Six months of constant adjournments and empty words, yet Hereford United still find themselves wound up – and so am I. A once traditional, Football League club littered with history finds itself on the brink of non-existence, in what are proving to be some of the darkest days for fans of the beautiful game.
The order from the High Court in London was the tenth court session that Hereford chairman Andy Lonsdale has been required to attend, in attempt to resolve the long-running matters concerning the club. The debacle reached its conclusion on Friday afternoon, when the almost inevitable became reality – a gloomy yet bright outlook concerning Hereford fans, who can look at the current situation in two ways.
The concrete fact that a once hugely dignified club has fallen to the very lowest of lows as a result of the side’s financial status is hugely unacceptable in a sport where millions of pounds are passed between the ‘bigger’ clubs in brown envelopes, as if like a big bag of sweets, with little more than a moments thought.
If you are a supporter of a big Premier League side and you’re reading this, please spare a moment to acknowledge that one of your star players could have covered the cost of Hereford’s debts, thought to be approximately £150,000, with a single week’s wages – does that not show just how financially corrupt our beautiful game is?
Andy Lonsdale serves as the primary antagonist role, due to turning up late on Friday, as he was ‘stuck in traffic’. During the case, he claimed that he has at least £1 million to assist in getting the club back on its feet. Although, he has been claiming this for a good while now, yet when called upon to provide documentation to show that he possesses £1 million, he failed to prove his claims. This served as a straw that broke the camel’s back as far as the jury was concerned. His hapless, empty ‘effort’ to reprimand Hereford with a cash boost proved fruitless – perhaps it was all a white lie.
We won’t know – most don’t want to know. However, if you’re a glass half-full type supporter, the prospect of a phoenix club, similar to the likes of Chester FC, AFC Wimbledon and Rushden & Diamonds, might turn your head – a prospect that Hereford fans appear to be in support of. It’s quite surprising, to say the least, when you see Bulls fans taking a pinch of positiveness in relation to this predictably bleak situation. It’s certainly refreshing to know that, whether it is merely the empty carcass of the original Hereford or a new phoenix club, fans are not willing to abandon their beloved hometown club.
Such an attitude, for me, defines exactly what football is truly about. I doff my cap to you Hereford fans – we’re right behind you.
So what of Andy Lonsdale and the Hereford board? Well, we’re not all too sure. For starters, it’s likely that Herefordshire Council will pursue their previous efforts to possess Hereford’s ground, Edgar Street, to assist in the continuation of football and to see that it falls in to the correct hands – though some fans will be sceptical of this possibility, due to the vague comments that have been made about the council’s plans for the ground.
I could claim this, that and the other, but to be completely honest, the whole situation is still up in the air. It’s now all eyes on the Hereford fans, in the hope that they will unite and fight for their club, against those who wish to use it for their own personal gain – an enemy that football has sadly swept under the carpet all too often.
Best of luck, Hereford fans!