Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Statement by Hereford United Manager

Hereford United manager Jon Taylor has made the following statement after two of his players were sent off last night at Slough.

We will be holding an internal enquiry and these issues will be dealt with once we've reviewed the video evidence that is available and we have spoken to the players involved. Obviously based upon that evidence and what the players involved have to say in any defence they wish to put up, those involved will be dealt with accordingly.

We cannot have thugs in the team, it doesn't bode well and goes against all my morals and principals. The way the players conduct themselves reflects upon the club, they need to be disciplined, honest and responsible at all times.

I am proud to be the manager of this football club, I will not tolerate any shameful nor disgraceful behaviour to tarnish it's reputation.

More From The Second Half

A further selection of pictures from Hereford United's Youth Team victory over Bournemouth this afternoon.

Second Half Pictures From Youth Game

A selection of pictures from the second half of this afternoon's youth game against Bournemouth.

Celebrating Hereford's Equaliser

After Hereford's Second Goal

The Only Yellow Card Of The Game

Pictures From Youth Game Against Bournemouth

A selection of pictures from the first half of this afternoon's youth team game at Edgar Street which Hereford won 2-1.

We Left It Late Again Admits Purdie

Celebrating Hereford's Winning Goal
Hereford United youth team manager Rob Purdie was delighted that his team came back after being a goal down at half-time in this afternoon's game against Bournemouth.

Two second half goals gave the Bulls victory over a slightly older side.

"I just said to them that we went 3-1 down in the last game against Cheltenham and I said you can't keep going behind in games," Purdie told BN.

"But to keep coming back and get a result, we left it late again.

"I think we deserved something out of the game and probably shaded it to win the game but we didn't quite get those clear cut chances.

The Bournemouth Keeper Came For The Ball But Failed To Collect 

Seconds Later It Was In The Back Of The Net
"The first goal was from a free-kick.The ball came in and we had a header back post which went back across and Tom Davidson was there to poke it in.

"The second one, again from a free-kick, again nodded back across and Chris May there to out-muscle his man and get the winner."

What's next for Purdie's side?

"Next match is either a league game away at Birmingham or we play a home game in the Cup against Plymouth, which is the next round after the Tottenham game.

"Look at Bulls News to see which one it will be!" 

Chairman of UITC Nic Nemadich watched the game.

"Well done UITC youth today with a hard fought tussle with AFC Bournemouth in league 2:1"

Calls For Players To Be Sacked

There have been calls for players to be sacked after one reportedly headbutted, and another punched and spat at, opposing players.

Aaron Wickham and Sam Akinde were both red carded after a post-match flare-up after last night's game. Wickham was yet to make his debut after two games sitting on the bench as an unused sub. For Akinde it was his second dismissal of the season.

Manager Jon Taylor told the Hereford Times: "There will be an internal inquiry and they will be dealt with accordingly once I have seen the video evidence. It is shameful and disgraceful."

Taylor also claimed Slough players threw punches, but Rebels joint boss Neil Baker and other Slough officials slated Taylor's men:

Slough Town are reported to have recorded the incident and are expected to post the video on their YouTube channel in the next few days.

Did The Club Sign The Leases Correctly?

The lease documents published on Herefordshire Council's website may not have been correctly signed by the club.

The lease documents should have been signed by two board members - either two Directors of the club, or a Director and the Company Secretary. In the case of all three leases they were signed by then chairman David Keyte and Lee Symonds - who was not Company Secretary but Club Secretary, a non-board position.

Hereford United last had a Company Secretary with Tim Russon, who resigned as both Company Secretary and Director on June 20th, 2012. 

Back in 2008, Company law changed to drop the requirement of a company to have a Secretary. The ability to not name a Secretary only applies if the role was not written into the Articles of Association of the company, which it is with Hereford United.

News Round-Up

Weymouth will be looking for a new ground after planning permission was granted for 170 new homes on their current Bob Lucas Stadium site. Permission was only granted with the condition that a new stadium is ready for the club to move into before development is started, with the club hoping to put in planning permission for a new site next year.

Former Nuneaton owner Ian Neale has been charged with Actual Bodily Harm after an incident at a charity evening at the Ricoh Arena. The incident caused Neale, who sold his stake in the Conference side during the summer, to quit his role as Chief Executive. He is due in Court at the end of the month. 

Former Bulls loanee Ross Dyer has returned to Halifax after new Southport boss Gary Brabin opted not to renew his loan. The former Mansfield man started five games and made one sub appearance without scoring.

