Hereford United: Beleaguered Bulls face new winding-up threat

Edgar Street

Hereford United supporters have been told that the Conference Premier club are again under immediate threat of being wound up over an unpaid tax bill.

A fans' forum at Edgar Street on Monday night heard that the Bulls need to find £78,000 in two weeks to pay their latest Revenue and Customs PAYE demand.

Non-executive director Bob Pritchard warned that, apart from the HMRC bill, the club also has other debts.

A further £22,000 of so-called football creditors have to be paid by June.

Hereford chairman David Keyte reported losses of £499,000 for the year ending April 2013 at last week's annual general meeting - and said they need £300,000 to see out the current season.

But, while the board have admitted they are considering administration and the club's auditors say there is "significant doubt" as to whether the Bulls can carry on, fans have been assured that nothing will happen this week.

The forum, chaired by BBC Hereford & Worcester sports editor Trevor Owens, was told that Hereford will not be put into administration before Thursday's deadline - thereby ensuring that the 10-point penalty for any club taking such a step would not be imposed until next season.

The Bulls evaded their last winding-up threat, over the non-payment of a £36,800 PAYE bill. in late January

Since then, they have undertaken a string of cost-cutting measures, including the sale of their most marketable asset, Josh O'Keefe, to Kidderminster Harriers.

But things have turned even more sour on the pitch, the team having picked up just three points out of a possible 30 in their last 10 games, leading to last week's sacking of manager Martin Foyle and his number two Andy Porter.

The appointment of youth team boss Peter Beadle as manager failed to stop the rot at the weekend when they lost 2-0 at Barnet.

The downward spiral of Hereford's financial situation since being relegated from the Football League in May 2012 has been exacerbated by falling gates.

Average crowds at Edgar Street this season have only been half of those in League Two just five years ago.

Going into Saturday's home game with Grimsby, Hereford are just four points clear of the Conference Premier relegation places, but that could be cut to just a point if Aldershot win at home to Gateshead on Tuesday night and Chester avoid defeat against Tamworth.

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