Hereford United (HUFC) was taken over in the summer of 2014. From then to date (29th October 2014), there have been a considerable number of events that have taken place that have perplexed fans and on the back of then a good deal of emotive pieces have been published on websites such as Bulls News. Fans are bewildered and have a limited understanding of the motives of the individuals running the club, because very little has been put out in to the public domain. Indeed, it is no secret that the current incumbents have not managed the media side of their takeover and subsequent management of the club well, with the original purchaser of the club, Thomas Agombar Snr on record as saying he does not handle the media well .
Rather than add another opinion piece to those already out there, the intention of this piece is to detail briefly the financial background of HUFC up to the takeover in May 2014, the subsequent takeover and the events that have unfolded since. The piece is intended to be dispassionate and to draw on publically available records and publicly available quotes wherever possible. Most of these come from Bull News, which is a site that catalogues all matters relating to HUFC. It has its own sources, and it also pulls information from other media outlets including the local Hereford paper, the Hereford Times and radio station BBC Hereford & Worcester (BBC H&W). All quotes have been referenced to the best ability of the author - apologies in advance for any errors within this, but there are over 200 references! A brief summary of the main individuals involved is included to begin with. Many of their roles have changed since their initial involvement with HUFC and although this timeline also appears in the main body of text, we attempt to give a brief synopsis in the biography section. We then follow this with the events that sparked and surrounded the takeover in May 2014. The main text then follows, which is a time line of events at HUFC from the takeover announced at the end of May to date. As stated above, we do not draw on any rumours just what is quoted in freely available sources online. It is intended that the reader draw his own conclusions. With this in mind, the final section details questions that the author has to the club, the FA and the Southern League. These are intended to be constructive, and relate to issues including corporate governance, the sustainability of the club and lower league football clubs in general and the "investment" potential at Edgar Street, the home of HUFC.
The Main Individuals Involved
David Keyte - Former Chairman of HUFC. Took over in 2010 and sold his stake in May 2014 to Thomas Agombar Snr
Thomas Agombar Snr - Initially came in as owner of the club. Main online presence is a cached copy of an article from Commercial Motor  that details his part in a lorry theft gang. The Judge said about Agombar, 'You a thoroughly dishonest man. You were earning a lot of money legitimately but you got greedy and wanted more.' Agombar was sentenced to seven years in prison. A disqualifying condition for being a Director of a club is any "Dishonest Act", as per the Football Association's (FA) Owner and Director's Test (ODT) . The club subsequently revealed on August 12th that he had failed the ODT . Agombar then sold his shareholding, but maintained a presence at HUFC matches, for instance at an FA Cup game in September after the ODT ban, where he was seen after the game berating players . Agombar also has links to Jed McCrory (see below), with whom he was involved at Swindon . At the time of writing is banned from direct involvement with the club due to the ODT failure
Andrew Lonsdale - Initially was described as an advisor or consultant to Agombar  who would be around for only a few weeks. At the time of takeover was President at Bedfont and Feltham FC . The FA ODT prohibits the involvement in or the power to influence management and administration at two clubs at the same time . Lonsdale's main online presence is for a fly tipping conviction  and for dumping substantial amounts of waste  in an arena at Feltham that he was supposedly developing for the football club he was involved with at the time. A search on company check [10,11] reveals that he is involved as a director/company secretary at 5 active companies, and has been involved at a similar level in 6 companies in liquidation and 25 that have been dissolved, mostly in waste disposal/building work. Investigation by the WeWantOurClubBack blog  found that monies owed by Lonsdale when companies were liquidated or dissolved ran into several million pounds. The London Gazette  lists Lonsdale has having a bankruptcy order against him from August 2007. It was also revealed in a Guardian interview  that Lonsdale was disqualified from being a company director from October 2006 for 6 years. Lonsdale was announced as Chairman at HUFC in July  and resigned his position at Bedfont and Feltham , due to the dual roles. He has announced that he has taken the ODT in September, and although the results took almost 2 months to arrive, towards the end of October the club revealed that he has passed . He became a Director of the club in mid November . In a winding up hearing on 1st December he produced a letter indicating that he had $9 million of a commercial mortgage backed security in an offshore account that he would be using as collateral with the intention of clearing all debts and lending up to GBP 5 million to the club . On 10th December he was revealed at the new owner of the club . At the time of writing is a Director, club Chairman and Owner.
Joel Nathan - Initially described as Advisor to Agombar at HUFC , whilst still maintaining the position of CEO at Grays Athletic FC . On a number of occasions, commented about the finances of HUFC, for instance , indicating that he had involvement in the affairs of two football clubs at the same time. At the time of writing, it is unclear whether he still has direct involvement with the club.
Jon Taylor - Unveiled as manager of HUFC. Main online presence, his coaching business , which contains a testimonial from Jed McCrory. Was also assistant manager at Banbury United when Jed McCrory was Chairman . At the time of writing is still club Manager.
Mark Ellis - Initially described as a Football Consultant  to HUFC. His main online presence is through a sports management firm  and through a YouTube video  where he is described in the title line as a football coach at Arsenal. At the time of writing it is unclear whether he still has direct involvement with the club.
Marc Landsman - An Insolvency Practitioner (IP)  that shares an office with Peter Gambrill (see below). Not involved at the takeover stage, he was instructed to run a CVA that HUFC looked to enter into in August. He indicated post CVA that he would have no further involvement with the club
Andrew Green - Described as Agombar Sir's accountant . Was originally involved when the takeover of the club occurred, but not heard from since early June and appears to have no involvement at the club at the time of writing.
John Edwards - No apparent involvement at the takeover, but currently a director of HUFC. Referred to as a friend of Mark Ellis . Information on company check lists [24,25] that he has 2 active directorships (one currently at HUFC), and been involved in 14 dissolved companies, including those in waste management. At the time of writing still a company director.
Elkie Theulings - No apparent involvement at the takeover, but currently a director of HUFC. Referred to as a friend of Mark Ellis . Information on company check lists [26,27,28] that she has 3 active directorships (one currently at HUFC) and been involved in 1 dissolved company, including those in waste management. A the time of writing still a company director.
Alan McCarthy - No apparent involvement at the takeover, but currently the owner of Hereford United via the company Alpha Choice Finance, which was described by Marc Landsman as a purchaser of distressed debts . Information on company check  lists that he is a director at 3 active companies and 9 liquidated or dissolved companies. Alpha Choice Finance was incorporated in July 2013 and has not filed any accounts. Mr. McCarthy's background appears to be in finance/recruitment. Despite being the club's owner, Mr. McCarthy has not taken the FA's ODT and because of that the club has been charged by the FA  with misconduct.
