LiveLive blog: Hereford United's date with Conference destiny

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

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Summary

  • Follow our live blog as Hereford United face the Football Conference board as they plead for Conference survival.
  • Hereford United face relegation from the Conference after failing to pay their football creditors by a 5pm deadline yesterday.

6:45pm

6:41pm

What a remarkable afternoon it has been and thank you very much for following our live blog.

I was hearing rumours that Hereford United had been kicked out of the Conference.

But the club have been given one last chance to pay their bills.

The deadline for the payments has been kept confidential by the Conference board.

 

6:34pm

The Conference clearly do not want to kill off clubs and Hereford United have been given one last chance.

6:30pm

The new director of Hereford United, Andrew Green, was the other person with David Keyte today.

6:28pm

Hereford United are not out of the woods but they have been given a lifeline by the Conference board of directors.

Hereford United are now in a last chance saloon.

6:26pm

Chairman David Keyte will be back for the annual general meeting tomorrow at 11am and bringing with him company secretary Lee Symonds.

6:24pm

The Football Conference Ltd has made the following statement re membership:

Persuant to article 5.2 of the limited company articles of association, a quorate meeting of its board of directors today met to consider matters of membership ahead of the agm.

In the case of Hereford United 1939 Ltd (company 355272) being represented by chairman David Keyte and director Andrew Green, the board unanimously agreed that the club can retain membership of the limited company and their place in the Football Conference Premer Division providing financial payments are secured as directed by the board.

Failure to meet the financial conditions imposed, the club's membership would be revoked.

 

 

6:12pm

Chairman Dave Keyte has just left the meeting and did not want to make a statement.

He looked emotionally-drenched and we shook hands.

It has been a wretched time for the club.

The Conference board are preparing a statement - so please stay tuned.

5:58pm

I will keep you posted with any news when the board members come out of this meeting.

5:58pm

Thanks for following the live blog this afternoon and, from what I am being told, a lot of people in Hereford have been reading it.

5:55pm

Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick did warn me earlier that today's board meeting could last until 6pm.

5:47pm

Hopefully, there will be a statement from the Conference shortly or, perhaps, David Keyte.

But the meeting is still in progress.

5:41pm

Hereford United's new representative has just walked past me and didn't seem too distraught.

 

5:35pm

The Hereford United representatives are still inside the board room...

5:22pm

Still awaiting the Hereford United representatives to come out of the board room.

Two representatives from the other club have just walked past me and appeared to be fairly pleased with their own decision.

5:13pm

There has been a 'change in the batting order', the Conference official has told me.

Two representatives of another club are going into the boardroom before Hereford United.

5:08pm

5:05pm

The decision on Hereford United's future looks set to be delivered to Keyte in the next few minutes.

5:03pm

Dave Keyte and his associate have just walked past me and are heading in the direction of the board meeting...

5:02pm

It is now a matter of sitting and waiting to hear the fate of Hereford United.

It is a probably a good time to reflect and wonder how the club has fallen so badly and so far in such a short space of time.

Four years ago this week, I was at Edgar Street for the unveiling of Dave Keyte and Tim Russon as United's majority shareholders.

Today, could arguably, be the worst day in the history of Hereford United.

4:44pm

Hereford United supporters must be refreshing this live blog, hoping and praying for some positive news.

Hopefully, we might have some concrete news to deliver in the next hour, after the board have finished their discussions.

When you are not inside a meeting and those that are are 'not at liberty to speak' it is very hard to get a handle on the mood.

4:39pm

Hereford United chairman David Keyte and the other club representative are not in the board meeting at the moment as deliberations are continuing.

There are other Conference clubs, too, who have had financial problems this season

4:29pm

4:29pm

4:07pm

4:07pm

Bulls fans are living on a knife edge once again as the club's future in the Conference hangs by a thread.

They are awaiting a possible press comment - maybe due at 5pm.

