Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lonsdale's Quotes From The Hereford Times

Andy Lonsdale, an advisor to Hereford United's majority shareholder Tommy Agombar, has given an interview to the Hereford Times. For the record here are some of his quotes.

"If we had not come in when we did – Hereford United would now be dead.
“David Keyte could not go forward and the local businessmen did not come forward.
“David Keyte was on his last legs and all the other directors – Grenville Smith, Bob Pritchard and Nick Nenadich – not one of them stepped up – and one of them has called us amateur.
“If we are amateur and we have saved the club – what does that say about them?
“They have killed the club.
“The club was £1.3 million in debt under their watch – not ours – and they call us amateur.
“All we have done is try to mop up their mess.
“We are getting hammered over the state of the club – but we never caused it.
“The Football creditors have been owed money – and that was not created under our watch.
 “We are here to build for the future.

“We want to go forward positively. We had loads of local friendlies that could have been played here but there was a lot of negativity from the fans.
“Tommy Agombar has got some great footballing contacts and so too has Mark Ellis and Joel and I.
“We are going to use those for the benefit of Hereford.”

“The cheques were written out to pay the football creditors and big sponsors were due to drop the money in but, at the last minute, the sponsors backed out.
“That was due to the bad press from Bulls Banter, Bulls News and the Hereford Times and they said 'Sorry, we can’t be associated with this'.
“There were two backers and they both pulled out.” 

“You have had a lot of comment in the local press about us being bad people.
“You had the local MP Jesse Norman asking for comment. I e-mailed Jesse Norman about three weeks ago and have not had a response.
“How can a local MP voted in by the locals endorse a phoenix club knowing that nobody will get paid if Hereford United went into liquidation?
"How can a local MP endorse that and he has not even offered to speak to us.
“I want him to listen to us and let’s engage in conversation and so he buys into our ethos."

"We started paying them yesterday - about 10 or 12 - and the rest should be paid today as long as we have all the bank details and references.
“We will pay today, tomorrow or Monday.
“The Southern League have been very good to us.
“We had to put up a bond to the Southern League and if we can’t pay the football creditors, why should we be allowed to play in the league?
“There are people coming out of the woodwork.
“David Keyte agreed to give all the first team a £500 bonus for when he couldn’t afford to pay the wages.
“We have to pick up the tab for that and we are looking into that.
“A lot of people did not have contracts.
"They showed David Keyte a lot of loyalty and they didn’t show us any – yet they still expect us to pay.
“They didn’t have a contract –a lot of people here only had verbal contracts.
“We are doing everything by the book – as far as that is concerned.” 

“I have had to resign from the club (Bedfont and Feltham Football Club) due to the Hereford fans which I was really happy about.
“They got hold of the FA and said that I was involved with two clubs.
“Because I want to see Tommy Agombar see this through, I made my decision to resign.
“I had been there 17 years but, because of the fans’ hatred here, I have had to resign.
“ I am not very happy about that but I am not going to walk away from this club because I gave Tommy my word that I would help him.”

At Least They're Consistent At One Thing

The following is a screen grab of text messages sent between former club media man Jamie Griffiths and Hereford United 'owner' Tommy Agombar.

In the messages, dated June 25th, Agombar claims to have sent cheques out two days before:

The cheques never arrived, however some employees received payslips - but no money - that week.

"Today, Tomorrow, Or Monday..."

Despite claiming earlier today that Hereford United would complete payments to football creditors today, Andy Lonsdale now says it will be "today, tomorrow, or Monday".

Lonsdale told the Hereford Times: “We started paying them yesterday - about 10 or 12 - and the rest should be paid today as long as we have all the bank details and references. We will pay today, tomorrow or Monday."

Bulls News has found only four football creditors to have received payment, with Rhys Evans saying that he had not actually been paid. A fourth person has confirmed receipt of some money, but both he and Luke Graham say they have not received the full sum owed.