Council Called For Club Closure Monday

Herefordshire Council leader Tony Johnson appeared on this morning's BBC Hereford & Worcester breakfast show to discuss the Edgar Street leases and Hereford United, and admitted the Council pushed for the club to be closed down at Monday's Court hearing.

In the wake of yesterday's emails about a 999 year lease on the ground, host Howard Bentham asked Johnson about the leases: "The reference to 999 years, one of our Directors was saying, was just for the residential part of a potential development. The Council would be happy to discuss extending the lease arrangements so that they come into line with properties of that type."

Bentham then read out one of the emails, and asked Johnson if it was 'hardly a leap of faith that you want to develop Edgar Street?': "No, that's quite wrong. We're talking about the ends of the ground not the ground itself."

Bentham asked 'why develop the ground?': "If you look at the ends at the moment up against the new retail market development there it's clear something has to be done. Amongst other things we've got plans for the urban village to go down there, the new city link road, the whole of the area is being redeveloped.

"We can't leave the two ends of the ground as they presently are."

Bentham then interjected 'you're going to leave a crumbling football club there then? It's going to need more than a lick of paint?': "Indeed it does, and that's why the terms of the lease say that any profit has to be reinvested into the ground itself, and it's that source of income that will keep the ground going and that's why we're confident we would like to see a continuation of football on the ground which is what I said the last time we spoke."

Bentham pressed Johnson further 'you'll stick some houses down there, you've changed the leases, and it won't be long before that happens for the playing surface itself. And that's it - goodbye Edgar Street':

"Not at all. I don't see how you get from one to the other. The ground is to stay as a sports field - football ground. That's what the covenant says."

Bentham then reveals that the Council barrister at Monday's hearing pushed to close the club down: "Well indeed, so many of your callers and football fans have been pressing us to push the club to try to get the leases back and to close them down."

Johnson then reiterated the covenant, before adding: "We don't particularly mind who continues the football."

Totton Trip In Trophy

Hereford United will travel to AFC Totton in the FA Trophy after they beat Cinderford Town in Tuesday's replay match.

The Stags beat John Brough's men 3-1 to mean a trip to the Testwood Stadium on November 1st. The Hampshire side were relegated out of the Southern League Premier last season after financial issues, and are now sixth in Division One South & West - one place above Cinderford.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ex-Players Approached For Managers Job

A number of former Bulls players and coaches have been approached over the past 10 days to take over as manager at Edgar Street.

An as yet unidentified London-based person has approached several people to see whether they would take over from Jon Taylor in a bid to get the supporters back to Edgar Street with a familiar face in charge.

Several of those approached, including a former manager at Edgar Street, have rejected the job under current circumstances. At least one of these former Bulls was told that the job would be theirs if Taylor's side failed to beat Slough Town tonight.

Post Match Scuffle Sees Two Red Cards

Slough Town are reporting a post-match scuffle after today's game that saw two players dismissed after the whistle.

One player is claimed, on Slough's "Rebels Radio" audio feed, to have aimed a headbutt leading to a red card. A second player was then handed a second yellow for a second red card for Jon Taylor's side.

Update - the Hereford Times names unused sub Aaron Wickham and the previously booked Sam Akinde as the pair to be red carded by the referee after the match.

Slough Claim The Points With Smith Double

Hereford United lost 2-0 at Slough Town in tonight's Southern League Premier match.

Jon Taylor named an unchanged XI for the first time this season but the home side managed to keep a clean sheet for the first time since the opening day of the season. 

Forward Ed Smith netted in each half to give the Rebels all three points in front of 276 spectators that included both Andy Lonsdale and Tommy Agombar.

Hereford drop one place in the table after tonight's game. They are now in 17th position having played 17 points and attained 17 points.
Hereford Line-Up: Williams, Onyeike, O'Reilly, Hawker, Gascoigne, Gordon, Vetier, O'Neill, Akinde, Yafai, Roberts

Subs: Sullivan, Wickham, Kone, Diop, Opoku

Under 18's At Edgar Street Tomorrow

United in the Community's under 18 youth team will be in action at Edgar Street tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday).

Their opponents are AFC Bournemouth.

Kick-off is at 2pm.

Club Renege On Foyle Settlement Deal

Bulls News understands that Hereford United have reneged on a deal that saw Martin Foyle and Andy Porter withdraw from the winding-up petition.

It had been announced by the club that chairman Andy Lonsdale had personally paid up their settlement, but sources within football have told BN that the payment plan agreed has not been kept to and their solicitor sought to return to the winding-up petition before Monday's hearing.

