THE new chairman of Hereford FC wants to bring the club's board and fans closer together by engaging 'openly and transparently'.

Andrew Graham was appointed into the role on Monday following the resignation from the board of Ken Kinnersley.

The vacant director seat was allocated to Helen Byard, who is the first woman appointed onto the Hereford FC board, and will have the responsibility for leading on HR and welfare matters.

Graham is hoping to use the knowledge he has built up over a life-time of supporting Hereford to help him bring the fans and club closer together.

"I'm obviously very proud but I understand the significance of it (being chairman)," said Graham.

"Having stood on the Meadow End as a nine-year-old and telling every chairman how to run the club I'm now in the enviable position where I can perhaps transfer what the nine-year-old wants to see and hopefully make it happen on the pitch.

"We have fans second to none. The following away from home and the passion at home.

"I know some of that spills out sometimes into dissent but that's just passion overspilling, the emotion in response to what they perceive as poor football.

"Whilst we put it behind us in respect of performances we have to remember the bits that really hurt to act as a prompt that we don't want to go back there.

"We have to make sure that we have the right strategy in place, the right motivation, structure and team to deliver what the fans want.

"In order to do that we need to talk and find out what their perceptions are of the club, how we are running it and what they want to see.

"We need to close that gap and deliver what they want. I know that some directors came in for personal criticism and that has an impact.

"The impact that it really has is to create a divide as nobody want to be insulted and abused. Nobody wants to see their club performing in the manner they aren't used too so there is a bit of divide."

Since being appointed to the Bulls board 12 months ago as a Hereford United Supporters' Trust (HUST) nominated director Graham has been active on social media addressing the concerns of fans,

He added: "As a fans representative I was quite nicely placed to talk to people that I had grown up with on the terraces and act as that buffer zone that was required.

"The rest of the board were aware of that. I don't think they consciously didn't expose themselves to it but it was a decision that we didn't want to fuel any animosity.

"Lots of messages came out from the board room but whether they were interpreted correctly or communicated in a manner that wasn't received right I don't know.

"What I do know is that from this day on we have got to engage a lot more openly and transparently and give the fanbase an opportunity to talk to us."

Graham added that he saw the chairmanship as an opportunity to drive the club forward.

"I saw it as a brilliant opportunity to try and make a bit of a difference and put my drive and determination into pushing Hereford forward," he added.

"We have to remember that it isn't just about the Saturday every fortnight, it is a community and I think that's where the hurt sometimes comes in a little bit more at Hereford when they perform the way everybody doesn't want us to perform.

"For me the fans are the strongest asset of the club, the infrastructure is strong enough to make us a sustainable force going forwards.

"When I was presented with this amazing opportunity the first thing I thought about was what infrastructure is there.

"Was I taking on a poison chalice or setting myself up to fail? Hereford FC has a fantastic infrastructure and has been built well from the ground up.

"The office is a tremendous hub and there is an army of volunteers that any club would want.

"The main responsibility is that I along with the rest of the board are responsible for making the people that turn up and watch the football club smile.

"I'm responsible for the exiles being able to listen on the radio and think 'that's my club'.

"I don't people not look forward to Saturday. As a fan I punch the air when we score and feel the hurt when we lose.

"I do exactly the same now as do the other directors. What I have now is the position of responsibility where I can help deliver what the fans require as what I had before was a position of being able to assist.

"Now it's my job to drive forward the brilliant strategy we have as a football club. The directors that have been involved since the start of this new entity Hereford FC have solid foundations in place and a brilliant business plan and they have got a strategy for the next five years.

"My job as chairman is make sure we don't deviate away from that strategy. If it fails ultimately it's not the other directors that will be at fault for that it will be me.

When asked if promotion is on the cards this or next season?

Graham added: "That's the million dollar question.

"I'll do everything I possibly can and I know the board will, the office staff and fans will to push this as far and hard as we can towards the top end of the table.

"Marc and Tim and the team that has been pulled together all know what is expected to be delivered and everybody has the same objectives.

"The short answer is, yes I believe that we've got what it takes I just want the rest of the fans to believe it and I think they've missed that belief over the last season.

"I'm optimistic and think we are building a very strong squad and has the right characters in it.

"It has the characters which will display the passion that our fans need to see. We have those that don't actually know the meaning of lose and will battle for everything and that's what we want to see on the pitch.

"Tim (Harris) and Marc (Richards) are fully aware of the expectations that need to be delivered as well.

When asked if he can see Hereford FC turning full-time in the future?

Graham added: "I think it has to happen if we are to reach our aspirations and goals.

"I think full-time football is the only way to do that and find ourselves in League 2 or the top end of the Conference.

"It will be difficult to achieve that part-time. It won't happen if it affects the financial stability of the club and it won't happen if we're not in a sensible position to make sure it's sustainable.

"So we won't find ourselves going full-time for a season and having a push and then having to drop back because that's a recipe for disaster.

"Proving it's sustainable, economically viable and fits in with where we are at the time then full-time has to happen soon.

"Maybe not this season or next but soon has to be an option."

Graham is also a director of Pegasus Juniors which he says helps the clubs have a 'direct link' with their partnership.

He added: "I became a director at Pegasus to allow us to have a direct link between the club and Pegasus as this project develops.

"It is Community Hereford Pegasus FC and we are looking to develop a lot of our community initiatives and football for all and some of the academy structure through this new entity.

"It's a million pound plus project and funding has been secured for that.

"Work has already started and the funding for that doesn't affect the Hereford FC budget.

"Not a penny from the football budget will go into that project."

Graham is set to meet with Ken Kinnersley and Herefordshire Council representatives next week to help the transition of the Blackfriars Stand project.