County MP Bill Wiggin: "Hereford United has forgotten about its loyal fans"

MP Bill Wiggin.

MP Bill Wiggin.

First published in News by

NORTH Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin says that the people currently running Hereford United have foroggten about their loyal fans.

Mr Wiggin said that he is saddened about the situation at Edgar Street and will do whatever it takes to ensure that coundil retains the ground's leases and recoups its outstanding rent.

"When I think of Hereford United, I think of a lady I know called Mary, who looked after my children," said Mr Wiggin.

"She attended nearly every game for 41 years and when I think of the club I think of her, her drive, her loyalty and her passion for the Bulls.

"The people involved with Hereford United have forgotten about people like Mary’s hard earned money. Money they have handed over without question in order to support their club.

"I have visited Edgar Street on several occasions but only as a fan with my children, and I must say that aside from occasional bit of bad language, I was always proud that Hereford United was family friendly.

"I have never met any directors of Hereford United or the people currently involved but I am sad about the situation.

"I know a number of my constituents and numerous Bulls’ fans are concerned about the current goings on at Hereford United.

"I understand many fans believe the new owner wants to develop the Edgar Street ground.

"I have spoken with Councillor Tony Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council, to find out exactly what is happening.

"I am assured Hereford United’s pitch is protected from development by a covenant.

"That covenant restricts all activity on the pitch to football and/or athletics.

"Either end of Hereford United’s Edgar Street ground is the subject of a separate lease arrangement with Herefordshire Council, whilst the leases allow for development to take place - 85% of any profit arising from such development has to be put back into the sporting facility.

"It is therefore not legal for any new owner to develop the ground without the agreement of Herefordshire Council and going through the proper procedures.

"My own position is that I will do all I can to ensure the council continues to retain the leases on behalf of all of us, the council tax payers.

"Secondly I want the council to pursue the club for the outstanding rent that belongs to everyone in Herefordshire.

"In the hope that this will bring closure or certainty to all concerned.

"Yes it is possible that the club will not survive in its current form.

"Maybe the debts are too large and that once the legal proceedings have taken place, then Herefordshire Council will need to find a football club to occupy their ground.

"I am hopeful that at that point that our County club - Hereford United will reform.

"Some call this the phoenix plan – back from the ashes.

"What it will look like and who owns it, we can only speculate but wouldn’t it be great to have a fan owned club, bringing in the whole community just as we are seeing community owned pubs and schools in Dilwyn.

"Remember what happened at Hereford Racecourse. I recall when Northern Racing shut the racecourse down.

"Then they discovered it was protected in a similar way to Hereford United.

"And now, thanks to the hard work of local racing experts, we will have racing at Hereford Racecourse once again.

"Perhaps this was a model for our football club, I would encourage all local people to keep their money in their pockets for when that phase arrives.”

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