HEREFORD manager Josh Gowling has asked for clarity from the National League when the season will commence and how many fans will be allowed in stadiums.

At the weekend the FA stated that from September competitive league action can commence with step two oif the non-league pyramid commencing no earlier than September 5.

However, no exact date for the National League North commencing has been confirmed and last season's play-offs are yet to be concluded.

Also there has been no clarification over when and how many fans will be allowed in stadiums when the league commences.

The Bulls squad have yet to meet for their first training session due to the uncertainty.
"We're waiting for a budget and to bring in revenue," said Gowling.

"As a club if we return to training then we have got to start paying players again. Until the club are in a financial position where we can start paying players then I don't know when we will start back.

"We have started looking at building a pre-season and have got our strength and conditioning ready and in place. But we don't know when we can start back. We are hoping that day comes sooner rather than later."

The Bulls have announced that seven of last year's squad have re-signed for the coming season and three new faces have been added.

However, Gowling says with so much uncertainty about next season it wouldn't be right to make further signings.

"It's difficult because until we have got a sealed budget then we can't be making signings every day and can't finish the squad," added Gowling.

"It would be stupid to make signings and then not be able to honour them. I'm speaking to a number of players who I want to bring in but I can't until the budget is sealed.

"The people in the backroom and the board are working hard to bring in sponsorship and to get the budget sorted.

"If there is a start date in September then we don't know if stadiums will be partially open or what at our level. This is what is difficult, so it would be remiss for the club to sign 20 players.

"It's frustrating."

The Bulls are also awaiting clarification on whether they will be allowed fans for their pre-season friendlies, but are preparing for games to be played behind closed doors.

Gowling hopes that his side's first friendly will be a week after they return to training, but his side might not have as long to prepare for the campaign as he would have liked.

"It depends when we start back but ideally I wanted a long pre-season as the time they've had off is something they've never experience before," he added.

"Really I wanted about 10 friendlies but if our league is starting in the middle of September we won't be able to fit them in and will probably have six.

"There are a lot of permutations but I want us to get cracking.

"Nothing beats games and match fitness. Players have done a lot of gym and one-on-one sessions and keeping themselves fit, but it doesn't replicate training with the lads." 

The Bulls are set to move to a new training base this season which is more centrally located for players, but further away from Hereford.

Gowling says the club are in negotiations with one 'amazing facility' which he hopes will be better than their previous base at Hartpury College.

This Friday the Hereford manager will be at Edgar Street helping to prepare the ground for the coming season and he says he doesn't mind doing some painting and decorating to help the club.