Thomas Agombar Jnr - No apparent involvement at the takeover, but was fleetingly a director of HUFC . Later disclosed that he would not have passed the ODT by Marc Landsman . Has a Sine Die suspension from Essex County Football Association . At the time of writing does not appear to have any involvement with the club.
Peter Gambrill - Brought on to assist with the CVA  and disclosed by the Marc Landsman that he would not have passed the ODT  due to a personal insolvency voluntary agreement (IVA). Recently stated by Lonsdale that he is the club's accountant , so at the time of writing it is assumed that he still holds this position.
Jed McCrory - Links to Agombar at Swindon and to Taylor at Banbury . Most recently involved in a battle over control for Swindon Town Football Club , which ended up in the High Court, where the Judge accused him of lying under oath. At the time of writing there is no direct link between McCrory and HUFC.
The background Story
HUFC was taken over by David Keyte in 2010. During his time as Chairman, the club was relegated from the football league and suffered the financial consequences of that relegation. Keyte continued to put money into the club although it became clear that around the turn of 2014 that the club was continuing to struggle financially, with a winding order from HMRC scheduled for the end of January . The football club AGM in March presented a stark picture, with the total owed to creditors within one year around 640,000 pounds and that owed to creditors over one year around 770,000 pounds  for the accounts to May 2013. Keyte said that 'the board can't continue to cover losses'. The club needed 300,000 pounds to run to the end of the season and 300,000 pounds to run for the 2014/15 season. Keyte then pinned his hopes for the future of the club on fresh investment . The club faced a further winding up petition in March, but due to a substantial fundraising effort both by fans locally and by the wider football community (see for instance Omid Djalili gigs , winding up was again averted. Investment discussions were ongoing and in April Keyte told BBC Hereford and Worcester  that " There are three potential investors or consortiums' and that ” I can talk all day to people but if they haven't got £300K then they are not going to be any more use to us than the current set-up", indicating that 300,000 was needed to clear short term debts and run the club to the end of the season. Around the same time, the Hereford United Supporters Trust (HUST) threw their hat into the ring  in order to discuss with Keyte their involvement in a potential takeover. At the end of April, the club issued a statement  that said " The Board of directors have replied to invite the HUST to a meeting to present their offer but has also stated in the reply that the Board is still in discussions with interested parties and, though not finalized nor signed, the detail under discussion offers the potential of a significantly better outcome for the current board than the Trust’s offer". In early May, Keyte spoke to the official Hereford United website  and said that " The consortium which are in pole position at the moment, are very much football minded people. They understand the difficulty in avoiding losses based on the football alone", that “It is fair to say the attraction for both sets of potential investors is that we also have the development opportunities available at either end of the ground" and that “Both sets of investors share the same aims and objectives as the board of directors, and that is to run a football club within its means, with the ultimate goal of returning to the Football League. In mid May, Keyte gave an update to the Hereford Times , and said " "The initial investment will clear the immediate debt", that "Long term debt in the form of loans will be reduced too. He is also quoted as saying that the investment would mean an 'imminent cash injection and acquisition of a majority shareholding'. On Wednesday 21st May BBC H&W  reported that "It would be an investment in rather than takeover of the club", and that "... it's believed David Keyte will remain in charge of the day to day running.' Then on the 28th May the Official Hereford United website released a statement  saying that " [investors] have now begun the process of making payments to football creditors at Edgar Street". The reason for the importance of creditors being paid was that Martin Foyle, a previous manager of Hereford had issued a further winding up order to the club over wages and his dismissal. On the 30th May, there was also the Football Conference AGM, which requires clubs to submit budgets for the coming season and to make sure that they are on a viable financial footing. Whilst all this was ongoing, Peter Beadle engineered a relegation escape from the Conference for Hereford , with players who through Keyte's own admission had only been part paid since the turn of the year.  (which was the basis of part of the cash injection required to keep the club running).
We now turn the clock back to 28th May 2014. Below we present a time line of what has happened from that point until the present day. The importance of the 28th May is that it is when the official Hereford United website said that the new investors had begun the process of making payments to football creditors...
28th May: A statement by Hereford United on the official club website reads " Representatives from the consortium of investors involved in Hereford United visited the club today. They have now begun the process of making payments to football creditors at Edgar Street." 
30th May: Hereford United release a statement asking for more time to settle the winding up order brought by former manager Martin Foyle and due to be heard 2nd June. 
1st June: Non League Paper reports that the Football Conference wants to see compelling evidence that the team can finish the 2014/15 season. Conference chief Dennis Strudwick is reported as saying "I've had contact from someone but we need evidence that the club has changed hands, of who the Directors are, and so do the FA. So far we haven't had any answers." 
2nd June: Martin Foyle winding up petition adjourned for 28 days . Hereford Times reports that new owners are considering administration and a creditors voluntary arrangement (CVA) 
3rd June: New owner, Thomas (Tommy) Agombar Snr announced . Speaking to the club's official website he said "I'm a football man and I want what is the very best for Hereford United and its supporters, they've endured a very hard time in recent months and years and we have to put things in place to avoid that happening again. I want to see the club back in the Football League as soon as possible and I'm confident that we can do that. We are currently liaising with the Football Conference regarding the club's current situation, we are striving to get the best result possible for the club. We are aware that supporters understandably worried that we'll just come into the club, develop the two ends and then disappear, but that's not going to happen. If I had been approached about buying a football club I would probably not of even entertained it, but this is Hereford United, a great little club with a fantastic history. I fully understand that supporters have plenty of questions that they want answered, and we will arrange a fans forum that will give everyone a chance to put forward their questions." Meanwhile Conference boss, Dennis Strudwick tells BBC H&W  that he is yet to have any direct contact with the new investors at Hereford United. Keyte also tells BBC H&W  that "... he has been in talks with new owner Tommy Agombar and his advisors throughout the day and they are fully aware of the need to satisfy the Conference board."
4th June: Keyte speaks to BBC H&W  about the Conference board meeting saying " It's going to be a tricky meeting on Friday. The AGM is on Saturday, there is a meeting for Hereford United on Friday with the Conference board where these points have to be clarified. But that is the stance they are opting for today. At one level you can understand it. It's £148,000 is the football creditors (authors note: this is the amount required to settle football creditors for the prior season 2013/14 due to unpaid wages etc per Football Conference rules). Do they put that in to be relegated on Friday morning? It's an exciting project for them if they can be assured that the Conference Premier is their starting point. We've been in discussions that the target this first year will be a play-off place and they would like to get back up into the League money as we all would. That would be quite a jolt to be relegated in your second week. We are very much in the hands of the Conference board. At the end of the day it is their league."
