The following is a press release:
Local Businessmen Approach Herefordshire Council With Concerns About The Future Of Football At Edgar Street
A Malvern-based company director has confirmed that, as a representative of a number of prominent local businessmen, he will be meeting with Herefordshire Council on Tuesday afternoon to express concerns about the long term plans of Hereford United Football Club’s new owner and the future of football at Edgar Street.
Jon Hale, who owns Hadopots Limited, speaking on behalf of the wider group earlier today, said:
“The purpose of our meeting – which two other group members will attend with me - will be to express our grave reservations about Hereford United’s new majority shareholder and his long-term plans for the club’s ground, Edgar Street.
“The lack of clear communication since he took ownership, the failure to make payments when promised, and the news that he has already approached the council about the three leases relating to Edgar Street has set alarm bells off with us all.
“We have joined together as a group as we share a belief that Mr Agombar is unfit to be the tenant at Edgar Street and that he has bought a majority shareholding in the club simply to seek profit from the development opportunities he believes there are at the site.
“At the meeting on Tuesday we will put forward a number of proposals to clearly demonstrate there is a viable alternative to any plans that Mr Agombar wants us to believe he has. Our plans would see the creation of a new football club to play at Edgar Street - a club that is sustainable and community run, but with a number of local investors in the background to ensure it is built from a solid financial base.
“Sadly, due to the recent mismanagement of Hereford United’s finances and the fact that the actual levels of debt are still unclear, we feel starting afresh is the only way forward to secure a long term future for professional or semi professional football in the city of Hereford.
“Although none of us would be happy to see our club, Hereford United, go out of business, we have reached the point where we feel there is no realistic alternative to forming a new club. With the club’s expulsion from the Conference having been confirmed, we do not believe the club has a viable future in its present guise.
“We are in a position where we could move forward with our plans for a new club immediately and I can reassure supporters that the local community would be at the very heart of all we would aim to achieve. Although our proposals would see the formation of a new club, we would always embrace and celebrate the unique history of Hereford United Football Club and its spirit.
“We have approached the Hereford United Supporters Trust (HUST) Board to inform them about this meeting and also explain why we have decided to organise it. We are committed to working alongside HUST as their aims and goals mirror those of our group. We are therefore pleased that HUST Chairman Chris Williams has accepted our invitation to attend the meeting on Tuesday with us.
“Obviously, at the present time the club remains in the hands of Mr Agombar, but we felt we had to make our interest in the club known to the council at this stage to ensure they know we would be willing to put time, effort and money into protecting the future of football at Edgar Street.
“We also felt it was important we made news of this meeting public because far too many things have happened at Edgar Street behind closed doors in recent times.
“Right now there is no further information to share about our meeting but we will be looking to link closely with the council as the current situation at Edgar Street develops. When there is any news for us to share it will be made public at the earliest opportunity to ensure openness and complete transparency – something our group feels very strongly about.”
For clarity, those attending the meeting with the council will be Jon Hale, Phil Eynon, Richard Howard (a past Chairman of the Vice Presidents Club) and Chris Williams on behalf of HUST. In addition Phil Pratt – an experienced chartered surveyor from Alder King Commercial Property Consultants - will also be attending as he is advising the group on issues relating to the leases and the commercial implications of the Landlord and Tenant Act.