THE player who scored the winner against Aldershot that seemingly kept Hereford United in the Conference has said that the situation unfolding at Edgar Street as "scandalous".

Michael Rankine went into local folklore when he grabbed the dramatic winner for the Bulls at the Recreation Ground just seconds before Salisbury scored against Chester to keep United in the division.

But that has counted for nothing now with the news that Hereford will be demoted at least two divisions due to unpaid bills.

"It's an embarrassing situation and a disgrace," said Rankine.

"People were coming in and doing things for next to nothing and we were promised that we would get our money.

"I cannot understand how a club can get into a situation like it has.

"It's so disappointing when you consider the euphoria at the end of the Aldershot game.

"People put their bodies on the line last season, but for what?

"Some have got kids and families - where does that leave them?

"It is a disgrace."

Rankine said that rules should now be put in place to ensure that other clubs do not go the same way as Hereford.

He said: "The Football Conference and the Football League need to come together - this should not be allowed to happen again.

"You are dealing with people's lives.

"The big issue is that, if we didn't turn up, we would get fired.

"But, when you come in and be professional, and you don't get paid on time, what happens to the club?"

Rankine added that he feels for the fans who supported the club throughout a turbulent season.

"We took a lot of flack last season for some of our performances, but there was a lot going on behind the scenes, which didn't help," said Rankine.

"We all need money and are entitled to it - people depend on it.

"But when it needed to happen, we did it and kept the club up.

"We did our part, but other people needed to do theirs.

"It hasn't happened and I'm shocked it hasn't.

"From a fans' point of view, it must be heartbreaking because they have seen the club gone from League One just a few years ago to the unthinkable."