5th June: Conference boss Dennis Strudwick tells the Hereford Times  " The club need to submit a form to the FA and will need approval to the FA before we deal with any new owner in any authority on behalf of the club. Hereford United must settle their debts with football creditors by 5pm on Thursday (5th June) – and the club are well aware what they need to do. The club have known this since May 14". The paper also confirmed that Keyte remains as Chairman.
6th June: At the Conference Board  meeting HUFC were given a Saturday (7th June) deadline to make payment to retain their Conference position.
7th June: BBC H&W report  that the club must provide 'proof of funds' to the Conference AGM by 10am this morning. However given the difficulties of moving funds over the weekend, the club have been given a few more days to pay creditors. Later in the day BBC H&W report  that HUFC to be given until Thursday 12th to settle football creditors. Agombar was interviewed later in the day by ITV  and told fans that he intended to put £150,000 into the club on Monday, and a further £300,000 later in the week. He added that coach Mark Ellis would be working with the club over the next month. He told ITV  that "As soon as someone said Hereford was for sale I thought lovely. A beautiful club, everyone knows Hereford. But, massive debts down here. When I come into the club they said it was £300,000 now it's £1.3million."
9th June: Keyte tells BBC H&W  that he is aware of Agombar's criminal history, whilst former Hereford captain Like Graham tells the station  that he is still awaiting pay from last season.
10th June: Hereford are expelled from the Conference for failing to pay football creditors . Agombar releases a statement to the official Hereford United  site stating " The club was not in a position to pay the Football Conference's requirement of a £350,000 bond. A bond that we could not touch during the season (author's note: the conference from time to time require a bond to be posted by those clubs that they believe may not finish the season to compensate all other clubs in the league should that happen). I am truly gutted that this situation has arisen, I bought the club in the knowledge that I was buying a Conference Premier side, but the amount of debt that we have discovered, and have to now deal with, has brought about unwanted changes to our initial plans. I have today made sure that payments are being made to both staff and creditors, and we will also be sorting out payments to Martin Foyle and HMRC this month. I'm keen to talk to supporters as soon as I can and we will arrange a Fans Forum at the earliest possible opportunity"
11th June: Statement from the 2013/14 playing squad  who state that they have had no contact with Agombar since he took over, other than for players under 23 to be offered new contracts (authors note: such players as subject to compensation, although by non-payment of wages their contracts had already been breached). Fans forum announced with Agombar Snr, Green and Ellis  for 16th June. Hereford Council Leader Tony Johnson tells BBC H&W that Agombar Snr has asked for 2 of 3 leases at Edgar St to be transferred into his own company  (authors note: The leases are the only material asset that the club owns). Club media officer Mark Farmer posts on Facebook  that he is leaving that club, stating " I have just created what I fully expect to be my final article for the Hereford United FC Official Website after 20 years service to the club. I cannot lie, I've been in tears while doing it (I promised myself I wouldn't!). I've just checked my bank account for the 10th time today to find that, as expected, my wages have not been paid in despite a 5th promise in 7 days. Eviction is on the cards for my wife and I with too many other bills piling up. I am not the only one that works at HUFC to be in this situation." C2 recruitment decides to end sponsorship with the club due to "poor decisions" that the club has made 
12th June: Hereford apply to join Southern League  (2 steps below the Football Conference league from which it has been expelled. Jon Taylor revealed as one of the coaches at Hereford United , whilst Hereford Times attributes comments to Mark Ellis that " We have got some excellent players from clubs like Chelsea and QPR and if we are in the Southern League, we will only be there for one season." Meanwhile Hereford Council state that the club are in rent and rates arrears of 65,000 pounds . A second article in the Hereford Times  containing quotes from Mark Ellis appears and states, "No one locally came forward to buy the club. They all talk the talk but it’s Tommy who is doing his bit." (author's note: David Keyte indicated that there was more than one party interested in buying the club. HUST, a local entity, also asked to speak to the club but were rebuffed by Keyte, see background section). Jesse Norman, local MP tweets  that he has asked the FA if Agombar has passed the ODT.
13th June: Petition to Hereford Council organized to reject the transfer of Edgar St leases to Thomas Agombar's company . Pegasus (author's note: local Hereford side) cancel friendly with HUFC . Mark Ellis quoted as saying in the Hereford Times  that the manager's job at HUFC was "...too big a job" for Peter Beadle the man who engineered Hereford's relegation escape from the Conference 6 weeks earlier. Meanwhile the club cancel the planned fans forum for the 16th June due to "prior commitments". . Linda Richards (HUFC office employee) quits due to nonpayment of March, April, May wages promised 10th June .
15th June: Belmont Wanderers (authors note: local Hereford side) cancel friendly with HUFC . HUST reject talks with Agombar  citing demands of settling the football creditors, Council debts, the Martin Foyle and HMRC winding up petitions, and any other demands as set out by the Southern League in order to secure Southern League status for the coming season. Meanwhile the club is on a winding up list for the 16th  - it's unclear why since the Martin Foyle petition should not be heard to the end of June.
16th June: Winding up petition halted due to non advertisement by HMRC . Meanwhile council meets with Agombar and fans record a conversation , with selected quotes from Agombar, " We're paying debts and we're going to pay all the debts. I'll tell you what they need. They need all football creditors to be paid which I've paid half of anyway. All the admin staff have been paid. The reason we're not in the Conference is that they wanted £350K to put into their bank account and I refused. When I come down to this club, they said listen the club would need £350K that's it. Since I've been down here it's £1.3M. I'm a football man. I've come down here. I didn't know nothing about leases, I didn't know nothing, right." and " The football creditors will be paid by Friday. The winding up orders they're gone, they're being dismissed. We are Southern Premier League football club, guaranteed. We'll be higher than that in twelve months." and " We are announcing a manager in the next two weeks. We are going to go on a European tour. We are going through the process of building a new team." At the same time Hereford Council Leader said  that ” They've promised to pay (The 65K owed in rent and rates) it back. They made that promise last week."
17th June: Andrew Lonsdale identified as advisor that accompanied Agombar Snr to council meeting on the 16th 
18th June: Agombar no longer listed as a director of HUFC , leaving Keyte as sole director. Agombar was a director from 4th to 17th June.