Photocopied Cheques? There's An Explanation For That...

Andy Lonsdale claims that the late withdrawal of a sponsor saw the club show staff photocopy cheques that they did not post.

He told the Hereford Times: “The cheques were written out to pay the football creditors and big sponsors were due to drop the money in but, at the last minute, the sponsors backed out,” 

“That was due to the bad press from Bulls Banter, Bulls News and Hereford Times and they said sorry, we can’t be associated with this.

“There were two backers and they both pulled out.”

Lonsdale adds that they have a new sponsor lined up: “The company is not a local computer shop, this is a multi-national company.”

The reference to the local computer shop is in reference to the sponsor of the HUST Fans Team shirts. The same computer shop sponsored the club's fixtures cards last season, has an advertising board on the Edgar Street/Blackfriars Street corner of the ground, and also an advert in the programme.

None of these are being renewed for the new season because of the current regime.

I Would Have Got Away With It If It Wasn't For You Pesky Fans

In the latest of a series of articles on the Hereford Times website today, Andy Lonsdale claims that Bulls fans made him quit his role at Bedfont & Feltham - by reporting him to the FA for breaching rules.

The the FA abundantly clear on their rules on having influence at two clubs, Lonsdale blames supporters for contacting the FA:

“They got hold of the FA and said that I was involved with two clubs. Because I want to see Tommy Agombar see this through, I made my decision to resign.

“I had been there 17 years but, because of the fans’ hatred here, I have had to resign."

I think you'll find that's the rulebook, Andrew...

Southern League Handbook Lists Lonsdale And Nathan As Club Officials

The newly published Southern League handbook, sent out to clubs this week, lists Andy Lonsdale as Hereford United's new Chairman.

And, in an even more bizarre appointment, the handbook also lists Grays CEO Joel Nathan as Club Secretary. The news was reported on a forum earlier today, and has been confirmed by Bulls News this afternoon.

Nathan, who remains listed as their CEO on Grays' website, claimed today he still hasn't decided whether to take a job at Edgar Street.

Football Creditor Payments "Will Be Finished Tonight"

Bulls 'advisor' Joel Nathan claims today a major sponsorship deal will see Hereford United avoid a CVA deal.

He told the Hereford Times: “We are negotiating at the moment with a major blue-chip company to sponsor this club which, if it comes off, means we would not go into a CVA.”

Fellow 'advisor' Andy Lonsdale also told the Hereford Times that football creditors would be paid today: "Football creditors will be paid today and everything will be in place for the game against St Neots Town on August 9. We were always going to pay the football creditors.

“We have sat down and had an overlook of everything. We had two very big sponsors who were going to come in and invest in the club for a great deal of money.

“But because of the bad publicity through the Hereford Times, Bulls Banter and Bulls News they decided to pull out. There’s no point in coming out and talking until you are 100 per cent ready to do so.

“I am not a great believer in giving lip service just for the sake of it. You have to get all your facts straight and your ducks in a row before you come out and talk because you get shot down."

Lonsdale, who told fans on June 21st that football creditors had already been paid, had previously assured Bedfont & Feltham supporters that he was not leaving the club prior to his departure, and has been accused of lying by several former staff members at Edgar Street.

Turner Would Help Phoenix Club

Former Hereford United chairman and manager Graham Turner has told the Hereford Times that he would be prepared to help any new club set up by Hereford United supporters.

Turner also made it clear that he is 'desperately sorry' for both players and staff who have not been paid.

"I don't see where it is going now other than to start up again," said Turner

"Chester is a good example of what can be done and that seems to be the only way here, too."

In his time at Hereford Turner and other staff went without pay for a while.

"I am desperately sorry for the staff who have gone without pay, and that includes last season's players.

"It's outrageous that this has gone on to decent people. 

"There has been tremendous hardship for a lot of people, especially those with families and it's especially sad after such a tremendous effort to avoid relegation on that last day at Aldershot Town."  

