The Football Conference League have expelled Hereford United today, after they missed a number of deadlines to pay their football creditors. The Bulls are likely to be relegated to the Southern League Premier Division, after they were kicked out due to a growing backlog of debts that include one of their former managers, along with players and other interested parties.
Conference rules require all overdue football-related creditors to be settled by the time of their Annual General Meeting each season, but the Bulls have been showing signs of financial stress throughout the whole of the 2013-14 season, with three winding up orders issued against them during the second half of that season, and a series of statements on their club's website promising 'imminent' sums of money that would relieve what was clearly growing pressure.
A meeting held with the Conference board last Friday, after the Bulls had failed to pay £148,000 worth of football-relating debts by a Thursday deadline, saw them given two deadlines this week - one to provide proof of funds by yesterday, and another to make full payment of footballing debts by Thursday.
The Bulls had managed to negotiate extra time, as they have just been bought out by London businessman Tommy Agombar, and so the new man was given the chance to honour those debts. However, local media reports suggest that none of the parties still owed money by Hereford had received payment at any time, and today's announcement would suggest that proof of funding was not possible either.
Current expectations are that Hereford will be demoted two divisions, into the Southern League, with Chester City - ironically the last club to be expelled by the Conference due to financial problems - being reprieved. Hayes and Yeading United who had been relegated from Conference South will instead retain their status.
As for Hereford, on top of their footballing debts, they have fallen behind on their latest PAYE tax demand, and have a winding up order from former manager Martin Foyle for unpaid wages still hanging over their heads, with the total amount of money owed pitched as being around £225,000 across all parties. As a result, even their Southern League status is not absolutely assured.
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