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Hereford United players unlikely to be paid as Edgar Street cash crisis grows
HEREFORD United chairman David Keyte admits ‘it’s unlikely’ that the players’ salaries will be paid tomorrow (Friday).
The Edgar Street club have been given a financial lifeline after being drawn at home against rivals Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup.
United supporters have raised around £15,000 since Keyte revealed the extent of the club’s financial problems last week.
However, United couldn’t meet their PAYE payment on Monday and HMRC are now likely to start legal proceedings to recover the debt.
The Conference have slapped a transfer embargo on United, an automatic punishment for clubs failing to meet HMRC payments.
Keyte said: “We have had two figures this week - one was the £35,000 PAYE on Monday and the other is the payroll on Friday.
“HMRC wouldn’t accept only a part of the PAYE bill - they wanted it in full - so we agreed that we may as well pay nothing at this stage.
“We would rather keep the money to pay some wages and salaries at the club.”
Keyte said United’s payroll is £77,000 a month and ‘it’s unlikely’ that the amount will be paid in full by tomorrow.
“You feel that, as chairman, there’s some obligation but you get to a point where you need to think about what you’re doing.
“I put in £15,000 a couple of weeks ago to pay the monthly salaries.
“We have budgeted for gates of 2,400 people and because our gates have dropped, and the drop in funding since relegation, we can’t meet the wages.
“If we had 2,400 fans coming through the gates, we would be fine - but that hasn’t been the case this season.”
Should United fail to meet the players’ wages, Keyte said they had a right to give the club two weeks’ notice for breach of contract.
“All we can do is ask supporters to help at any level they feel they can,” said Keyte.
“More hands make light work. We are going through a stage of telling the fans the situation we’re in and giving them a chance to help. We will then assess things and see if the club is financially viable.”
He added: “Maybe fans can buy a ticket, buy a programme and have a pint in the supporters’ club.”
United have a Conference clash at Southport this Saturday and tickets are now on sale for their FA Cup first-round clash with Shrewsbury on Saturday, November 3.
“We need to fill the ground and fans can help us by buying their tickets early,” said Keyte.
“It’s a great draw for us and we are disappointed to have missed out on a televised tie.”
Keyte expects the Blackfriars End to be open for the Shrewsbury match (kick-off 1pm).
“Having the Blackfriars End open should add around 800 people to the gate and the capacity will be 5,800 to 5,900 with around 1,500 tickets for Shrewsbury fans.
"We have a fighting chance of breaking even in December - and we’re looking at that as a break-even month,” said Keyte.
Director Nick Nenadich says the local community is doing all it can to help United. “People are doing the best they can to raise money for the club - and it’s been very touching to see,” said Nenadich.
United are launching a Corporate Ticket scheme between now and the end of the season. The scheme offers local business and companies tickets to the remaining home games including the cup matches for £150 – a minimum of 10 matches.
For more details about the Corporate Ticket scheme, contact Stuart Blake at: stuart@ definerisksolutions.com