19th June: Southern League accepts HUFC according to the Hereford Times . Worcester Raiders (authors note: local side) reject HUFC friendly . Lonsdale tells GetWestLondon  that "I am not a director or a shareholder at Hereford. I am only there as a consultant, and only for a few weeks. We did Hereford a favour by letting them hold players trials at Bedfont & Feltham, but that is as far as it goes. I have no intention of leaving Bedfont & Feltham. I am a local boy and have been with the club for 17 years, and it was me and (club chairman) Brian Barry who set up the merger between Bedfont and Feltham.”
20th June: Hereford Times quotes Arsenal as stating Ellis "was not a permanent member of staff" and "no longer has a connection to the club" 
21st June: Southern League AGM accepts Hereford  stating that all football creditors must be paid and a dispute about the leases on the ground be settled. Football Conference will not let Hereford back into their league until football creditors paid  (authors note: in the event that they are promoted in 2014/15). Lonsdale takes time to post on Bulls Banter internet forum  to state football creditors have been paid.
22nd June: Southern League statement from 21st June is qualified - all football creditors to be paid by 23rd June or further sanctions may be enacted 
23rd June: Pre season friendly against Gloucester cancelled . One former player tells BBX H&W that he and others have not received outstanding wages . Weobley (local Hereford side), reject pre season friendly . Ledbury reject pre season friendly 
24th June: PFA have told BBC Hereford and Worcester  that they will apply pressure to the Southern League and FA to get wages paid to players. Southern League secretary Jason Mills told H&W yesterday that 'unless something drastic happens 'the league will accept the Bulls as they are 
25th June: Joel Nathan appears on the scene at Edgar St.  as an advisor whilst being listed as Grays Athletic CEO. Pre season friendly announced versus Grays Athletic . Football creditors told cheques will be sent Monday 30th June 
26th June: David Keyte resigns Directorship of HUFC . Council receive a statement from the club  that "We wish to leave all leases for the club in the name of Hereford United Football Club (1939) Limited. We have paid all football creditors and have been accepted into the Premier Division of the Southern Football League." John Edwards and Elke Thuerlings of Leigh, Lancashire, appointed directors of HUFC . Hereford Council receive a petition with 7000 names against re-assignment of leases 
27th June: Agombar Jr appointed director of HUFC 
30th June: HUFC in court again over winding up petition by Foyle. BBC H&W reports that the club might be looking to enter a CVA . The club was given a 7 day adjournment. Southern league rules state that all football creditors must be paid in full by the end of the season if a CVA is entered into and all creditors must be paid within 3 years. .
1st July: Philip Peter Gambrill appointed as director of HUFC 
2nd July: Droylesden to play HUFC in friendly , but Grays cancel .
4th July: The club doesn't get its safety certificate renewed, with Council head of Environmental Safety stating that " You need annual checks and renewals and until we have the correct certification the local authority will not allow these fixtures (authors note: against Help for Heros and Cardiff that had been previously arranged and were set to be played in the next few weeks) to go ahead. . Plymouth cancel pre season friendly . Peter Beadle still waiting for pay from 2013/14 season .
5th July: Nathan tells the Hereford Times that "I have been told that things are in place to pay football creditors next Friday (authors note: 11 July)" before claiming that the Southern League need football creditors paid before the season starts. 
7th July: Hereford in Court again, with winding up petition adjourned for another 3 weeks 
9th July: Hereford United Supporters Trust (HUST) members vote to boycott the club with football creditors, HMRC, Martin Foyle and the council still unpaid . Jon Taylor, former assistant at Banbury United is appointed manager with Neil Phelps former local youth team coach his assistant . Nathan tells Grays football forum  that ” As an advisor to the owners of Hereford United I was asked to let the proper Hereford press know that football creditors will be paid this week which is nothing to do with the CVA of the club"
10th July: Hereford Football Association postpone Herefordshire Senior Cup between HUFC and Westfields (local side) . Nathan offered a role at HUFC . HUFC reveal season ticket prices for 2014/15 .
11th July: Despite Nathan saying football creditors would be paid today, none appeared to be with former players taking to twitter to express frustration .
12th July: Pre-season friendly against Eagley in Lancashire moved to "behind closed doors" . Final score reported to be 16-0 to HUFC.
15th July: BBC state that the club is still to satisfy the Southern League's terms for entry into the division . Leek cancel friendly with HUFC . BBC report that the council are still to hear from the club regarding the stadium safety certificate . Football creditors again take to twitter to ask when they will be paid and BBC H&W reports that even so the club are not under a transfer embargo according to the Southern League . Marc Landsman named as Insolvency Practioner (IP) . Club sent photocopies cheques to Southern League to "prove" that they had paid creditors 
16th July: Nathan speaks to the Hereford Times  and states " I can assure the creditors they will be paid and steps are being taken to achieve this through a CVA arrangement." and “... I won’t be commenting on the finances of the club anymore and I can’t make any comments on the leases because I have not been involved in that area.”
20th July: Non League Paper  says that the Southern League are expecting proof that football creditors have been paid by Hereford United by the end of the week.
21st July: Southern League now confirms that HUFC have a transfer embargo in place . An hour before kickoff, it is announced that HUFC will play Besiktas in a friendly in Leeds. They lose 6-0. 
22nd July: Nathan tells the Hereford Times that he "...will be agreeing terms with a new safety officer for the ground on Wednesday (23rd July)" . Nathan also said “I know that I said that I would not be saying anything but, to the best of my knowledge, football creditors are being paid today or tomorrow" and that “I have been told by a very reliable source who knows what’s going on and that is football creditors will be paid.”.
