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Hereford United financial woe deepens
6:59pm Tuesday 18th March 2014 in Sport
HEREFORD United are facing administration and a 10-point penalty after revealing £300,000 is needed before the end of May to keep the club afloat.
The figure came to light as the full extent of the Edgar Street club’s plight was announced to shareholders at the club’s annual general meeting.
A further £300,000 would be needed to fund the club next season as well, according to chairman David Keyte.
A mammoth loss of £528,994 to the year ending April 2013, the worst by far in the club’s history, was also reported with Keyte saying the current year’s deficit could top £400,000 despite ongoing cost-cutting.
In addition, the club are facing the prospect of another winding-up order for an unpaid tax bill of £78,000, while salaries for February have not been met in full.
Keyte said the possibility of placing Hereford into administration was being investigated with the Football Conference’s deadline for a 10-point penalty for such an action coming next Thursday.
That would drop Martin Foyle’s side firmly into the relegation zone.
After the deadline, any points deduction would be made at the beginning of next season.
United also risk being relegated under Conference rules if they don’t clear their debts to football creditors by the time of the league’s AGM in June.
Hereford still owe other clubs for this season’s loan players.
The fall of £541,000 in football-related income – sponsorship and Football League income had reduced from more than £804,000 to just under £358,000 – accounted for a large amount of the drop in turnover.
With no parachute payment to be included within this year’s accounts, just £47,000 in Conference funding will be forthcoming.
Keyte said the board had been talking to two potential investors but time was now pressing and the club had closely been examining the rules regarding administration.
He also admitted the case for using part-time players next season was “very strong”.
“There are some good players out there with ‘professional’ jobs such as teachers and accountants but the question is would they come across here for training and matches on two or three nights a week,” he said.
“It could be that we would need to alter things like training venues. For example, Barrow train just outside Manchester and go to Barrow only on matchdays.
“It is a changing world and we have got to get through it. In five years’ time, I expect this to be a part-time level of football and that may even push up into League Two.”