Council Discussing Whether CVA Is Breach Of Leases

The Hereford Times reports that the Council are in a behind closed doors meeting to discuss whether the proposed CVA breaches the terms of the club's lease on Edgar Street.

Bill Tanner reports that senior Council leaders and political group leaders are in talks this morning, and have refused to speak about the meeting. Some Council members have already called on the Council to rescind the leases and seek a new deal with HUST.

Only Four Football Creditors Paid

Bulls News can find evidence of only four football creditors being paid.

The trio of senior players - Luke Graham, Rhys Evans, and Rob Purdie - and youngster Billy Murphy - who was one of only two players to have contracts for the 2014/15 season and has since joined Bristol City - received money yesterday.

Graham, who had a contract running to the end of June, was only paid up to the end of May leaving him still owed money. The other 50-odd football creditors - including several clubs - are yet to receive any money.

The Southern League are expected to release a statement at some point, with their original deadline now understood to have expired.

YourHerefordshire reported yesterday that they had received a response from Secretary Jason Mills: 'I am receiving numerous emails from Hereford United Supporters. Unfortunately I am unable to respond to these.'

Update: Rhys Evans now says he was NOT paid by Hereford United yesterday.

Supporters Team Confirm Ex-Players For Worcester Game

The Hereford United Supporters Team have confirmed that eight former Bulls will be involved during the forthcoming game against Worcester City XI.

Players confirmed:

Wayne Brown, Alex Jeannin, Tony James, Steve Guinan, David Titterton, John Snape, Rob Purdie, Scott Goodwin.

The Supporters Team hope to reveal more signings, and a manager for the game in the coming days. 

Preedy 'Keeping Powder Dry At The Moment'

Former Hereford United director Dave Preedy spoke briefly to BN earlier this morning.

BN - How do you see things going at the moment?

DP - It changes every day, it's really hard to say.

I've kept my counsel. I've got a statement to make. I've had professional advice because of the CVA and all that's going on. I've got to be careful what I say.

The Council might be doing an enquiry into what's gone on so I've got to keep my powder very dry at the moment.

I have got a story to tell. The reasons why I stayed, the reasons why I left. It's all about timing.

BN - Another High Court hearing next Monday. What do you expect from that?

DP - I would imagine an adjournment again. The CVA hasn't been finalised. I'm a big creditor and I've had no correspondence at all so I'm waiting on that.

I've had no paperwork from Hereford United since I left. But my claim is on record.

BN - People who don't know what happened in the boardroom in the weeks before the sale to Agombar might be critical of you?

DP - I expect that. But I know why I was there and  a lot of people know why I stayed.

Council Slow To Move On Petition Decision

Bulls News understands that Herefordshire Council are yet to act on the petition handed to them by fans nearly a month ago.

The petition, submitted at the end of the march by supporters through the city last month, called on the Council to refuse transfer of the leases away from Hereford United 1939 Ltd.

The Council, under their own rules, should have responded to the submission of the petition with details of how they would proceed within ten days but, at the time of writing, are yet to give an answer. The petition, of well over 7,000 signatures, should trigger a public debate by the full Council.

When questioned yesterday afternoon, by the petition's submitter, they stated the delay was down to the number of signatures needed to be processed and that a response is expected to be supplied by the end of next week.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yet Another Diversion

Nailswortholdbull isn't impressed by  today's reports that three ex-Hereford United players have received some back pay from new majority owner Tommy Agombar.

Below he explains why.

So, at long last, it appears that Tommy & Co, have dug into their collective pockets, and managed to pay a whole 3 players, all at once, and only 4-5 months late, and after (approximately, as we've all given up counting!) probably 6-8 recent promises to meet deadlines that were never kept.
Significantly, the players paid, Bobbie P, Rhys Evans, and Luke G, appear to be those who were most vociferous in both their condemnation of this regime, and their demands for their money. Am I cynical in thinking that Tommy & Co are trying to shut down the most articulate of their footballing creditors? Nah, it's just a coincidence, ennit?