23rd July: Hereford Times reports that the club are asking for more time to pay football creditors 
24th July: Four football creditors have been paid . Nathan tells Hereford Times  that "We are negotiating at the moment with a major blue-chip company to sponsor this club which, if it comes off, means we would not go into a CVA.” and Lonsdale says that " "Football creditors will be paid today and everything will be in place for the game against St Neots Town on August 9. We were always going to pay the football creditors" and that “We have sat down and had an overlook of everything. We had two very big sponsors who were going to come in and invest in the club for a great deal of money" and that “But because of the bad publicity through the Hereford Times, Bulls Banter and Bulls News they decided to pull out. There’s no point in coming out and talking until you are 100 per cent ready to do so." Southern League handbook list Nathan as "Club Secretary" despite him still being on the Grays website as CEO and Lonsdale as "Chairman" . In a further article in the Hereford Times  Lonsdale talks about his roles at both Hereford and Bedfont and states that Hereford fans "... got hold of the FA and said that I was involved with two clubs. Because I want to see Tommy Agombar see this through, I made my decision to resign. I had been there 17 years but, because of the fans’ hatred here, I have had to resign." Lonsdale omitted to mention that holding positions at two clubs simultaneously is against FA rules. In yet another article in the Hereford Times , Lonsdale explains the photocopied cheques to the Southern League " The cheques were written out to pay the football creditors and big sponsors were due to drop the money in but, at the last minute, the sponsors backed out,” “That was due to the bad press from Bulls Banter, Bulls News and Hereford Times and they said sorry, we can’t be associated with this.“There were two backers and they both pulled out.” Lonsdale also talked about a new sponsor “The company is not a local computer shop, this is a multi-national company.” Lonsdale also makes reference to payments to football creditors in yet another Hereford Times article  “We started paying them yesterday - about 10 or 12 - and the rest should be paid today as long as we have all the bank details and references. We will pay today, tomorrow or Monday." Lonsdale also stated amongst other  things that " Due diligence was done when Andrew Green was involved but he’s no longer involved with the club. "
25th July: "Advisor" Lonsdale tells the Hereford Times  that "most people have a checkered past" and admitted that Agombar may not pass the ODT. At the same time Nathan says that Agombar Jnr no longer a Director and that a new Chairman will be found this week, despite Southern League handbook stating that Lonsdale is Chairman. BBC H&W report that HUFC needs to pay football creditors today or be kicked out of the Southern League .
26th July: Southern League tell at least one football creditor that HUFC paid money into the wrong account . Hereford play last pre season friendly at Droylesden. Match ends as 5-5 draw .
28th July: Hereford United in court again. Lonsdale claims in the Hereford Times  that "... I won’t benefit from any development," and that "The leases are in the football club’s name – I am not a shareholder or a director of the club." Sothern League releases statement saying that majority of football creditors have been paid and accepts club into its league . Winding up petition adjourned again for 5 weeks to allow for CVA discussions . CVA documents released by IP . CVA looks for crowds of 700-800, through 200 season tickets and 500-600 others on match days . Also highlights significant revenue streams from sponsorship.
29th July: Former player takes to twitter because he is still unpaid . Irfan Kawri named as a coach . Club announces fans forum 
30th July: Club finally begins to name players for upcoming season 
31st July: Council call a meeting for 5th August to resolve safety certificate just days before season due to start . Former player still waiting for money owed 
2nd August: Some football creditors still waiting for payments 
3rd August: Statement on Hereford United website confirms Lonsdale is Chairman .
4th August: Sinkums (local Hereford side) cancel friendly against HUFC due to unforeseen circumstances . Mother owed statutory maternity pay still not paid by the club 
5th August: Council tell Hereford Times  that safety certificate delayed " Unfortunately, the council, police and fire service are not satisfied that all of the necessary statutory requirements have been met or that all of the relevant paperwork is in place,". Bartestree FC (local Hereford side) decline friendly against HUFC 
7th August: Cargill ends HUFC shirt sponsorship . HUFC meet with council over safety certificate , which is granted allowing first game of season to go ahead in 2 days time. But club limit capacity to 1000  (previous season was over 6 times that). Agombar withdraws from fans forum despite initially saying he will attend 
8th August: Nathan (now billed as interim CEO) tells the Hereford Times  that the club had four objectives "One was to satisfy the football creditors and two was to get the stadium straight.“The third objective was to get a league in which to play and the fourth was to get a playing squad together which would justify all the effort that we would be put in.” With the season about to kick off the club still owes football creditors from last season 
10th August: The BBC interviewed Agombar Snr and he said  that "I earn my money in London", "I don't have to come to Hereford to earn my money","I wanted to buy a football club but the debt was much more than we ever thought.","Everyone will get paid.","My advisor told me to walk away and not buy the club.","Our major target is to get through this season.","We've got the CVA and everything else that is coming up soon so we'll get by that.","I think I've turned the Hereford people around by keeping the club here.","I'm not really bothered about whether they like me or not, I'm being honest, I don't care, it doesn't bother me.","All I want them to do is enjoy their club, come down to a football game and just support the club.","If they don't come we'll still be okay.","I had big investors with the club but because of the publicity that was going around at the time they didn't want to be attached to the club.","I've got big business people in London that want to invest in the club and they will do.","So we won't have a problem here.","Development is a major thing for the club","I'm going to get fans on the board.". The crowd at the first home game of the season on the 9th August was about 25% of what it was for the last in 2013/14 season.
12th August: Edwards and Thuerlings issue a statement (their first words to Hereford fans)  who outlined their reasons for being involved " When we became directors of Hereford United Football Club (1939) Ltd we thought we were just helping a friend, Mark Ellis, who knew someone that had bought shares in a football club and needed people to help turn it around financially. " and stated just days before the CVA meetings were to take place that " Hopefully this is just a farewell till we write in the next programme, but if the CVA is rejected then this is a goodbye from us.". At the same time the club issued a statement saying that Agombar had failed the ODT  and that "he was told by the FA that he must have nothing more to do with Hereford United" and goes on to confirm that he cannot fund the club or own the amount of shares he does currently.
13th August: When questioned by fans , and contrary to previous statements, Agombar says that " No one showed me the books, but that’s okay because I’m a big boy. But that the thing, we’ve got to try and sort out the debts, the CVA or whatever. But it’s nothing to do with me now.” Agombar also told a local radio station  that he would be at every game now regardless because he was a fan even though it had been 2 weeks since the FA told him to have no involvement with the club. Landsman states to the Hereford Times regarding the ODT that "if I knew why the other two (authors note: referring to Agombar Jr and Gambrill) thought they would pass I would say " 
14th August: IP reveals that the club is now owned by a "purchaser of distressed debt . The CVA is also rejected by creditors of the club  and the new owner of the club is introduced as a company called Alpha Choice Finance.
15th August: Landsman tells shareholders that the club will be liquidated on the 1st September (authors note: date of next winding up) . Landsman also tells BBC H&W  that "Unless all the debts are paid of the people who petitioned for the company to go into liquidation and the people who are supporting it, then the company will go into liquidation", and that "If I were being asked to advise I certainly would not be stressing that anyone paid the debts."
