Richard Jackson and Matt Murray each received a seven.

Bottom of League One:

18 Swindon 17 -4 19
19 Brighton 18 -5 19
20 Colchester 17 -4 18
21 Yeovil 18 -10 18
22 Hereford 18 -17 12
23 Cheltenham 18 -22 12
24 Crewe 18 -21 9


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Newton Credits Bulls

Talking to their official site MK Dons assistant boss Eddie Newton has credited the Bulls for their resilience against the Dons:

"Credit to Hereford, they were very competitive in the opening 45 minutes but we didn't feel they could maintain that tempo for the rest of the game. We had to be constructive at half-time and the boys understood that they needed to up their tempo in the second half. The onus is on us to break the opposition down and you can't just expect that to happen because you've won five on the bounce, you've got to keep asking questions.

"It's amazing what a goal does - one team feels relieved and like they can go on and do more and one team feels like the effort they've put in during the first 60 minutes has been wasted. That's football. Early in the season we were making mistakes at home and being punished for them. Now we're not making those mistakes, which we're very pleased with, and now it's more about focusing on how to break the opposition down. We're going to have to work on it because there will be a lot more teams coming here to frustrate us."


Another 48 Hours

Graham Turner has just 48 hours to decide what squad he wants to enter the crucial Xmas period with.

The loan window closes on Thursday night and, with keeper Matt Murray now unlikely to feature, another stopper is a priority before the deadline. While Darren Randolph remains a registered player it would make life difficult appealing to the FA for dispensation to sign another keeper post-deadline should Craig Samson become injured.

It may be a case of waiting until January to make drastic changes to the squad. Loanees Randolph, Moses Ashikodi, Robbie Threlfall, Matt Murray, Andy Williams, Lionel Ainsworth and - without any evidence to the contrary - contracted players Sam Oji and Nick Chadwick will all be subject of debate whether they stay with the club. That's eight players that Turner will have to make a decision on while he hears the chimes for the New Year.

While Randolph's departure can't come quickly enough for Turner, and neither Murray's nor Ainsworth's injury situations is currently clear, the other five split opinions of the fans. Ashikodi has a very mixed response, but showed signs of brilliance before being kicked out of the game against Swindon. Threlfall impressed many last season, but is the boy up to a man's fight - especially after another lengthy spell on the sidelines? Willo has just one goal in fourteen games since his return, is that enough? Oji had a lukewarm reception prior to his injury, and many appear to have forgotten he remains a Bulls player after three months out. Chadwick is yet to impress with only a penalty goal from ten appearances.

For some of those eight they have a month to prove their worth. The pack will be shuffled, it's just a question of when - and how.


Results Round Up

At the top Leicester beat bottom club Crewe 2-1 to maintain the lead from MK Dons. A late Tresor Kandol goal move Millwall third as the only goal of their match with Carlisle and Oldham got to fourth after beating Walsall 3-2. Peterboro's 2-2 draw at Swindon sees them slip to fifth with Scunthorpe, shock losers at Tranmere 2-0, down to sixth. Leeds are seventh after a 2-1 loss to Northampton, the team they beat 5-2 last Monday.

Down the bottom it wasn't a night for club accountants as gates continued to fall. Cheltenham's goalless draw with Southend was watched by their lowest ever League One gate of 2,908 while Colchester's 1-0 win over Yeovil saw just 3,214 - their lowest in three years - through the doors. Cheltenham's result moves them equal with the Bulls, while Colchester out of the dropzone at Yeovil's expense with the gap moving to six points for Bulls safety. Leyton Orient won 1-0 at Huddersfield, but Brighton lost 2-0 at Stockport.

In League Two Wycombe stretch their lead at the top with a 2-0 win over Notts County. Previous leaders Darlington, with Rob Purdie scoring, lose 2-1 at home to ... Chester in front of a season low crowd. Shrewsbury needed an injury time penalty to beat Dagenham 2-1, and Macclesfield recorded just 1,182 in beating Grimsby 1-0.


Murray Out As Bulls Lose

The continuing lack of luck for the Bulls continued as they lost to MK Dons 3-0 in tonight's League One match.

Goalkeeper Matt Murray was subbed early in the second half with a knee injury. Physio Jamie Pitman wasting no time in calling for a stretcher for the injury-plagued stopper, leaving the Bulls deflated after holding their own up until the stoppage in front of the 7,189 crowd with 211 Bulls.