Allow our cynicism a little more rein, and we now hear that Tommy & Co (I refuse to shame our great little club further, by naming it as the culprit) have applied for some extra time to pay the balance of footie creditors. Do they really think that the Southern League is as weak & toothless as they appear to be? Does Joel Nathan's claimed "relationship" with a senior member of the SL board get him favours which would NEVER be granted to any other club in the division? The SL HAS to stick to it's imposed deadline, otherwise their credibility will be totally destroyed. And NOT just with Bulls fans, but more particularly, with their member clubs.
Do Tommy & Co think that paying just 3 players, out of ALL the football creditors they told the local council they would pay 2-3 weeks ago, has influenced the views of the Council? Do they think that Tommy's own admission, that he is budgeting for gates of 500, this coming season, will give him sufficient income to pay this year's rent, let alone the chunks of the £65k outstanding debt, that he has promised to pay out over the next 3 seasons?

The lies have gone on long enough, and they are all, mostly, well documented. They have been made, not only to supporters, employees and players, but also, to people in authority, at the Council, HMRC, the Hereford Times (who, thankfully, now appear to have seen the light), and to the Southern League. It has to stop, and soon. We have people of intelligence being made to look stupid, and people with responsibilities to others who are neglecting those responsibilities, in letting TA & Co carry on with this charade.

You can fool some of these people some of the time, but not ALL of them ALL of the time.

To those that can do something to stop this rot, I say, PLEASE, do not be swayed by the small amount of money that TA & Co have handed over today. It does NOT prove ANY intent whatsoever, to pay others. Don't take my word for it, just examine the trail of broken promises leading up to this point! 

Payments Begin To Trickle Through To Creditors

It is understood that a couple of players have received their back wages from the club today.

A number of the other football creditors have confirmed that they are still waiting payment.

Update: As of 4.30pm three players had confirmed they had received payments, but more than a dozen players and staff said they had received nothing as yet.

Club Seeking More Time For Payments

The Hereford Times reports that Hereford United have asked for more time to make payments to football creditors.

Despite having had nearly two months to settle debts, the paper says the club have asked the Southern League for more time. So far today, none of the football creditors have received payments despite the latest round of promises.

The paper also reports that their calls to Joel Nathan are not being returned, while the Southern League are expected to make a statement on the situation.

Update: BBC Hereford and Worcester report that the Southern League are unlikely to make a statement today.

Rent And Proposed Land Swap At Edgar Street

Yesterday BN carried some information from Herefordshire Council about the rent, the leases and proposed land swap at Edgar Street. (

Former Hereford United director Bob Pritchard has added his thoughts about the issue.

The rent has always been agreed at £10k p/a and is reviewed every 10 years within the 30 year lease.

As far as the triangle of land swap, there is a tenancy of will in place for the council to use their land and the club to use their land for a period of 12 months and at the end of the term both parties take possession of the swap land to square the land up.

It can take place earlier by notification by either party however this is unlikely to happen, the 12 months is up in Feb 2015.
The Council require their triangle for the development of Merton Meadow land and the club requires theirs for the squaring up of the strip of land for the development of the apartment scheme at the back of the Meadow End.

There is an obligation for the club to fence this land on vacant possession with no direct access to the Merton Meadow car park land to the north, so all supporters will have to exit via the sides ie Edgar Street and the new car park road located beyond the current boundary below Radfords. 

Silkmen Face Further Cash Problems

Macclesfield manager John Askey says he will have to build a squad with the lowest budget in the Conference this season.

The Silkmen continue to have money troubles after a season of struggle last term, with Askey describing their budget last season as 'bottom 2 or 3' but now seeing it cut further. He says he still needs eight new signings this summer and will speak with club owner Amar Alkhadi over finances this week.

He told the Manchester Evening News that his set budget was 'unrealistic' and 'way below anybody else' and hoped that Thursday's talks would get the club somewhere near to last year's comparative 'fortune' of a budget.