Foyle originally brought the ongoing petition on May 15th, with the first hearing in early June. He and assistant Porter withdrew at the previous hearing in September after reaching a deal with the club, leading to the original six week adjournment that ended at yesterday's hearing.

A number of barristers attended Monday's hearing that were not formally identified by the Court.

Council "Happy" To Discuss 999 Year Lease On Edgar Street

Herefordshire Council indicated to one of the potential buyers of Edgar Street that they were 'happy' to negotiate a 999 year lease with the club's owners.

Emails published under a Freedom of Information request to the Council involving negotiations over the club show that leading Cabinet Members within the Council discussed and agreed 'in principle' for Council officers to agree a 999 year lease - a virtual freehold - on the Edgar Street site:

The response above came after Geoff Hughes told Councillors Harry Bramer and Tony Johnson, and Development Manager Ian Higgs that Chief Executive Alistair Neill was 'relaxed' about the potential of a virtual freehold on the Edgar Street site.

The email also notes that the decision on the 999 year lease would have only been needed to be made by Cabinet members - and not the full cabinet:

"Query" Over Share Transfer Gives Club Lifeline

A barrister stood up at yesterday's Court hearing and declared there was a 'query' over the way the shares were transferred to the current owners.

The barrister only stated that the query came from 'former shareholders' so it is a question whether they were representing Tommy Agombar over his transfer to Alpha Finance, or David Keyte over his deal with Agombar.

Nothing is known about Agombar's deal with Alan McCarthy and Alpha Finance beyond what the Insolvency Practitioner Marc Landsman told creditors at the club's CVA meeting - that the transfer of shares and debt was for a 'fraction' of the money Agombar had put into the club.

Keyte's deal with Agombar, the IP also revealed, included a £2,500 monthly payment that was for repayment of the debt transferred to Agombar along with the £2 share sale. It is unknown whether Agombar has failed to meet the terms of his contract with Keyte, and that this is the query that was brought to the Court yesterday.

The judge made it clear that issues were to be resolved - and the petition debts settled - by December 1st or the club would be wound-up.

The club is very much drinking in the last chance saloon.

Are Hereford United Overlooking Company Law Issues?

Given another adjournment of Hereford United's winding-up petition yesterday and the promise of £1.5M fresh investment in the club, Moorsfan questions whether it can go ahead.

 A new £1.5m investment in the company is now being suggested. But it is wondered whether the new investors and the company are overlooking various Company Law issues?

As was recognised at the time of the proposed CVA, voted down by creditors, the company's Articles of Association contain a borrowing limit, and that has already been far exceeded. Accordingly it is currently impossible for the company to borrow more, unless shareholders agree at a General Meeting to vary the Articles of Association.

If it is proposed that the company issues more shares then company law is clear. Simply any new shares need to be issued to existing shareholders pro-rata to their existing shareholdings, unless shareholders agree to waive such pre-emption rights.

Special Resolutions, at least 75% voting in favour, would be needed, either to alter the company's Articles of Association (section 21, CA2006), or to waive Pre-Emption Rights (section 571, CA2006). The majority shareholder has about 55.3% of the shares, but it is debatable whether sufficient other shareholders would support the needed resolutions, in order to get past the 75% mark.

In other words it is totally impossible for new investors to introduce any new Loan Capital or Share Capital into the company without the consent and agreement of the current shareholders. And it is not certain that such agreement would be forthcoming.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Prize Bull Draw 22

This from HUST:

Prize Bull draw No.22 took place on Monday night. The winning numbers are 2, 3, 8, and 21. Should you have the winning combination, please contact to claim the jackpot.

HUST Call For Clear Statement On Ownership And Investment

This from HUST:

The Hereford United Supporters Trust notes the six week adjournment granted on the ongoing winding-up petition. The petition will have gone through eight hearings over six months by the time it reaches Court again on December 1st.

At the current time the ownership of the club remains in question, the only listed Directors have not been seen at games since August, and the named owner of the club has never made a public statement on the club. Chairman Andy Lonsdale promised investment from the named owner in early September that has not, so far, materialised and former owner Tommy Agombar remains a very public face at matches.

HUST call on the club to make a clear public statement regarding the ownership of the club, the source of the proposed investment, and declare a firm timetable that the club can expect matters to move forward so that the supporters of the club can end the ongoing torture that these Court appearances bring. Once publicly identified, HUST would be prepared to speak to the owner and investors regarding a future path forward for the club and it's supporters as a whole.