Full report later.


News Round Up

Bradford are offering Adult season tickets for £99 for next season if bought by the end of the year. Tranmere have signed Middlesboro defender John Johnson on loan until the end of the year. The 20 year old debuted for the Boro first team earlier in the season. Southend have extended the loan of striker Richie Foran to Darlington until January.

Peterboro have announced they have agreed all terms on the permanent deal for Fulham defender Gabriel Zakuani. They have also revealed a £25,000 offer for winger Alfie Potter from Havant and Waterlooville. The youngster is on loan at Kettering, who have also expressed interest in a permanent deal. Northampton have signed Derby defender Andy Todd on loan with the 34 year old staying until January, but the Cobblers have cancelled the contract of youth team product Ritchie Jones after he failed to secure a longer deal.

Former Bulls trialist Cortez Belle has been suspended by the FA for an alleged rule breach, with investigations continuing. Ex-Bull Trevor Benjamin has held talks with Worcester City, but the deal is claimed to be dead. Crewe are claimed in the national press to want Nigel Clough as their new boss. He has taken Nigel Clough's Burton Albion to the play-off spots this season.

Cambridge cut losses by £250,000 last season. They lost £277,795 for the year to May 2008 on turnover of £1.87million. They also claim a 20% rise in season ticket sales in the summer. Rumours are abound that Northwich have failed to pay their players fully this month.


20 Hereford Fans arrested Last Season

Some 20 Hereford United supporters were arrested last season for various offences according to details released by the Home Office.

Five of the arrests were around Edgar Street and fifteen at away games.

One was for violent disorder and three for public disorder.

Eleven arrests were for alcohol offences, the highest number of any club in League Two.

Two arrests were for offences against property, one for possession of offensive weapons, one for a breach of a banning order and one for a football related offence.

Nine banning orders were issued against Hereford United supporters between 9th August 07 and October 30th 08. In total nineteen supporters currently have banning orders.


Ainsworth returns to Watford

Lionel Ainsworth has returned to Watford so they can access the injury to his knee sustained last Saturday when playing for Hereford United against Northampton.

"Losing Lionel is a bitter blow," said manager Graham Turner.

"He will miss tonight and I think that he could miss quite a few games.

"He jarred his knee in a tackle and hopefully we will have some more news in the next 24 hours."

As regards the game Turner commented:

"We know that MK Dons are a good side. The report we got back from their win at Walsall on Saturday said as much.

"That could take the pressure off my side, but we have to be up for the challenge."


Ainsworth to miss Dons Game

Hereford United's new loan signing Lionel Ainsworth is to miss tonight's game at MK Dons. He sustained a knee injury last Saturday against Northampton and has been ruled out.

Neither Sam Gwynne not Stephen O'Leary will be in the squad as they haven't recovered sufficiently from their injury problems.

However, according to the Official Site, Moses Ashikodi may be included in the squad.

Latest Odds from Skybet:

MK Dons 4/9 Draw 10/3 Hereford 13/2


MK Dons - Prediction Reminder

This is a short reminder to all Predictors that the Bulls News Prediction League is running for this evening's match against MK Dons.

To enter, simply predict your final score and attendance and send it in to bullsnewspredictions@hotmail.co.uk along with your chosen username.

The deadline for tonight's match is at 7pm.


Turner may change Starting Eleven

Hereford United travel to MK Dons this afternoon for what is expected to be a difficult game against a side currently second in League One. Whilst the Bulls lost 2-0 to Northampton last Saturday, the Dons defeated Walsall 3-0.

Graham Turner may make changes to his starting eleven. The dropping of Kris Taylor last Saturday came as a surprise as he had looked to have cemented his place at left back recently. In came Richard Jackson, who had recovered from injury, as right back with Richard Rose moving across to left back.

The manager also decided to start Steve Guinan with Bradley Hudson-Odoi in attack last Saturday. This combination didn't work too well and there may be a case for dropping Hudson-Ohoi.

Playing on what should be an excellent surface this evening, there might also be a case for starting Matty Done on the left perhaps in place of Clint Easton.

No new injury concerns have been reported from Edgar Street, however it is unclear whether either Sam Gwynne or Stephen O'Leary will be fit enough to take some part in the game.

After Saturday's game captain Karl Broadhurst seemed pleased to have the opportunity to play another game this evening.

