The financial plight of Hereford United was highlighted on a nationwide scale this morning when HUST vice-chairman Martin Watson was interviewed by presenter Colin Murray on TalkSPORT.
Watson outlined the current situation; “The facts and figures don’t lie as the club has lost £1.5 M over four years, and we’ve reached the stage now where we are stuck in a corner.
“Having lost our Football League status, funding has fallen from £750,000 a season, to the current position of around £50,000 from the Conference, but there have been a number of poor decisions made by the Board. Contracts have been issued we couldn’t afford, and deals reached that were unsustainable.
“We now appear to be at the point where nobody seems to have any money left to fund the losses”.
Murray expressed concern as he felt Hereford United supporters may soon lose the lifeblood of their community, with not just the possibility of the club entering administration, but liquidation appeared to be a real threat.
The presenter is known to have become a Chester fan after falling in love with the club following their rise from closure. He said many clubs have been handed over to their supporters and wondered if that could happen at Edgar Street, as United appeared to be entering ‘the last chance saloon’.
Watson acknowleged this but felt that every attempt had to be made to save Hereford United Football Club (1939) Limited. Liquidation was something the vast majority of Hereford supporters wanted to avoid.
“That would be the last resort. That is the situation we don’t want to go down if we can. We don’t want to lose our club.” he said.
“But when I look at the situation with the club needing around £600,000 in the next twelve months, my head says yes, but my heart says no it must not happen”.
Watson quoted the Hereford United chairman, David Keyte, as stating “the club would not go bust on his watch” three months ago, but raised the growing concern he had over potential bankruptcy.
The HUST vice-chairman urged Hereford supporters to come out in numbers for the next two home games before a winding up order is heard on 7 April.
“Five years ago when we won promotion to League One we played Grimsby Town in a game that was literally a game of celebration. We attracted an attendance of 6,000 then, and we need the 6,000 back now. Not to celebrate a promotion but to celebrate the football club.”
An emotional Watson continued, “Let’s celebrate 90 years of history, and not let it die.”
Colin Murray ended the interview detailing his experience of Chester reforming as a new club.
“I’ve heard critics say Chester City don’t exist and all that history has gone, and it’s been replaced over 4 seasons by a new team.
“Let me tell you it’s not like that at all.
“The history is still there. The team is still there. The same fans are still there.
“So sometimes starting afresh, albeit a few divisions lower can work.
“If you ask most Chester supporters if they would rather be where they are now, or whether they would rather be where they were 3 or 4 weeks before they were wound up. They would all unanimously say they would rather be where they are now.
“So there is a little bit of hope there for Hereford fans whatever happens.”