It has been 45 days of speculation, rumours, missed deadlines and statements but today it was confirmed that Hereford United have been expelled from the Conference, giving Chester FC a reprieve from relegation.
I, personally, haven’t been keeping too much of an eye about the ins and outs of what has been going on in Hereford and so if you are here looking for a detailed explanation about what has actually happened to cause this then please head over to the quite brilliant http://bullsnews.blogspot.co.uk/ which has been keeping fans, and no doubt some journalists, fully informed of all the rumours and whispers of the crisis at Hereford United.
The long and short of it is that Hereford couldn’t pay their debts to their players, other clubs, staff and other creditors on time which has led them to be expelled. It has been infuriating to watch from a distance for a few reasons – firstly the seemingly endless changes, about turns and extended deadlines the Conference allowed and the fact we couldn’t really do anything else but wait.
But the decision has come and it is undoubtedly good for Chester FC. The club gets to play at a higher level than they were expecting to against bigger teams – Bristol Rovers, Telford and the derby matches are games I’m already looking forward to – we will be on telly again, have a greater amount of sponsorship money, whenever the next sponsor is announced, and be closer to the Football League.
In all intents and purposes it is practically a promotion, and any idea that it isn’t deserved is frankly ridiculous. After all Chester stuck to the rules financially whereas Hereford didn’t. And as much as promotion and relegation is decided on the pitch it is also decided off it – Forest Green were the king of reprieves at one point and there are always teams getting points deducted for various off-the-field errors in registering players.
No doubt there are some Chester fans cracking open a beer this evening and toasting in Conference football and some saying “bollocks to Hereford” possibly forgetting where we were a few years ago, possibly not caring, but I can’t help but feel bad. Not for the club, for the fans. It isn’t how I wanted to stay up.
After all they are the ones who don’t and can’t walk away but are left to pick up the pieces. They are currently concerned about what will happen to their ground and have started the battle to preserve it. They also have to wait to see whether the club can overcome their next winding up order at the end of the month and to see if a league will accept them.
And, if I may, leave some advice for fans of Hereford – support the trust and expect to soon be supporting a phoenix club. Good luck. I’m sure Chester FC will be there to give you advice and support.