"That's the beauty of football you always got a game to put things right and what better challenge than going to MK Dons and producing a result," said Broadhurst.

"Going to a place like MK Dons - it's a lovely stadium, great playing surface - no one is going to expect us to get anything there. We are going to be the under-dogs like we have been for the majority of the season.

"Why not, why can't we get a result there?"

As for the Dons, they are likely to be without captain Dean Lewington who was injuried at Walsall but could include new signing former Chelsea striker Tore Andre Flo and also 19 year old Shaun Cummings who is on loan from Chelsea.

For those unable to attend the game there will be full commentary on BBC Hereford and Worcester's 94.7FM frequency around Herefordshire. Another way to listen is to sign up to a 99 pence offer on the MK Dons official website.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Chester Up For Sale

Chester City have been put up for sale with fans still staying away from the club.

The club has seen a third of its average fanbase drift away over the last three seasons since gaining promotion as a succession of indifferent managers have failed to ignite interest. Mark Wright's return to management at the Deva Stadium was watched by less than 1,500 home supporters, only a quarter of those that watched him lead the side back into the Football League.

Owner Stephen Vaughan is understood to want his investment in the club, claimed to be at least £5million, back but there are likely to be few buyers. It is just under 12 months since Vaughan quit as Chairman with two bidders vying for the club while he claimed to have no interest in selling. However those two bidders joined forces to buy Bournemouth and the only known interest in the club at present is from Wright, who remains deeply unpopular amongst large sections of the support.


Bulls could gain from VAT Cut

The cut in the rate of VAT could work to the advantage of Hereford United and other football clubs.

VAT is included in the admission charge supporters pay at the gate.

So a £14 ticket for the Meadow End at Edgar Street is effectively £11.92 plus £2.08 in VAT. With the reduction in VAT to 15% the charge is £12.18 plus £1.82 in VAT.

Assuming a 3,000 gate of which 2,000 pay at the turnstiles, Hereford United could gain 0.26 per person for adults and around 10p for youngsters. Perhaps a gain of around £300 per home game.

Every little helps.


Tax Man Misses Out on Millions

The Revenue and Customs have missed out on millions of pounds because the football bosses have allowed clubs going into administration to circumvent the rules. A programme on BBC Five Live last night covered the subject.

When Hereford United were in trouble it paid most of what it owed to the taxman but many clubs have got away paying just 10% on what they owed.

Below are some more details as posted on the excellent official Altrincham website.

Of the 42 clubs at League or Conference level which have gone into administration since 2000, the programme managed to get hold of the figures relating to 18 clubs. These alone revealed that a total of £31 million was owed, mostly in income tax and non-payment of National Insurance. Of the £31M owed, just £3M has or is being been repaid - leaving the taxpayer and others with a shortfall of £28 million.

This situation arose to a large degree because of the arrangement whereby so-called "football creditors" such as players and other clubs get paid out before everyone else including the tax man. For example, Luton town were quoted as having had, last season, a £2.5 million tax debt built up over two years. Of this, they are paying back just £275K. Neverthless, the Hatters felt they could afford to spurn £37K in TV fees from Setanta TV last week when they refused to move their FA Cup replay with Altrincham to a Thursday night.

Other debtors cited were as follows, where the first figure is the debt, and the second the amount repaid.

Leicester City League One: £7m £700k
Leeds United League One: £6.8m £680k
Ipswich Town Championship: £5m £391k
Bradford City League Two: £2.6m £26k
Luton Town League Two: £2.5m £275k
Wrexham Blue Square Prem: £1.45m £507k
Bournemouth League Two: £1m £100k
Halifax Town Unibond Division One North: £795k £0k
Huddersfield League One: £723k £101k
Cambridge U Blue Square Prem: £532K £101k
Oldham League One: £520k £260k
Notts County League Two: £487k £96k
Wimbledon (now MK Dons) League One: £460k £0
Rotherham League Two: £450k £20k
Exeter City League Two: £442k £62k
Darlington League Two: £416k £2k
Lincoln City League Two: £350k £143k
Crawley Town Blue Square Prem: £193k £96K


News Round Up

York have appointed former Port Vale boss Martin Foyle as their new manager. Foyle has most recently been working for Wrexham as a coach. Chesterfield have announced that midfielder Derek Niven has testicular cancer. The 24 year old had surgery last week. Swindon coach Ady Williams has been arrested on suspicion of Grevious Bodily Harm and making threats to kill. The 37 year old has been bailed until December 7th.