18th August: Club announce  that after a weekend of discussion the business will continue and that season ticket will go on sale despite them being announced for sale a month ago. Edwards expanded in the Hereford Times  saying that " After meeting with investors over the weekend, we are now 100% certain that we have a product to sell which is why we are selling season tickets and approaching sponsors.”. Meanwhile, despite assurances from Chairman Lonsdale the Hereford Times  reports that the council are still owed 65,000 pounds. The club state that ground capacity will stay at 1,000 for the next 2 matches (those until the end of August), but will be reviewed thereafter 
19th August: Lonsdale speaks to BBW H&W  about the investment in HUFC and says that "... It's quite a large investment. It's certainly enough to make sure we're quite... we can happily go forward in strength. We won't have any problems satisfying the petition that is due to be heard on the 1st of September." He also stated that "Basically the investors that have come forward want to carry on with the ethos that Tommy Agombar started here - the growth of young players, showcase them, and sell them on to bigger clubs" and spoke about development "In time there is the development at either end, but that's in two years that's not now. There's also speculation in the media that we want to relocate Edgar Street elsewhere in Hereford. I want to say that is definitely not going to happen. We want the football to stay at Edgar Street forever." Regarding where the investment has come from he said, "The investment has come from [Alpha Choice Finance] and from outside sources." Asked if he could name the other backers, Lonsdale replied: "Not at the present time, no." and "As soon as we are able to notify you who the investors are we will."
20th August: HUST issue an update on the boycott of the club  indicating that they will be happy to speak with the club about ending the boycott if football creditors from the previous season are paid in full, the council is paid overdue rent and rates and the winding up petition, due to be heard on the 1st September is settled.
22nd August: The club releases a question and answer statement on the official website  including, but not limited the amount of season tickets sold ("a number"), why there is no kit sponsor ("We believe after 1st September (authors note: next winding up date), when outside interest see that the club is still moving forward more will get involved") and plans for the future ("The management wishes the club to move up through each division as swiftly as possible, the CVA points deduction is no longer a concern; we now start this league on a level playing field. The players that have been drafted in are young skilful players, we hope to attract outside interest and sell them onto other clubs. It is important to normalize the business and make it a profitable sustainable football club, making sure that in five years time it’s not in same situation again.
25th August: A number of new Hereford United companies are set up by supporters with links to Thomas Agombar 
27th August: Nathan, advisor to HUFC, but still CEO of Grays Athletic told the Hereford Times that  “There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes and, unfortunately, I can’t say too much about that at the moment." About the financial position and the winding up order to be heard on the 1st September he said “I think the club will go into court on Monday and the judge will look at several different options for the way ahead. The club will survive."
28th August: HUST reiterates its position on the boycott to the Hereford Times , stating that " Once they have met the terms of the boycott them we will be happy to talk to the club."
1st September: Philip Peter Gambrill resigns as a director of the club , post the CVA with the IP indicating that he would not have passed the FA's ODT due to a personal IVA. Winding up order adjourned with Lonsdale telling the official site  that "Although this is not the outcome we expected, a few things had changed regarding the winding up order since the last time we were in court, so it is only right that the club now go away and adjust accordingly. We still remain positive that the business of Hereford United (1939) Ltd. will continue.” Later in the day Lonsdale is interviewed by BBW H&W  and stated that "I'm the chairman of the club and I'm just trying to keep everything together whilst work is going on in the background. My role will change this week" and that "There will be new directors appointed, I think they are being appointed this week." Asked about the adjournment he said " "It's what we were hoping for really. The investment is there. It's all a question of timing. You don't get together sums of money like we are looking for overnight." Asked about Thomas Agombar continued involvement at the club (despite being banned due to failing the FA's ODT) he said " "Tommy is very close, not in a managerial way or an owner way or a director way. Don't forget he was the one that actually done the deal for Hereford to go forward. He's put an awful lot of money into the club. He's had to sell his debt and his shareholding for a lot less than he paid and we feel sorry for him. The club, at the minute, is owned by Alpha Financial services which is Alan McCarthy. He's the actual investor who owns the majority in it. Basically Alpha are working very closely with another group to secure the maximum funding that we need. I'm not privy to that information. All I've been told is that the money will be made available which I believe."
2nd September: Thomas Agombar Jnr resigns as a director of the club . That leaves 2 names directors with the articles of association requiring 3 minimum. Club captain Luis Morrison leaves the club by "mutual consent" according to the club  less than a month into the season.
3rd September: Herefordshire Council confirm  an enquiry was made about purchasing the freehold of Edgar Street in April, although no minutes were taken and the names in the council's visitors book are indecipherable.
4th September: Lonsdale interviewed by BBC H&W  stating that he has completed the FA's ODT and is awaiting the outcome and that he would quit if he did not pass [author's note: although Lonsdale was neither a director or owner when he took the test he was still liable due to the fact that in the position of Chairman he could exert significant influence]. He also stated that " We've paid most of the football creditors. I believe they will be paid, if they're not paid already, they will be paid very shortly. " and later that " Basically because we have paid a vast amount of money, a lot of people have been paid, it's only a minority". Local MP, Jesse Norman, led a debate in Parliament on the future of non-league football, specifically raising the issues at Hereford . The club take to twitter  to say that investment will come before the next winding up hearing on the 8th September and also to say that the ground capacity is hoped to be increased before the next home game.
8th September: Winding up petition adjourned for 42 days, with BBC H&W  reporting that although former management team Martin Foyle and Andy Porter settled with the club there is still over 300,000 pounds owed. In a statement on the official site , Lonsdale confirms a rumour that players from 2014/15 season have had a delay in wages payment. he also confirms that no new directors have been appointed, that he personally put money into the club to pay off Foyle and Porter and that one of the "most important factors to the survival of Hereford United" is the ability to loan or sell players to bigger clubs.
9th September: Jon Taylor  confirms a number of player departures stating that "I have inherited players that the club signed before my tenure". Taylor was officially unveiled as manager on July 12th, having first appeared at the club on the first day of training back in June.
10th September : HUST sends an update on the boycott , indicating that it is still in place since the council and football creditors from the last season are still unpaid. Once these are settled HUST will talk to the club. Thomas Agombar's son, Harry, joins on loan from Swindon 
13th September: Hereford United are knocked out of the FA Cup in the First Qualifying Round . Despite FA ban, Thomas Agombar Snr seen berating players after the match 
15th September: Herefordshire council attaches to winding up petition . It also states that it is prepared to defer payments subject to the council assuming responsibility for developing the ground.
18th September: Club Secretary and PR person, Laura Phelps leave the club . Jon Taylor says in a Hereford Times article that he picks the team and tactics and not Thomas Agombar. Club receptionist confirms that she has left the club after not being paid since June 
20th September: Thomas Agombar continues to be a presence at matches 
24th September: Herefordshire Council confirm  that they have had no contact from the club regarding the outstanding rent due and their offer for deferred payment.