Police To Take No Action Over Players Pizza Payment

West Mercia Police have confirmed that they will take no action after it was suggested that some Hereford United players had left a local Pizza Hut without paying for a meal.

The incident was said to have taken place last Friday afternoon and surfaced on the Bulls Banter forum on Saturday.

It's understood that someone called the police to the 'restaurant' but the matter had been settled before they arrived.

Manager Jon Taylor told the Hereford Times that one of the players left the building to pick up some money left by Taylor at Edgar Street to pay for the meals.

"The bill was paid for in full," said Taylor.

"The players would not go out somewhere and not pay."

Lonsdale Very Confident Of Survival

Chairman Andy Lonsdale Talking To Former Director Bob Pritchard In August
After this morning's High Court appearance Hereford United chairman Andy Lonsdale spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Firstly a summary.

"There's all sorts of bad things coming out again," said Lonsdale

"Anyone investing money into a club wants to be sure that the petition is solved. They don't want to put money in and then lose it.

"We're in a quite dangerous position really but hopefully now they've got this adjournment now to the first week of December and it will be all sorted out."

Later, in another part of the interview, Lonsdale said that fresh investment of £1.5M was coming into the club.

"Basically it was 50/50 as we knew that more people had jumped on the petition.

"The judge came down in our favour and agreed an adjournment to December 1st.

"We were in a position to sort that today but with the other people jumping on the back as well it just makes it untenable.

"We've got to go back again and re-assess once more".

Lonsdale was asked where the £1.5M was coming from.

"That's coming from new investors."

Asked if he could name them?

"Not at the present time, we have to go back and meet with them right now."

How was the £1.5M agreed?

"That was agreed prior to today, that the total investment in the club that will pay all of the petition costs and put the club on a level footing."

Asked again why he couldn't name any of the investors?

"Because we had to make sure today was all sorted, contracts haven't been signed yet."

It was pointed that supporters are looking for clarity, naming some of the investors would help? How soon can you do that?

"Over the next seven days." 

So we will know who is putting what into the club?

"Yes, we will."

How confident are you now that the club will survive beyond December 1st?

"Very, very, very confident, very positive, very positive."

Herefordshire Council Statement

This from Herefordshire Council:

Herefordshire Council was represented at today’s High Court hearing in London along with the other creditors of Hereford United Football Club (1939) Limited.

The court adjournment until Monday 1 December does not affect the council’s current position and we remain part of the winding up petition.

Lonsdale Suggests Another CVA

Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester, Hereford United chairman Andy Lonsdale suggested that a new CVA proposal may be the answer for the club.

Telling reporter Matthew Bone that the £1.5million investment had been agreed in the past few days, Lonsdale added that he wanted the sum to be paid in full to clear the problems, but that it was up to the investors and they may prefer to go for a new Company Voluntary Arrangement to settle debts.

HMRC and other major creditors rejected the club's previous CVA proposal, and the offer would have to be along the same terms of 100% payment and completion within 3 years as dictated by FA and League rules. 

The rejection came largely as the proposals laid out by the club were based on budgets that bore little resemblance to the reality of life in the Southern League. Without a firm payment plan, sensible budget forecasting, and solid believable funding another plan is also likely to have significant opposition.

Another Adjournment At The High Court

Hereford United's winding up petition has been adjourned until December 1st.

At this morning's High Court hearing it was said that an investment of £1.5M had been promised to cover the debts.

So the judge agreed to a seventh adjournment.

"So another adjournment but only just," reported BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"For the first time HMRC and other creditors rejected the club's pleas and pushed for the closedown of Hereford United today.

"But after the club promised £1.5M investment to pay off the debts by the end of November, the judge granted a seventh adjournment."

As yet it's not clear who is involved with the promise of a £1.5M investment.

Poole Manager Praises 'Bit Raw' Bulls

Speaking after Saturday's goal-less draw against Hereford United, Poole Town manager Tom Killick admitted being short of a recognised striker for the game probably cost his side two points.

"While our squad is clearly very powerful, we are short on attacking options and probably paid the price for that against Hereford," Killick told the Daily Echo.

"Throughout the season we have created a number of chances and always managed to convert one or two to get the right result. We didn’t create as many on Saturday but still enough to have scored at least one goal.

"The teams we have faced this season have either been strong at one end or the other but Hereford stifled us and at the same time remained dangerous on the break. They might be young and a bit raw but they’re definitely improving."  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

MP Warns FA To Act Or Face Legislation

5Live Investigates focused on the FA and the Owners and Directors Test in their programme this morning.

