Consortium gives update about an alternative Hereford United future

Jon Hale (left) with HUST chairman Chris Williams.

Jon Hale (left) with HUST chairman Chris Williams.

First published in News Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A GROUP of businessmen who who to create a 'phoenix club' should Hereford United go into liquidation have provided an update regarding their plans.

Jon Hale, who is behind the idea, said that the group had an informal meeting with Hereford United Supporters Trust (HUST) last week so they could share an overview of their business plan and how a 'phoenix club' could work.

"Like all Hereford United fans it is fair to say we are exasperated with what is going on at Edgar Street and are appalled with the contempt with which such fantastic supporters are being treated," said Mr Hale.

"The lack of any communication from the club’s owners and the continued failure to pay off any creditors – despite repeated promises to do so – just adds to the frustration and anger everyone feels.

“Although our plan relates to the birth of a new club, we have stated all along that none of us wish to see the current club fold if there is any realistic way it can be avoided.

"Sadly, as every day passes, it becomes more and more clear that there is no viable future for Hereford United Football Club in its present form.

“In the past few days we have been in direct contact with senior officials at Herefordshire Council to re-emphasise our desire to ensure there is a long-term, sustainable future for football at Edgar Street and make it clear that we are ready to act with immediate effect if given the opportunity.

“We understand and respect that at the present time the Council can only deal with the club that exists, but I believe they are clear about our aims and goals and also the concerns we continue to have about the future of professional or semi-professional football in our city.

“We were delighted with the support the HUST Board offered our plan and I believe they could see that our business model was based on all the ideals a modern day, supporter led, community club should have. We look forward to sharing this business plan with a wider audience if the time arises that it can be put to use.”

Mr Hale added: "After going public about our meeting with the council just over two weeks ago, we have had a huge amount of interest in our plans and we have been heartened by the kind messages we have received.

“What’s more, a number of potential local investors have made contact with us and offered financial backing and support should it be required if the current club does go into liquidation.

"These potential investors share our vision for the way a phoenix club should be run and like us they do not believe the current club is a viable business moving forward.

"They believe the community club our supporters deserve can only become reality if a fresh start is made.

“While the formation of a new club would mean the current club’s creditors would not be paid, discussions have already taken place within our group about how we could try to help those people – especially loyal club staff – who have been left out of pocket by recent mismanagement at Edgar Street.

 

“A fundraising match of some sort is one idea we have seen and would like to look at, but clearly this type of conversation can only be had in more detail if a new club is formed.

“Finally, for clarity I’d just like to confirm the identity of the members of our group who met with the HUST Board last week.

"Alongside myself and Phil Eynon, George Webb and Chris Ammonds – who is advising us on PR and communication matters – also attended the meeting, while Hugh Brooks, a former finance director at Edgar Street when Graham Turner was in charge, is also part of the group but was unable to attend the meeting last week due to a prior engagement.”

 

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