HEREFORDSHIRE Council leader Tony Johnson said that Hereford United owner Tommy Agombar was "absolutely adamant" that football would still be played at Edgar Street and the club's football creditors would get their outstanding money.

Cllr Johnson spoke to the Hereford Times moments after he was handed a petition to stop the leases at Edgar Street being transferred into one of Mr Agombar's leases.

The petition was signed by more than 7,200 people.

"We had a request from Mr Agombar and his associates to talk to us and for them to set their case," said Cllr Johnson.

"The meeting took place a couple of weeks ago.

"We had a couple of questions for Mr Agombar - one was what were his intentions with regard to the future of the club and the other was with regard to outstanding debts that the club had.

"Mr Agombar was absolutely adamant that his sole intention was to make a success of Hereford United and continue to run it properly.

"He talked about his passion for football and would put his heart and soul into something that he loves dearly.

"When we talked about the outstanding debts, Mr Agombar separated them into what he described as 'football debts' that he said he was going to pay and outstanding debts to the council, such as council tax and business rates.

"He stated very clearly that he would repay these."

When the Hereford Times told Cllr Johnson that a number of staff members at the club stated that they were still owed money, he said that the council has no control over the way a business is run.

"I haven't got anything to say to staff who haven't been paid, but I share their hopes, views and aspirations and hope that football continues at Edgar Street which everyone wants.

"It must be remembered though that we are just the landlords in the situation and we cannot interfere in the way the owners run their business.

"As regards players who haven't been paid, Mr Agombar told us that it was his intention to pay them.

"But, he didn't discuss dates."

Cllr Johnson added that the council has no plans to take the club to court to recover its outstanding debts.

"That remains an option, but we do not have any plans to do that," he said.

"All we can do is go by what our legal team advises us."

The day after Cllr Johnson met Mr Agombar, the leader spoke to a group of businessmen, who, in conjunction with Hereford United's Supporters Trust, are willing to take over the club should it be wound up.

Cllr Johnson said that he would be 'delighted' to work with them should they take over the club and it is imperative that football continues at Edgar Street.