Two managerial changes that affect the Bulls' loan signings, with Charlton sacking Alan Pardew, and Watford appointing Chelsea reserve team boss Brendan Rodgers as their new boss. No Bulls in the Team of the Week, with Leeds, Leicester, and Huddersfield getting two players each into the team. Northampton have extended the loan of Wycombe striker Scott McGleish until January.

Walsall winger Marco Reich is mulling over a January move to Austrian side Sturm Graz. Yeovil's squad was so stretched on Saturday that they named 46 year old coach Steve Thompson as one of their substitutes. They expect to have Luke Rodgers in for training today, but are set to miss out on the permanent signing of loanee Gareth Owen who has been offered a two year deal with Port Vale.

Swindon have delayed interviewing candidates for their manager's job. They have over 50 'serious' applications, and now expect to take a month to make a decision. Cheltenham want Bristol City striker Steve Brooker back at Whaddon Road before Thursday's deadline, and have confirmed an enquiry for Luke Rodgers.


Gibbs to Referee at MK Dons

Phil Gibbs from the West Midlands is set to referee tomorrow evening's League One match at Mk Dons where Hereford United will be the visitors.

Employed as an Assistant Headteacher at a Secondary School in Birmingham, Gibbs has been a qualified referee since 1993. He joined National List of Referees in 2008.

Tomorrow will be the first time the Bulls have had Gibbs as a referee since the 2005/06 season when he officiated in no less than five different games.

This season in 11 games he has given out 23 yellow cards but not one red.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Cobblers View of Hereford

Danny Brothers watched his beloved Cobblers defeat the Bulls 2-0 yesterday. Taken from his blog, below is his view of the day.

The trip to Edgar Street was plotted when the fixtures came out and it was a big one for me as well with a new ground to add to the “92 List”. We arrived in good time and with a couple of hours to spare before kick off, a pint was in order and eventually we came across a nice little place on the edge of the ground. Perfect! The time flew by and with a chill in the air we joined the rest of the hardy souls in the away end that were shivering whatever bits they had left off in the chilly breeze of Hereford.

Edgar Street is dilapidated to say the least but it has a rare character not seen in today’s football grounds. Hereford were surely not expecting their double promotion of recent seasons and the ground will surely be redeveloped at some point but it was a great throwback moment for me to times of the old Division Three and the scene was set for the afternoon.

The game began with few chances for either side but with the Cobblers in control of proceedings. Scott McGleish had started up front with Leon Constantine, who seemed to have a cult following in the away end. It was Constantine who had the first real chance of the game with a header sailing over the bar after good work by Danny Jackman. Loanee right back Kyle Walker was showing true class and was the main talking point of the first half, making a couple of terrific runs from the back.

Steve Guinan had the home sides’ best effort of a poor first half when he tested Frank Fielding just before the break while Constantine had a shot deflected over the bar at the other end. At half time, we were comfortable without being overly imposing on the home defence but the second half saw Stuart Gray’s men come to life.

Just a couple of minutes in and the Cobblers won a free kick just outside the Hereford area and Danny Jackman and Luke Guttridge stood over the ball. It was Jackman who struck it and hit it perfectly, curling the ball over the wall and past Matt Murray in the Hereford goal to give us a vital lead.

We had just finished celebrating when number two followed just a few minutes later. Ryan Gilligan pounced on a lucky deflection in the Hereford area and controlled the ball neatly before tucking away a tidy finish past Murray and giving the travelling faithful room to breathe that little bit easier. In truth, we had no need to worry as the home side barely threatened with Dean Beckwith’s header from a free kick that was brilliantly saved by Fielding their only real opening.

It was the Cobblers who threatened to add to the goals more and Kyle Walker was unlucky to see his cross shot hit the bar in the dying stages but two goals were enough and the Cobblers had recorded only their second away win of the season, leaving on travelling supporter overjoyed at what may well turn out to be just another away day for most. Football is special in that way, in that every game around the country will mean different things for different people and a meaningless match for some may just be an unforgettable one for others.

We celebrated with a quick drink on the way back to the station but missed the connection in Newport so had to hang around there for an hour, taking in the Aston Villa-Man United game with a group of Welsh rugby fans in a nearby Walkabout. We eventually arrived back in Southampton just after 10pm having spent a very nice day indeed on the edge of Wales.


