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Hereford United chairman David Keyte reveals further cutbacks at Edgar Street
HEREFORD United are facing another financial crisis after further cutbacks at Edgar Street were revealed.
Today’s FA Trophy exit at the hands of Woking, means that chance of £5,000 in prize money, and the power to add, has now vanished after a – even by the standards of some other performances this season – particularly hapless display.
But, even before that, changes had been made behind the scenes at Edgar Street.
Club secretary Lee Symonds and the office staff will now be working three days per week.
While it also appears that executive chef Richard Fletcher and his assistant Shirley Cannan will be departing.
“We have decided that we have to continue with further cutbacks,” said chairman David Keyte.
“We made the decision after Tuesday night’s fixture with Halifax, with a gate of about 1,100, allowed us to bank around £3,000.
“We had been contemplating cutbacks for a few weeks and probably should have done it sooner.
“Everyone here is working extremely hard and they are all good people.
“But the fact is that we cannot afford to carry on as we are.
“We have decided to cut back on hours; the bars will not now open until 6pm.
“We had been operating on an ‘Open all hours to the public’ in terms of all-day breakfasts and that sort of thing but there is insufficient take up of that.
“So we have decided to fall back on the functions, which do make money for us and are better controlled financially.
“They are costed properly whereas if you are just leaving your door open for someone coming in for breakfast, then you have no control and the fixed costs are the wages for the catering staff and everyone else that is in that day.
“Basically, the facility will not be open to the public during the day, which is the exact opposite of what we set out to do, but the bars will be open for 6pm and we will still be open for functions and bookings.
“We had a very successful night with John Hartson last night when a lot of people came out and had a good evening and a nice meal and so that is what we are going to do.”
Keyte admitted that the Woking defeat was a blow, financially and to morale.
“We want to stay in cup competitions – it keeps the season going - but today it was job done at half-time,” he said.
Keyte could not rule out further cuts.
“The financial facts are that we are losing £30,000 per month, and we now believe that we are taking £7-800 per month out in terms of the non-football departments by this move, so we are clearly not going to balance the books by this.
“And the key reason for being here is the football team which costs more money than we get through the gates.”
Playing cutbacks would appear to be out of the question.
“It’s very difficult from a contractual point of view,” he admitted. “The players are under contract; you can chop and change that sort of thing but it would be usually under some sort of agreed pay-off so that would a swings and roundabouts arrangement.”