Hereford Times: Hereford United FC v Alfreton Town FC
Supporters celebrate after Jarrod Bowen scores a goal to make it 3-1 (5565193)

4:04pm

4:02pm

We cannot bring much more for the time being but thanks for being patient for the past two hours.

All the Conference board are in the meeting and a press statement might be made by the Conference after 5pm today.

 

3:48pm

A Conference spokesman has just told me that a press statement might be made after 5pm but not before.

He also said that there might not be a statement made.

The Conference spokesman said Hereford United probably won't be making a statement.

No other press or media are present.

 

3:35pm

I can't tell whether this blog makes interesting reading.

But the last 90 minutes must have felt like agony for those who are passionate about Hereford United.

3:32pm

3:31pm

David Keyte and the other representative from Hereford United, whom I do not recognise, have just been called back into a room by a Conference board official.

3:19pm

It would appear that the Conference board is discussing Hereford United's fate at this very moment.

3:14pm

David Keyte is also stood outside the meeting room now - the rest of the Conference board members are still inside.

3:10pm

For those who have never been to the Celtic Manor, it is an outstanding venue and based on the outskirts of Newport.

Hereford Times: PLANNING: An Environmental Impact Assessment will not be needed for the planned Wales International Conference Centre at the Celtic Manor, Newport

3:10pm

We have some action.

The man who was with David Keyte has just come out of the meeting and is speaking on his mobile phone.

3:08pm

Former Hereford United striker Michael Rankine has just tweeted that he is still awaiting a call from the club about his outstanding wages.

3:05pm

2:58pm

2:56pm

We are trying to clarify Grenville Smith's position at Hereford United.

Dave Preedy, as we know, resigned from the board of directors a few weeks ago.

We are trying to find out whether Grenville remains as a director or has, too, stood down.

2:50pm

For those who have never been to the Celtic Manor, it is an outstanding venue and based on the outskirts of Newport.

2:46pm

2:46pm

A lot of Chester FC fans will also be nervously awaiting news from the board meeting which is currently in progress.

There is sure to be some sympathy for Hereford United's troubles and David Keyte, naturally, looked very nervous ahead of the meeting.

2:31pm

I read on message boards that a few Hereford United fans might be coming along today, but I haven't seen any.

2:28pm

The board meeting is taking place in the room in front of me.

Hopefully, we will be able to speak to Dave Keyte when he comes out of the meeting at some point this afternoon.

The last time I saw him was at Aldershot - that dramatic match feels like it happened a long time ago.

2:24pm

Among those at the prospective trustees meeting of United's Community Trust were Peter Knight and Ivan Powell.

As has been reported previously, Jamie Edwards has resigned and is  understood to be heading to work at Shrewsbury Town.

 

2:18pm

Nick Nenadich is very upbeat about the next 12 months for the Hereford United Community Trust and it won't be affected by the outcome of today's Conference board meeting.

2:14pm

Away from this meeting, there has been a positive meeting today in Hereford with the prospective trustees of Hereford United Communitg Trust.

 

2:11pm

2:10pm

As far as I could see, Hereford United's new owner Tommy Agombar is not at the Celtic Manor for this meeting.

2:03pm

David Keyte, who is with a man whom I do not recognise, has just been called into the board meeting.

Keyte is smartly dressed and we shared a few words on his arrival.

As it is not a public meeting, the press are not allowed in.

The club's date with destiny has begun.

1:58pm

Hereford United chairman David Keyte has just arrived in the lounge ahead of the board meeting.

The members have gone into the room ahead of the board meeting and Hereford United's representative will be called in.

 

1:52pm

However, Hereford United's representatives are likely to be out of the meeting before 6pm.

1:50pm

Conference general manager Dennis Strudick says he expects today's board meeting could last until 6pm.

 

1:40pm

Our sports reporter Ian Morgan is at the resort and will be trying to speak to key people.

He has not seen Hereford United chairman David Keyte yet in the surrounds of the meeting room.

1:37pm

The members of the Conference board are starting to gather for Hereford United's meeting in the Cardiff Suite at Celtic Manor.