28th September: Lonsdale posts a request on Vital Bulls (a site that is supposed to be an independent new/fans forum) website , asking for ideas about 'how to turn the club around' 
29th September: Lonsdale's request for ideas provokes a lot of questions . He tells fans via separate e-mails that staff will be paid today for a 'double' month after not being paid in August. Additionally he says that a new investor will be unveiled soon.
30th September: In ongoing e-mail communication with the fans, Lonsdale confirms that the money that he said he paid to settle the winding up order brought by Foyle and Porter was in the form of a loan to the club . Herefordshire council revises down the amount owed by the club to 60,000 pounds and states that it has still not heard from the club about these monies owed or their offer to defer payment . The club issued a statement  indicating that it is working towards increasing the ground capacity.
1st October: Former club cook takes to twitter to state that she has not been paid since May 
7th October: 254 fans watch Hereford United lose at home to Corby , a crowd of around 1500 less than the average for the 2013/14 season. Thomas Agombar  in the crowd again, being interviewed for a potential TV program.
8th October: Around 200 Hereford United supporters travel to Kidderminster to protest at a live televised game about the current state of the club 
10th October: Lonsdale again takes to Vital Bulls site to ask a number of questions about the protest at Kidderminster and why fans want the current regime out of the club. Fans respond with answers 
16th October: Hereford Times could not confirm with Lonsdale  that funds would be in place to avoid winding up on Monday 20th October, but that he was confident the club would survive
20th October: The club's winding up proceeding adjourned to December 1st. BBW H&W  report that the club promised 1.5 million pounds investment by the end of November to pay off debts. Meanwhile, Lonsdale tells BBW H&W  that the investment had been agreed in the last few days and that another CVA may be attempted. He said he would be able to name investors in the next 7 days  and that he was very confident of the clubs survival. It was reported by the Hereford Times  that in the previous week police were called to an incident at a local pizza hut involving Hereford players, although no action was taken.
22nd October: Council leader Tony Johnson says on BBC H&W  that the council pushed for the club to be closed at the winding up petition on Monday. After a match against Slough, manager Jon Taylor is quoted in the Hereford Times  as saying that the behaviour of players in a post match fight is "shameful and disgraceful"
23rd October: Manager John Taylor is quoted in the Hereford Times  as saying boycotting supporters are no true supporters and that "The club is where it is, either support the club or support someone else,". Meanwhile, Lonsdale discusses the financial situation in a statement on the official site  indicating that " The proposed development of the ground is still the subject of negotiation and a number of options have been considered. There has been much speculation regarding these matters the majority of which has not only been wide of the mark, but totally impossible." Very late in the day the council attempt to repossess Edgar Street due to non-payment of rent but are unable to due to the presence of assistant Manager Neil Phelps at the ground .
24th October: After attempting to repossess the ground, the club pays the council overdue rent via same day payment . The council then release a statement indicating that they are speaking with their legal team about the situation . Meanwhile Lonsdale is interviewed by BBC H&W  on the situation at the club and says regarding paying the council that "The debt when we went into the club was £1.4M. The council was a small minority of that. So we paid the football creditors. I think we've paid all the football creditors. If we haven't let me know." He also spoke regarding ownership that the club is owned by "Alpha Finance who is Alan McCarthy as everyone is well aware for the last two or three months since Tommy Agombar sold his shareholding and his loans. The two directors are in Poland. I'm in regular contact with them." Lastly, he indicated that the investment that he announced at the start of the week would be delayed. Football creditors from 2013/14 were quick to reject Lonsdale's assertion that all creditors had been paid . Council leader Johnson was also interviewed on BBW H& W  and said regarding the reasoning for the action "In the event the court gave the club another six weeks. But during that hearing it came to our attention that a number of creditors who we had been advised had been paid in fact turned out not to have been paid. That gave us cause for thought so we got together and said we've had enough and we're going to push for our money we are owed. I don't think the money would have been paid today if we hadn't of pushed them."
28th October: Club announce that Lonsdale passes FA's ODT . But the FA charge the club with a breach of the ODT  due to the fact that owner Alan McCarthy has not taken the test.
1st November: Around 20 games into the season the club has used 43 players . The club win their first cup game of the season at the third attempt 
3rd November: Alpha Choice Finance , the owner of HUFC gets a striking off warning from Companies House for not filing its Annual Return on time. Lonsdale reverts to using the Official HUFC site  for press releases, stating " We continue to work very hard behind the scenes to secure the necessary investment required to stabilize and move the Club forward. Negotiations are continuing and remain commercially sensitive. We will be coming forward with firm information once these negotiations are concluded. A full press conference will be called at that time, where the outcome will be presented to those invited to attend.
5th November: Club admit to FA's ODT charge . Meanwhile, the council indicate  that they are still considering their options with regard to Edgar Street. Lonsdale issues a statement on the Official HUFC site , " We would like to inform all of our loyal fans that the investment for the future of Hereford United FC (1939) Ltd, is almost secure with the following proviso. The investors do not want to be named at present and in their words want to draw the ‘war of words’ to an amicable conclusion. To make this happen I have telephoned Martin Watson from HUST to arrange a meeting between us to outline the way forward and any questions / queries they may have can be brought to the attention of the investors and can be dealt with prior to the investment. This meeting has to be carried out under a confidentiality agreement as the investors do not want to be brought into a ‘war of words’. I feel that this is a positive step forward and have urged Martin Watson to arrange the meeting as soon as possible. As we are all aware the Club is stuck in limbo at the moment and I for one would love to see the Club be rejuvenated and I m sure you would agree. Then we can we can see the Club start to climb back to where it so rightly belongs. With the investment we have secured this is possible, the Club would be in a strong financial position for once. I have known about the investment for a while but I am under a confidentiality agreement. If I wasn’t believe me I would be shouting from the roof tops as we are ready to now go forward."
6th November: HUST respond to Lonsdale , stating that under the terms they cannot accept the meeting. The confidentiality agreement is an issue because HUST board members would need to report to their members. HUST also restates its position on creditors being paid, the issue that sparked the boycott which is still not resolved 3 months into the season. HUST make it clear that they are open to speaking to the investors directly. Lonsdale responds  stating that he is disappointed that HUST turned down the meeting, and asks whether HUST want to discuss the future or want the club to survive. He says that they are aware of the terms of the boycott, but "without the backing of HUST, continuing negotiations for investment into the club will be a challenge". He admits that they "haven't done it right" and can be accused of being "tin pot". He suggests that they are looking for transparency and truth. Meanwhile Taylor tells the Hereford Times  that he is releasing more players, mainly those brought in before his tenure, although he has been at the club almost from the start of June. Martin Watson of HUST reiterates their position on BBC H&W  on the confidentiality clause, the boycott and meeting investors directly.
