Regular visitors to the OVF forum will have noted several updates on the farcical situation at Hereford United. Here’s OVF editor Rob Fielding with another update.
What is the Football Matters series?
This site isn’t just about Port Vale. We recognise that we are also part of several wider networks. For instance, two immediately spring to mind – many of us are Potteries folk and/or exiles and we’re part of the lower league football fraternity.
It’s because of the latter group that we are running this occasional series. We will never forget the help and support of other clubs when Port Vale was in crisis and as a way of repaying that debt we want to highlight clubs who have hit the headlines. Some will be for good reasons but many of these features will highlight controversies and wrongdoings at other clubs.
It’s our own attempt to bring them a little bit more publicity which will hopefully go a small way to helping them resolve their problems.
When is an owner not an owner? That’s a question Hereford United fans are asking about prominent “season ticket holder” Tommy Agbombar.
It soon transpired that Agombar had a criminal record for armed robbery that meant that he failed the FA’s fit and proper person rules…
Former chairman David Keytes sold the Bulls to Agombar for just £2 earlier this year, ignoring another bid from the Supporters Trust. However, it soon transpired that Agombar had a criminal record for armed robbery that meant that he failed the FA’s fit and proper person rules. The FA ruled that if the businessman was in a “position of control” then the club could be thrown out of the Southern League.
Tommy was forced to step down and in a club statement chairman Andy Lonsdale (who himself has convictions for dumping waste materials at Bedfont and Felton’s stadium) declared that from now on Agombar would simply be an season ticket holder.
Some season ticket holder! Agombar has been photographed giving team talks, on the sidelines with manager John Taylor and taking part in on-pitch penalty shootouts…
Some season ticket holder! Agombar has been photographed giving team talks, on the sidelines with manager John Taylor and taking part in on-pitch penalty shootouts. The FA have been alerted and are “monitoring” the situation but it’s enough to make any rational fan ponder who’s really running Hereford United?
OVF spoke to Martin of influential Hereford blog Bulls News (an excellent source of information about what’s happening – click here to visit) and he told us “Technically, we don’t actually know who the owner is. Tommy Agombar says he has sold the majority stake in the club to someone called Alan McCarthy of Alpha Choice Finance, but he’s not been seen at the club or made any public statements while Agombar openly talks to fans after matches and is seen to be berating players after several other games. Whoever is actually in charge, they’re doing a pretty awful job of running a football club.
Whoever is actually in charge, they’re doing a pretty awful job of running a football club…
“The Owners’ and Directors’ Test doesn’t appear to be worth the paper it’s written on. Agombar was photographed in the technical area during one game. I’ve taken to referring to him as an ‘over-enthusiastic season ticket holder’ as the situation is beyond a joke. The FA simply don’t care.”
“The FA and Southern League need to bare the teeth they have claimed to have so many times. Football debts from last season are still unpaid despite demands that they be paid before a ball was kicked this season, players and staff have gone two months without wages this season before the players were paid – in cash – last night.”
If you’d like to offer your support to Hereford United fans we suggest you pay a visit to the busy and passionate Hereford forum Bulls Banter through this link. The excellent Bulls News also provide regular updates on the situation.
OVF would like to wish Hereford Utd fans all the best and we hope that they get the club that they deserve back soon.
Hereford’s six months of woe
APRIL Hereford United stay in the Conference after a dramatic final day’s action and the Supporters’ Trust make an offer to buy the club for £1 and clear the club’s debts.
MAY Former Hereford manager (and Vale legend) Martin Foyle serves a winding-up petition over unpaid wages. Players confirm that they haven’t been paid too.
JUNE The winding-up case is adjourned for 28 days. The club is sold to Thomas Agombar for £2 but two days later the club are threatened with expulsion from the Conference for unpaid debts. The club is expelled on the 10th June with the club’s footballing debts, alone, totalling almost £150,000. The club appoint footballing “consultant” Andrew Ellis who boasts of working with several Premier League clubs (claims later denied by the clubs).
JULY Hereford are accepted into the Southern League but are placed under a transfer embargo. The Edgar Street stadium is shut after failing a safety certificate and a string of friendlies are called off. Many fans decide to boycott the club deciding that it is best for Hereford to “die” and a new phoenix club, owned by the fans set-up. Local MP Jesse Norman adds that the owners “have made endless promises which they have failed to discharge” and that he is backing the Supporters Trust.
AUGUST Long-standing shirt sponsors Cargill end their agreement with the club. Agombar sells his shares to a “purchaser of distressed debts” after he fails the FA’s fit and proper persons test. Chairman Andy Lonsdale says the club has received a “significant investment” from backers although no more details are forthcoming.
SEPTEMBER Hereford crash out of the FA Cup at the hands of minnows Ellistown & Ibstock United. Herefordshire Council adds its name to a court petition calling on the club to be wound up, some football debts remain unpaid and the FA confirm that they are monitoring the situation.