Lack of Belief says Turner

Rather belatedly here are a few paragraphs from Graham Turner's post match press conference after yesterday's defeat by Northampton Town

"The first goal is vital. I didn't think there was a lot in the game for about an hour but unfortunately it was us that conceded first," said the Hereford United manager.

"Unlike last week when we scored we stacked up a notch and did ever so well when we went a goal up.

"But this time we went down a notch and make life difficult for ourselves.

"The way we are and with confidence as it is as soon as that goal goes in there is little lack of belief in ourselves."

Turner also spoke about the officials.

"Having been a long time in football, I have never seen a linesman flag for offside from a throw-in," said Turner.

"I have now seen it twice in five days from a position where we were going to cross the ball into the box and we have been pulled up.

"Today at least the official had the bottle to instruct a bounce-up not like the one at Dagenham who gave a free kick.

"Little things like that are going against us but it was an unacceptable decision to give offside from a throw-in again but we have to get over it.


Constant Paine - Terry Paine's Biography

There's no shortage of Hereford United related books this Christmas - 'The Whites Are Going Up', 'The Wilderness Years', and now 'Constant Paine'.

In addition to these both 'A Corner Kick From The Middle Of Nowhere' and 'Onwards and Upwards' are still available.

'Constant Paine' written by David Bull is a biography about one of Hereford United all-time favourites, Terry Paine.

Paine came to Edgar Street as player/coach in the summer of 1974 after eighteen years with Southampton. He was instrumental in pushing Hereford United into Division Two in 1976. He collected nineteen England caps in his career and even played at the 1966 World Cup, featuring against Mexico. Paine retired in 1976, just after the start of the Division Two campaign, but came out of retirement later in the season to aid United's battle against relegation. In all he made 111 League apprances for Hereford scoring eight goals.

The book has three chapters with special reference to Hereford United. There are also contributions from Dixie McNeil and Steve Emery amidst others.

Its contents are:

Terry’s early years, growing up in Winchester and graduating from Highcliffe Corinthians to Southampton, via Winchester City.
Southampton FC, 1957-74. A record number of appearances – destined never to be beaten?
His 19 games for England, climaxing in the game against Mexico, during the World Cup Finals of 1966.
Player-coach at Hereford United, 1974-77.
His spasmodic career at Cheltenham Town, 1977-79, as a player and later player-manager, with a break to manage in Kuwait.
His new life in South Africa, beginning with Bobby Charlton’s 1979 tour and continuing, through managing amateur teams to several seasons of managing at the top, with a break to coach at Coventry City.
His career, still ongoing in his late 60s, as a leading sports-caster – stationed in Johannesburg but broadcasting across Africa and beyond.
His role as an ambassador for South Africa’s World Cup bid.


The following details about how to purchase the book come from Hereford United historian Ron Parrott.

SUBSCRIBERS

If you send a cheque for £18, payable to PAINE EVENT, to Gary Chalk, 47 Doncaster Road, Eastleigh SO50 5QP, you are guaranteed that

• Although the book is priced at £19.95, the price to you will remain at £18 (plus any p&p that you may need to incur: see below).

DELIVERY

• Please mark your order ‘HUFC’, so that it is not confused with the Southampton orders.

• We expect that most subscribers will collect their copy locally. Hereford United historian, Ron Parrott, has kindly agreed to take care of this and you will be advised of a pick-up point once the book is published.

• If you need your book posted, there will be an additional charge, which could be as much as £6 inland. You will be advised of this charge once the weight of the book is known: 350+ pages, on high-quality paper, spells ‘heavy’.

SIGNED COPIES

• Your book will be signed ‘Best Wishes, Terry Paine.’ If you wish your copy to be attributed (eg ‘To Sam’ or ‘To Sam Smith’), please state your requirements. Terry will only be in the UK to sign books until 5th December.

(It is hoped Terry Paine will be in Waterstones in Hereford on Monday morning December 8th to sign copies but this is not confirmed.)


Dons Skipper could miss Hereford Game

MK Dons captain Dean Lewington is a doubt for Tuesday's game against Hereford United.

Lewington was given an x-ray after an ankle injury sustained whilst playing against Walsall yesterday.

"I'm a bit disappointed to have lost our skipper," said manager Roberto Di Matteo.

"We've sent him for an x-ray so we just have to hope and keep our fingers crossed that it's not too bad.

