Fans rally behind Hereford United once again as board of directors plead for cash

Hereford Times: Jarrod Bowen of Hereford United Youth second left is mobbed after scoring - AFC Bournemouth Youth vs Hereford United Youth - FA Challenge Youth Cup Football at the Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth, Dorset - 19/12/13 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Denis Murphy/TGSPHOTO Jarrod Bowen of Hereford United Youth second left is mobbed after scoring - AFC Bournemouth Youth vs Hereford United Youth - FA Challenge Youth Cup Football at the Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth, Dorset - 19/12/13 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Denis Murphy/TGSPHOTO

HEREFORD United are almost a third of the way to reaching the target of their latest appeal after fans, once again, rallied behind the cash-strapped club.

And, on the pitch, the players provided some festive cheer as well.

The Bulls youth-team are in the last 32 of the FA Youth Cup and have a trip to Manchester City to anticipate after a penalty shoot-out win at Bournemouth.

The senior team entered into the Christmas spirit, too, with a deserved 1-0 success over Skrill Premier leaders Cambridge United.

At the end of last week, the Bulls board of directors announced that they needed to raise £35,000 in 14 days to meet the December wage-bill.

The club have failed to meet their PAYE obligations and expect to face a winding-up order in February.

However, well before that time, the directors expect to have signed a new ground lease with Herefordshire Council. This will allow them to conclude a deal with a telecoms company who will pay a six-figure sum to position a mast on one of the floodlight pylons.

This welcome cash influx should then enable the club to complete the season, although further reviews of costings will be undertaken so that a break-even budget can be produced for 2014-5.

Before then, however, the board have gone back to the fans to help with what they describe as 'a short-term fix to secure a long-term future'.

The request was for season-ticket holders and other fans to contribute £10 each at each of the three home holiday games - against Cambridge last Saturday, the televised clash against Forest Green Rovers this Saturday, kick-off 7.30pm, and against Kidderminster Harriers on New Year's Day .

Donations would be recognised with a reduction in next season's season ticket price, or shares in the club.

And the plea met with a positive response.

"We had more than £6,500 donated on Saturday, which is marvellous," said chairman David Keyte.

"And we have the on-line facility through the shop which had already raised about £3,500.

"It's an excellent start.

"We believe it's a realistic target if enough people share the load - every football club is only as strong as it's support base, we have a good support base and an incredible history that other club's can't boast.

"We don't intend to lose that but it makes it a lot easier of 3-4,000 people feel they can support the club."

Skipper and player-coach Luke Graham also praised the contribution of the supporters.

"We know what the fans have chipped in since I've been here and they have been absolutely fantastic," he said.

"They have had a lot of doom and gloom over the last few years and I want to give something back by getting the club up the table."

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