The Silkmen stayed in the Conference only after Alkhadi put money in at the last minute to settle debts at the AGM, with Director Andy Scott having set up a takeover deal following the collapse of moves to turn the club into a Community Interest Company.

Meanwhile, Worcester City have announced a loss of £43,175 for the 2012/13 season. They say that it is 50% cheaper for them to stage matches at Kidderminster, where it costs around £2,000 a game, compared to St George's Lane due to the ageing state of their former ground.

They have already sold 250 season tickets for the coming season, and also operate a successful lottery scheme that generates £50,000 a season.

Former Staff Await Payment Arrival

Former staff and players are again awaiting news of payments hitting their bank accounts today after being told they will arrive by Tommy Agombar and Andy Lonsdale.

With the clock ticking on the Southern League's deadline for payment, a string of football creditors were told over the last two days that funds would arrive in their accounts on Tuesday or Wednesday.

However some football creditors have heard nothing at all from the club intensifying frustration at the lack of communication from the new regime, with anger at the broken promises of payments overflowing.

The Insolvency Practitioner handling the CVA process has told some of the football creditors that they will not be part of the CVA deal, with the CVA offer still to be sent to creditors.

The trialist side went to Leeds to face Besiktas in a hired minibus and some cars, and took to the field in used kit from seasons past - some carrying the Football League logo - with the game receiving limited coverage in the English press, most of it bemusement at the game's existence against the plight of the club.

With little evidence that the influx of money that Agombar had promised weeks ago has actually arrived, the situation remains grave at Edgar Street.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ex-Bull Watch

Marlon Jackson is the latest ex-Bull to link up with Eastleigh. The forward, who ended last season at Halifax, is on trial with the Spitfires after turning down an opportunity with Carlisle. He got the chance after his agent contacted the club, and manager Richard Hill spoke to Chris Todd.

Steve Jennings has signed for Port Vale. The former Tranmere and Motherwell midfielder has signed a one year deal with the Valiants, joining fellow former Bulls loanee Mark Marshall at the club.

Danny Leadbitter is now on trial at Southend. He played in their game with Braintree at the weekend and also faced a Colchester side today.

Supporters Team Confirm Groundshare With Pegasus Juniors

The Hereford United Supporters Team have confirmed that they will have use of the pitch and facilities at Pegasus Juniors for any home Supporters Team matches this season.

The news article released on the Supporters Team website reads: "We would like to thank the support of everyone at Pegasus Juniors, we look forward to using their fantastic facilities throughout the coming months, and building on our already strong relationship between the two sides."

Beadle Gives Inspiring Team Talk To Supporters Team

Council Deny £1 Rent Claim

Herefordshire Council have denied that the rent on Edgar Street dropped to £1 with the new leases.

In updating their FAQ on Hereford United yesterday (link) the Council say the rent on the ground is still £10,000 a year. The FAQ also notes that the Council have been told that £52,500 of their debt will be settled this financial year, with the remaining £12,500 next financial year.

The FAQ also says that a proposed land swap on the site, swapping two triangles of land to 'square up' the site, has not been completed with the Council saying the club 'has not taken this option forward'.

Fans Team Announce New Fixture

'Oxo' Talking To Trevor Owens For BBC H&W
This from Oxo:

We are pleased to announce we have arranged a friendly with Royston Town, this will be played before the their 1st team play Aylesbury United on August 23rd. We hope members of the London Bulls will be taking part, as well as those ex players who live closer to the capital. More info will be released when we have them.

This game has been designated as a HUFC solidarity day, so we hope as many fans can support this day, as well as the supporters game earlier.

More details on the fixture will be released in due course.

Prize Bull Draw 9

This from HUST:

Prize Bull draw No.9 took place on Monday night at Ledbury Town.
The winning numbers are 6, 8, 12, and 18
Should you have the winning combination, please contact to claim the jackpot.

