Hereford United chairman Keyte remains optimistic as winding-up petition goes to the wire

Hereford United chairman David Keyte still has work to do if the club are to avoid their day in court.

Hereford United chairman David Keyte still has work to do if the club are to avoid their day in court.

First published in Sport

BULLS chairman David Keyte remains optimistic about Hereford United's future despite acknowledging that the club's winding-up petition on Monday is likely to go to the brink.

Much was likely to depend on the outcome of a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.

"We have a meeting with our stakeholders this afternoon," said Keyte yesterday morning.

"But we would have to ask HM Revenues and Customs by Friday to withdraw their petition and to pay the money due."

The club would need to pay the petitioned sum of £36,500 to HMRC to avoid the possibility of being put into administration, something the club are desperate to avoid.

"To go into administration would mean we incur a 10-point penalty," said Keyte.

"Then, if we had not paid football creditors by the end of the year, we would automatically be relegated.

"If, because of our points total, we were relegated anyway, then we would be dropped another level.

"Our prime objective is to stay in this league."

Keyte drew on the similarities with other relegated clubs.

"Lincoln's chairman has put in more than £500,000 since they were relegated," he said.

"Macclesfield are in a parallel position to us and they are seeking £150,000 which their board have said they would match.

"Stockport have been relegated again and Darlington have had to re-form.

"That is why we have supported the playing budget beyond allowing us to break even."

Keyte confirmed that he was still in discussions with potential investors from outside of Herefordshire and that a pared-down version of the scrapped telecoms deal might still be resurrected.

Meanwhile, Hereford's MP Jesse Norman has been highlighting the problems facing Hereford United in Westminster.

He wrote to the head of HMRC after United's relegation, to request a degree of forbearance with the club while it continued to reduce costs and reorganise its operations. Now he has written again, as well as seeking a debate in the House of Commons on the financial viability of local football clubs, to bring the issue into the public spotlight.

"Hereford United have a proud history and a famous name throughout football, and they are part of the life blood of the city," he said. "A lot of people have been incredibly generous and dedicated already in helping the club, but Herefordians of every stripe and interest need to get behind the Bulls now in their hour of need.

"Football in the UK is just not set up on a sustainable basis. How can it be right that the very existence of Hereford United can be under threat, for an amount equal to half a week's wages for a good Premiership player?

"I will continue to press the case for Hereford United with HM Revenue and Customs, and in Parliament.

"But it would help me if supporters could email me via jesse.norman.mp@parliament.uk and say why they love the club, and what it means to them."

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