Time is running out for "The Bulls", Hereford's professional football club with a 90 year history. Its fatal demise is looking likely despite the efforts of loyal supporters and local businesses which recently raised cash to defeat two Winding Up petitions. The clubs' debts are still thought to be around £0.5m and with another Winding Up petition anticipated next month the club just cannot continue to operate in this way.
Against Alfreton on Saturday local boy Jarrod Bowen (17), recently promoted from the Bulls Youth Team, scored his first senior goal. What a goal it was and what a young talent he is! Jarrod is a prime example of why we must do what we can to ensure Hereford United continues to provide football in Hereford and with it the opportunity for youngsters to develop locally. It is ironic that Jarrod's first goal could be the last goal scored for Hereford United at Edgar Street.
Along with Hereford cattle and cider, the name of Hereford United is recognised around the world. Our club has a specific reputation as "giant killers" and Hereford hits the headlines during just about every round of the FA Cup. Even though the famous 1972 win over Newcastle United is ancient history it seems to be etched in Cup folklore forever.
If results go against the team on Saturday supporters will accept relegation from the Conference Premier with disappointment - the heartbreak would come with the clubs' winding up. Nobody knows with any certainty what the final outcome of relegation together with insolvency would mean for Hereford United. It is however likely that with a "phoenix" club there would be an inevitable break in the historic link of which many are so rightly proud.
The football club is an employer and attracts revenue into the City. It is behind with payments to players, management, staff, HMRC, and many local businesses. These are the same local businesses that pay our wages and the same taxes that fund our NHS, pensions, and other allowances. So directly or indirectly the financial plight of the club affects us all whether we are interested in football or not. We want our club to honour the existing debts to all creditors, and believe that if we can overcome the present financial problems and manage the club prudently it could still have a prosperous future ahead.
To achieve this and thereby to ensure that football continues to be played at Edgar Street the active Hereford United fans formed a legally constituted, not for profit, Supporters Trust in 2013, with assistance from the Government-backed Supporters Direct organisation. Many clubs, such as Swansea and Portsmouth, now benefit from the involvement of similar Trusts.
With every passing day Trust members fear that time is running out to save Hereford United from liquidation. Over Easter it launched an appeal to members for funds towards a takeover, and already a substantial sum has been pledged towards the objective in the first 48 hours. However, in order to succeed it needs to increase its membership base to include communities across the entire County by enlisting the support of people from a wider spectrum than just active football fans. The Trust is aware that many people just don't have spare cash, but occasionally a cause comes along that is worthy and it believes this is one such case. So if you have enjoyed a match at Edgar Street, or listened to commentary on BBC H&W, if anyone you care about is interested in football, or you have felt a twinge of pride in The Bulls over the years, then you are the person who is needed to help.
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