"It's on his ankle but I don't think it was a bad tackle or a nasty challenge, it's just one of those normal football tackles."

Dons won the game 3-0.


MK Dons Travel

MK Dons v Hereford United
Tuesday 25th November 2008 KO 7.45 pm.
StadiumMK
Stadium Way West
Milton Keynes
MK1 1ST
Phone 01908 622922

The Bulls travel to Milton Keynes on Tuesday evening for a testing game against the current second placed team in League 1. StadiumMK is a modern 22000-seater venue, which cost in excess of £50m and reflects the huge investment made in the club both on and off the field. The view and facilities are first class. Admission for adults is £17, concessions £12 and juniors £7. PLEASE NOTE, turnstiles are electronic and cashless so you MUST buy a ticket from one of the ticket offices. Entrance is via Gate 3.

Coaches:
HUISA departs from Legends at 3.00 pm. Fare £14 (members £13). Bookings 08442 761939.
FUNBUS departs Legends at 3.15/3.30. Fare £14/15. Contact Ben 07812 144831.

BY CAR join the M5 at Worcester and travel north joining the M42 at J4a. Continue onto the M40 and then leave at Junction 11 and at the roundabout, take the second exit (sign Brackley A422). Then follow signs for Buckingham/Milton Keynes. At a roundabout on the southern outskirts of Brackley, join the A43 (second exit) towards Towcester. Stay on the A43 until the junction with the A5 where you head south (sign Milton Keynes). The stadium is signposted from the A5 once you pass the junction with the A421. Distance is around 120 miles and you should allow two and a half hours. Parking is plentiful at the Stadium but costs £5 per car. There is street parking available on the Denbigh West Industrial Estate. Sat Nav users should be aware that some systems do not recognise the postcode of MK1 1ST due to its newness.

ALEHOUSES. (from The Ground Guide)

The nearest pub to the ground is the Beacon, which is around a 10-minute walk away, in the nearby Mount Farm area. With the stadium entrance in front of you and Asda over to the right, then the pub is located on an industrial estate behind the stadium. From the back of the stadium cross over the road and go down Dawson Road which is in front of you. At the bottom of Dawson Road turn right into Bond Street and the pub is down on the right, situated next to a small lake. Otherwise there doesn't appear to be much in the way of pubs in the vicinity of the stadium. If you have time on your hands then you can embark on the 20-25 minute walk into Bletchley, where there are a few pubs to be found, but none of which you would 'write home about'. The first that you will come to is probably the Enigma Tavern on Saxon Street. Just follow the signs for Bletchley by Asda and you will reach the pub on your left.

For the Wetherspoons fans (you know who you are), there are two on Midsummer Boulevard in the town centre, one being called the Secklow Hundred. There is, apparently, no truth in the rumour that decent Pubs and Restaurants are a two-day route march from the ground...it's less than half that;)

See you in The North East Corner!


Difficult Time for Turner

As Graham Turner steps outside into the chill northerly wind this morning to take his dog for a walk in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside, he will probably be reflecting on what he can do to lift the spirits of Hereford United after yesterday's defeat by Northampton and last Tuesday's abysmal performance at Dagenham.

This coming Tuesday the Bulls travel to MK Dons for what is expected to be another difficult game. Between now and kick-off time Turner has to decide whether to change the formation of the team, swap a few players around, take into account any injuries, see if he can bring in anyone to brighten up the squad, and generally lift the confidence of the squad.

On top of that, whilst he maintains he doesn't read forums, he will, no doubt, be aware that there have been calls for him to consider his position as both chairman and manager at the club.

Some suggest he's been in charge too long and fresh blood is required if the Bulls are to cling onto League One status. Others maintain it would be difficult to find anyone to take over his position at the club without great disruption and that Turner should be given more time. Afterall the Bulls have achieved two promotions in three seasons and a good manager doesn't become a bad manager overnight.

However, taken together, the poor results on the pitch and the off-pitch problems of an ageing ground and little if any revenue from non-football sources must be taking their toll on Turner's time. He must be frustrated that there seems to be no progress with the Richardson/Carillion partnership towards redevelopement of Edgar Street. His hopes that this redevelopement would enable the club to have its main debt written off still looks a distant dream.