Lower League Football To Be Debated in Parliament

Hereford MP Jesse Norman is to take part in a debate about lower league football.

As you will know I remain deeply concerned about the situation at Hereford United. To highlight the situation I have been pressing for a parliamentary debate on the future of non league football.

I am very pleased to let you know that I have now been granted time in the Commons chamber for a debate on Thursday, 4 September 2014. The debate will be held at around midday, and a minister from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will have the opportunity to respond.

The priority for my speech will be the situation at Hereford United, but I also hope to cover some of the broader issues facing lower-league football.

I will be working on my speech over the next few weeks and would be interested to receive any contributions from fans, HUFC creditors or anyone else who cares about football in the community. 

The announcement of the debate is online at It would help if you could tweet this link or put it on Facebook or other social media, with this email address so that interested parties can get in touch. .

Thanks From Supporters Team

654 Hereford United fans turned out to support an 'alternative fixture' for those Bulls fans who are currently taking part in a boycott of the Edgar Street club

Ledbury And Hereford Together
Everyone associated with the Hereford United Supporters Team would like to extend their thanks to all those who attended last night’s game at Ledbury, your support was incredible.
The match was not about winning, and despite the 6-2 defeat the players thoroughly enjoyed their 90minutes. We hope that you enjoyed watching the game with over 650 like-minded fans.
We would like to thank Ledbury Town for their extremely warm welcome, they played fantastic hosts both to the players and the supporters.
We would also like to thank Pete Beadle, Steve Jenkins and Jonny Evans who all gave their time, passion and expertise for free.
We’d also like to thank Sam Gwynne, Jon Hill, Callum Brennan and Max Kontic for pulling on the famous white shirt once more.
This isn’t the end, and our next game against Worcester City could be even bigger and better (is that possible?).
Supporters club secretary Chris Oleksy has already lined up former players who were members of the Conference Play Off Final win in 2006 and who also turned out for The Bulls during their League 1 spell. The players confirmed so far are Steve Guinan, Wayne Brown, Tony James and Alex Jeannin.

The game against Worcester City is set to be played at Malvern FC on 3rd August.

Nathan To "Agree Terms With New Safety Officer"

Despite claiming to have no influence at the club, and having to resort to quoting a 'reliable source', Grays CEO Joel Nathan says he is set to agree terms with a new Safety Officer at Edgar Street.

Nathan told the Hereford Times: “I will be agreeing terms with a new safety officer for the ground on Wednesday" as he spoke about the ground being ready to comply with Council demands on Friday.

Council officer Marc Willimott confirmed a meeting at the club yesterday, tweeting that the club had been told what it needed to do and he had been told the work would be completed for the start of the season.

Nathan also told the paper that a 'reliable source' had told him that football creditors would be paid: “I know that I said that I would not be saying anything but, to the best of my knowledge, football creditors are being paid today or tomorrow.

“I have been told by a very reliable source who knows what’s going on and that is football creditors will be paid.”

Some former staff members were informed by text message yesterday that they would be paid today.

Post Friendly Beadle

Pete Beadle Being Interviewed By Trevor Owens And John Williamson
Manager of the Hereford United Supporters Team Pete Beadle spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester after last night's friendly at Ledbury which was watched by 654 supporters.

"What they've done tonight is the start of something that could become quite big.

"And it makes a statement.

"They've done it in the right manner.

"They've played in the right fashion with respect, it was really good.

"And the supporters have come out and made it what it was."

Preedy Pleased With Support At Ledbury

Former Hereford United director Dave Preedy was at Ledbury last night to watch the Supporters Team in action. But it wasn't the football that really mattered he told BN.

"My first impression it wasn't the football tonight but the football family of Hereford United coming together," said Preedy.

"The football was secondary in a way.

"This is Hereford United.

"We may not come to the games at Edgar Street for the time being but we're still here to fight for this club.

"We won't let it go."