The meeting is expected to start in 23 minutes.

1:28pm

Hereford United are expected to be meeting with the Football Conference board at 2pm at the Celtic Manor in Newport.

1:27pm

1:09pm

SENIOR officers of Herefordshire Council have met with the reported new owner of Hereford United.

But the council has stressed today that the meetings between those officers and businessman Tommy Agombar were “standard introductions” with no outline of future plans for the club.

In a statement, the council said it had yet to receive “formal notification” of the club’s new ownership arrangements and could not take part in negotiations without it.

Mr Agombar, the council confirmed, was introduced to those senior officers  he could expect to “engage with” in future.

With United’s club’s own future on the brink, the terms of the lease the council has with the club over the Edgar Street ground stay unchanged.

The council and the club are closely entwined and most recently worked closely to negotiate new leases on the ground.

Assigning the Edgar Street leases – one for 75 years on the ground and terracing to the west, the other for 33 years for the stand and parking area to the east and both dating from 1982 - was one of the last big deals done by the former Hereford City Council.

During the late 1990s, with United facing severe financial problems, the leases were reassigned to property developers in return for a £1m capital injection into the club.  

The money was made available through two companies, the BS (Bristol Stadium) Group and Chelverton.

BS and Chelverton took equal ownership of a special purpose company called Formsole Ltd which made the investment and held the leases – as the tenant under both – with the club holding sub-leases.  

By August 2001, BS had sold its “loan” to Chelverton which ran into trouble little over a year later when control of the leases passed to Carillion Richardson.

United still owed £1m plus interest to Formsole which stayed solvent when Chelverton went into liquidation.  

It was about this time there was talk of United leaving Edgar Street allowing Formsole to sell the site.

This talk came to nothing and by 2003 it was clear the club was staying at Edgar Street.  

The reassignment of the leases was supported by Herefordshire Council when it took control of the former city council’s affairs.

Getting the leases back was pitched as a political priority when the news broke in April 2010 that then United chairman Graham Turner and vice chairman Joan Fennessy were ready to sell their majority shareholding in the club.

The club began negotiations with Carillion Richardson for the return of the leases almost as soon as the Keyte-Russon takeover was completed in June that year.

That deal was done by December with the club paying £452,000 to secure the return of the leases and settle a £1,069,500 debt to Richardsons Developments, clearing the way for a new single lease and the development opportunities that could bring.

The deal was intended to offer the club security for the next 30 years and ensure future re-entry to the Football League - which requires a 25-year secured tenancy.

It also opened up opportunities for grant funding for any future development - £400,000 in the Conference and £750,000 in the Football League.

The council was ready to allow an extension to the new stadium lease of 250 years once development at either end was underway, with proceeds from the sale of development areas held in a joint escrow account.

That money was intended for the construction of two new stands - one at each end of the ground - and modernisation work on the existing stadium.


 

12:32pm

12:32pm

12:31pm

12:31pm

11:55am

 

11:55am

Follow our live blog as Hereford United face the Football Conference board as they plead for Conference survival.

11:55am

Hereford United face relegation from the Conference after failing to pay their football creditors by a 5pm deadline yesterday.

Comments (3)

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4:10pm Fri 6 Jun 14

B the B says...

HUFC probably wont make a statement, I think that says it all.
HUFC probably wont make a statement, I think that says it all. B the B
  • Score: 1

11:52pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Davros says...

So Realistically can the bills be paid?

Too late for recrimination now, but the truth should be known in the public domain ASAP?

And what can be done to prevent this happening again, or worse...
So Realistically can the bills be paid? Too late for recrimination now, but the truth should be known in the public domain ASAP? And what can be done to prevent this happening again, or worse... Davros
  • Score: 2

6:58am Sat 7 Jun 14

B the B says...

According to the BBC they must pay all their football creditors by 10:00 BST on Saturday.
According to the BBC they must pay all their football creditors by 10:00 BST on Saturday. B the B
  • Score: 0

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