Presenter Adrian Goldberg spoke to fans of various clubs including HUST Vice Chairman Martin Watson and Hereford MP Jesse Norman.

Goldberg opened the piece by looking at Hereford United, playing an early interview with Tommy Agombar in which he promised to pay 'everyone' and 'settle everything here'. Watson added: "He promised everyone they would be paid, and the simple fact is they haven't been."

Goldberg asked Watson what the feeling was from fans when Agombar first arrived: "We'd had talks of a £7million investment. He rang myself and Trust chairman Chris Williams and told us he had £7million to put into the club - and we haven't seen anywhere near that sum. 

"Almost immediately when he was announced as being the owner people found, by searching on the internet, his past history and it was blatantly obvious that he was going to fail the test. How he lasted as long as he did in charge of the club is a mystery.

"On the day of the Conference AGM he was down the club, rather than at the AGM, telling fans that everything was fine. That he'd be putting money in that week that would clear the bills. And literally three days later we were kicked out of the Conference because that hadn't happened."

Goldberg asked Watson his thoughts on the FA's test: "It's absolutely useless. He was clearly not capable of passing the test yet the FA have absolutely no jurisdiction in stopping somebody buying a limited company and they've got no ability to enforce their own rules."

Goldberg then turned to MP Jesse Norman: "The whole thing was a shambles and the FA is very much at fault because it has not administered this test properly. It has not made it public as to what the results are. It hasn't insisted that the test be satisfied before people become owners and Directors."

Goldberg then asks Norman about the impact of Agombar's disqualification on Hereford United: "The club has been in great shock financially and otherwise but, of course, you don't forget that although Mr Agombar is not an owner of the club himself, the club's ownership has been transferred to some entity about which we know nothing. 

"Mr Agombar appears to play a significant role in the club now. There have been reports that he has been talking to players, speaking to staff, saying he is going to be hiring coaches. He is behaving like a man who has not changed his majority ownership of the club and we know nothing of the new owners, they have not disclosed themselves or come anywhere near. 

"There is a real question as to whether or not the test has had any effect on Mr Agombar's actual status at all, so I do think that the time has come for the FA to actually put it's boots on and Greg Dyke should be leading them to do a proper job of reforming the rules and properly enforcing them.

"Frankly, if he doesn't do that we're going to make a fuss until it gets done. If the job isn't done properly then it may be up to elected representatives in our democracy to do something about it."

"We cannot have clubs being run by people unless they are of known probity and integrity. The FA is responsible for the lower leagues and it should be enforcing this test and it should do so quickly and transparently."

Goldberg then reports that Andy Lonsdale told the programme that Agombar is not a shareholder or Director of the club, and has the right to speak to people he brought to the club.

The programme then goes on to speak about the issues at Salisbury and Birmingham, and takes the thoughts of MP Clive Efford.

The programme is available to listen to for the next four weeks at

Pictures From A Windy Wellington

A selection of pictures from this afternoon's Greg Thomas memorial match who sadly passed away 5 years ago. Hereford's fans team won the game 3-2.

A minutes applause prior to kick off in memory of Greg Thomas 
Luke Griffiths about to whip in a cross from the left 
Hereford's first goal of the afternoon

The sun was shining for this Wellington corner 
Balloons were released in memory of Greg 
Up, up and away

Runners up collecting their awards - there's always next year

HUST's Chris Oleksy played in today's game

The teams after the match 
The fans team with their first trophy

Fans Team Lifts Trophy With Wellington Win

The HUST Fans Team beat a Wellington XI 3-2 to win the annual Greg Thomas Memorial Match.

After a minutes applause in memory of Greg, Wellington opened the scoring within seconds of the kick off with the Fans Team half asleep. An equaliser soon came to see the half time scores level.

No kit clashes here according to the referee
Two quick goals at the start of the second half put the score at 2-2 before the Fans Team went ahead for the first time with the final goal.

HUST Fans Team At Wellington This Afternoon

The HUST Fans Team will take on a Wellington XI in the annual Greg Thomas Memorial Game this afternoon.

The HUST side will be made up of supporters and friends of Greg, with the Wellington XI friends and former team mates of Greg from his time with Wellington's youth section.

The kick off is 2pm, with funds raised from the game going to the Phoenix Bereavement charity based in Hereford -

For those unable to make the game, there is another option to support the Charity, from their website:

If you have a mobile phone it is really easy to support our work with bereaved children and young people.
All you have to do to donate a fiver is text PBSS12 £5 to 70070. Please give a fiver to the Phoenix. It's easy, but it makes a massive difference! Thank you.