The drop in revenue from lower gates, partly because of poor results and partly because of the credit crunch, probably means the club is losing money each week. Turner had suggested he was hopeful of an average gate of around 3800 this season. Currently that average is some 500 less at about 3300.

However it is on the pitch where the most pressing problems are. A return of just 12 points from 17 games so far means that to remain in League One, the Bulls need an average of more than a point from each remaining game.

Usually to stay in League One at least 50 points is required. That means 38 points from the remaining 29 games. Which translates into, say, 8 wins and 14 draws or 10 wins and 8 draws.

All told it is a difficult time for Turner. No doubt he is up for the challenge.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ex-Bull Watch

Ryan Green was one of five players booked in the derby match between Bristol Rovers and Swindon. Wayne Brown was booked for Bury but kept a clean sheet against Gillingham. Bertrand Cozic was sent off in Exeter's draw with Morecambe. Brian Smikle scored the only goal for Kidderminster as they beat Wrexham. Ryan Esson made several saves to help Inverness to a win over Kilmarnock.


Results Round Up

Leicester are the new leaders after beating previous top side Scunthorpe (now 3rd) 2-1. MK Dons are second after beating sliding Walsall 3-0, with Millwall down to fourth after a goalless draw at Leyton Orient. Peterboro beat sorry Colchester 2-1 to stay sixth with Leeds moving back into the play-off spots after a 4-1 win over Hartlepool. Oldham were back up to seventh after a 2-1 win at Southend.

Down the bottom Crewe lost 3-0 at home to Stockport, with Cheltenham staying second bottom after a 1-0 loss at Carlisle, who move up to 16th. Yeovil move out of the drop zone after their 1-0 win over Tranmere but recorded their lowest attendance of the season. Brighton lost 1-0 at home to improving Huddersfield, and Swindon remain in peril after a 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers.

In League Two Wycombe return to the top of the division with a 4-2 win over Port Vale, with former leaders Darlington only getting a point with a 1-1 draw at Brentford. Luton remain 20 points shy of safety after a 2-0 loss at Rochdale, while Mark Wright's official first game in charge at Chester saw them lose 1-0 at home to Aldershot in one of three games to get a sub-2000 gate, with two more only a coachload over that figure. Dagenham hammered Notts County 6-1.

In the Conference Histon are the latest leaders after a 5-2 win over the very sorry looking Oxford. Kidderminster are up to fourth after they became the first side to beat Dean Saunders' Wrexham side. Forest Green recorded their first win since Jamie Pitman's departure, beating Mansfield 1-0.


Broadhurst lambasts Officials

Hereford United captain Karl Broadhurst was disappointed with the performance of the officals at Edgar Street this afternoon. On one occassion the assistant on the Main Stand side flagged for offside from a throw in, the referee overruled him and gave a dropped ball but the advantage the Bulls should have had from the throw in was lost.

"One situation sticks in my mind where he gave offside from a throw in. I've never experienced that in my career and I've experienced it twice in four days now," Broadhurst explained to BBC Hereford and Worcester. "It happened at Dagenham as well.

"Officials have a hard job, everyone knows that. They are no ones friends. But I think with this respect campaign that's going on at the moment the players are taught to respect the officials. But, I think, also sometimes the officals have got to be put under a bit of pressure because we've had two sets of officials in two games now which were awful.

"Today they were not as bad as Tuesday but Tuesday was ridiculous. The lads likened it to a PE teacher who didn't know the rules of football. You saw it from the decisions he was giving especially the offside from a throw-in.

"Referees do have difficult jobs but sometimes they have got to make it easier for themselves because they do make strange decisions sometimes."


Stats from Edgar Street

Here are the main stats from this afternoon's match at Edgar Street.

Possession: Hereford 49% Northampton 51%

Shots on Target: Hereford 3 Northampton 5

Shots off Target: Hereford 12 Northampton 9

Corners: Hereford 3 Northampton 5

Fouls: Hereford 12 Northampton 11

Toumani Diagouraga was yellow carded for a rash challenge.

Attendance 3061 including 387 in the away end.

Bottom of League One:

18 Swindon 16 -4 18
19 Yeovil 17 -9 18
20 Leyton Orient 17 -9 17
21 Colchester 16 -5 15
22 Hereford 17 -14 12
23 Cheltenham 17 -22 11
24 Crewe 17 -20 9

Diagouraga was given an eight for his performance, with sevens for Karl Broadhurst, Steve Guinan and Ben Smith.