03rd February 2015 by gabriel - Latest News
Jon Hale, who is leading the group that has put together the Hereford FC (www.herefordfc.co.uk) proposal that has been given overwhelming support by members of Hereford United Supporters Trust (HUST), has today given an update on the proposal’s current position.
“Although our main focus is putting together our formal Expression Of Interest in the Edgar Street lease for Herefordshire Council ahead of the deadline on 19 February, we are continuing to work on a number of things behind the scenes as we realise we cannot stand still.
“As well as aiming to travel down to speak to the Football Association in the next couple of weeks, this week our commercial property specialist will be visiting Edgar Street to examine the current state of repair, as this is clearly very important in terms of the levels of investment needed to make the ground fit for purpose once more. We are also keen to gain a greater understanding of the issues at the two ends of the stadium.
“In addition, we have a long list of volunteers to work through and we will be starting to collate all the kind offers of help we have had so that we can organise them properly and make sure we make the very best of all the good will that is being shown.
“One of the key things reaffirmed by our recent visit to Merthyr Town Football Club was the need to organise our volunteers properly and treat them in the right manner.
“With that being the case, I’d like to thank all those people who have offered us assistance so far and reassure them that we will be in touch as soon as we know the direction our proposal is going in.”
Moving on to talk about the process the Hereford FC group now need to go through to achieve their aim of securing the lease to play at Edgar Street, Mr Hale said:
“Although senior figures at Herefordshire Council have already seen our business plan, we clearly have to register our interest formally and will be doing so prior to the deadline.
“We feel confident that we meet all the criteria the local authority is looking for in its new tenant, especially now that more than 1000 HUST members – and almost 97% of those who voted – have offered their support for our proposal.
“Having said that, it is fair to say that although we understand Herefordshire Council’s desire to be cautious after recent events, we are concerned by the short duration of the lease that is being proposed.
“As we have said many times, our aim is to create a stable, sustainable football club that the city of Hereford – and everyone with links to Herefordshire – can be proud of. A two and a half year lease makes it very hard to build solid foundations for future generations and also ask anyone to invest in the club by buying shares because, on the surface, there appears to be little long-term security beyond the short lease.
“Having spoken to senior figures within HUST, they also share our concerns about the length of the lease. To make recommendations and ask for financial support from their members when there seems to be no security of tenure at Edgar Street is difficult for them.
“One of the key objectives in our proposal is to make Hereford FC a successful commercial business – so it can sustain itself – and therefore building up long-term relationships with the local community and local businesses is going to be absolutely vital.
“We feel a longer lease – carefully drafted to protect the interests of all parties – gives a more realistic prospect of building these relationships and therefore we are keen to talk in detail to the local authority so we can explain our concerns and give all the reassurances possible that our plan can, and should be backed by a lease offer that creates real stability.
“Although I felt it right to explain we do have some concerns about the lease offer, it is important I say that we all remain as committed to making Hereford FC a success as we have always been and that we are very excited by the huge amount of interest there appears to be in the club’s future.
“We will do everything we can to show Herefordshire Council that our proposal is the right one to ensure there is a bright future for football at Edgar Street, and is one that begins to put our proud city back on the sporting map after recent disappointments.”
For information, Jon Hale will be including messages of support as part of the Expression Of Interest that his group will be sending to Herefordshire Council. If you feel you’d like to contribute a message, please feel free to e-mail it to [email protected] in the next few days.