7th November: Lonsdale issues another statement regarding HUST  stating " Many strange comments have been made regarding my being some sort of middle man that can be discounted, and that investors attracted to Hereford United should in fact be dealing with an organization with no interest in maintaining the current Club. " and regarding creditors that " The facts are that the Players from last season have been paid. Staff from last season have been paid. Utility bills have been paid. Other football creditors have also been paid. The council debt and others were going to be paid at the last winding up hearing, events that morning though made these untenable at that point, nevertheless the outstanding inherited debt to the council has been cleared." Additionally that investment now appeared very secure, contrary to the previous day "We have secured investment, and these people now have a clear understanding of the issues that will have to be confronted over the medium to long term, in rebuilding the Club, team and support base.". Lonsdale signed off by stating " We have a long hard road in front of us; I can only ask the people of Hereford to take the time to evaluate the last 48 hours. I would hope that people can see we are already providing what any other proposed project would struggle to reach within a decade. I again thank those that have shown their support this season, and again invite those that haven't to come and see what we are doing." Ex-players and staff were very quick to dismiss Lonsdale's claims that they had been paid via the Hereford Times or Twitter , with around 50 staff involved in non-payment and the total amount in the tens of thousands of pounds. At the same time, the Hereford Times  reported that the grounds man had walked out of the club and would not cut or mark the pitch due to nonpayment of 19,000 pounds for this season. Furthermore, more local companies were reported to have attached themselves to the winding up petition 
8th November: HUFC find someone to cut and mark the pitch and win their home game in front of only 279 supporters, their lowest Saturday crowd of the season 
10th November: Lonsdale puts out another statement  saying that he thinks boycotting fans will come up with another reason to boycott the club if creditors are paid. He also states regarding creditors that "A great deal of furore erupted around monies outstanding to certain individuals. The club therefore request those to contact the football club chairman at email@example.com with full details of monies claimed, and proofs to support these claims. We think that any reasonable person will understand the complexities involved in resolving the financial arrangements made before we arrived, again, it is worth remembering the amount already spent on historical debt is at £250k+ following the council payment, a rather different position than the impression being given by others." Meanwhile, HUST has made a application to English Heritage to list part of the Edgar Street Stadium 
11th November: Companies House begin dissolution process against HUFC because they have not filed an annual return, currently 4 months late . Lonsdale writing in a match program  now states that "we have investment, almost secured", contrary to what was said the week before. Hereford maintain a winning run moving up to 11th in the table, although having played on average 3 more games than other teams in the division and in front of the lowest crowd of the season of just 239 .
13th November: HUFC Director John Edwards tells the Hereford Times  that he is "watching from afar", that "Andy [Lonsdale] is enjoying our full support and I speak to him every day", and that there will be no issue over the annual return not being filed
15th November: Hereford's FA Trophy exploits continue, with another win in front of 339, sending them into the round that also includes clubs from the Conference North and South 
17th November: It is revealed that Keyte is taking Agombar to court  regarding the sale of the club. There is no official explanation for the course of action either from the club or from Mr. Keyte. Neil Phelps, also assistant manager, takes over as Club Secretary , a position filled by his wife at the beginning of the season before she left employment with the club.
18th November: Alpha Choice Finance, owners of the club, have moved their registered address to those also used by club accountant and former director, Peter Gambrill and IP, Marc Landsman . Scouts are keeping tabs on a few Hereford players, but it is being reported  that Hereford's squad are all on non-contract terms, any club would only need to put them on seven days notice for a free transfer. This is at odds with the showcase and sell policy that Agombar and Lonsdale have stated is their aim.
20th November: The Hereford Times dig into Lonsdale background  and also find 27 liquidated companies that have more than 7 million pounds of debt at the time of liquidation. They also report that Lonsdale is being chased by a liquidator for 1,500 pounds for furniture sold from one of Lonsdale's liquidated companies to one which was a going concern that has never been paid. The paper quotes the liquidator as saying "As a result of lack of payment and co-operation generally from Mr. Lonsdale, I have had to instruct my agents Marcus Matthews and Associates to threaten the removal of the goods and subsequent legal action to obtain further payments". Lonsdale's response is that "his past is in the past" and that he works 2-3 days a week for nothing. He quotes a figure of 600,000 pounds as having been put into the club, 350,000 more than he indicated was put in via a statement on 10th November. The paper also said that they tried to reach Alan McCarthy for comment but have had had no response in three weeks of trying. Meanwhile, detective work by the SaveEdgarStreet blog  enables fans to read a few more details on the background of Mr. McCarthy and to see a picture of him for the first time since his involvement with the club.
22nd November: HUFC win for the 6th game in a row , moving up to mid table, although the club appear to have not brought enough shirts for the players, with substituted players having to switch and share the same shirts.
23rd November: Companies House end dissolution process against the club . It is also revealed that former Chairman, David Keyte has objected to both Scrooby Limited and Alpha Choice Finance being dissolved [Authors note: These are the companies owned by Thomas Agombar and Alan McCarthy that purportedly "own" shares and debt in the club - the original sale was to Scrooby, and then on to Alpha Choice Finance after Mr. Agombar failed the ODT]. The SaveEdgarStreet blog  puts an audio recording allegedly of Thomas Agombar threatening fans, calling them "c**ts" and indicating that through ownership of the club "the greatest cockney rip off" has been made.
24th November: The club put out a statement  that "The last week has seen an increase in abuse and unfounded and inaccurate allegations against the above Officers of Hereford United FC. The weekend just gone has seen an increase in such abuse, particularly involving family members of the above Officers." The club does not mention specific incidents, but indicates that legal action will be taken. Meanwhile HUST put out a statement , asking about the promised investment given another winding up petition to be heard on December 1. It is also indicated that Lonsdale has been in touch with HUST despite stating on 7th November that he would have no more dealings with them. The HUST statement finishes by asking the club to make a statement on the ownership of the club and how debts will be cleared.
25th November: The club's winning run ends , and at the midpoint of the season, the team lie in 12th position with 29 points from 23 games. They have played on average 4 more games than other teams in the league due to their early exit from cup competitions. The SaveEdgarStreet blog responds to the club's statement  about the audio tape stating that ”We have been in receipt of the voicemails for some time. We received them anonymously. We spent a number of weeks assessing their validity. Seeking evidence about their origin. Speaking to other supporters who also received calls, texts and voicemails. It was only when we were absolutely satisfied they were genuine that we prepared them for release. We did not want to damage our credibility if they were later proved to be a hoax. We even went as far to email a copy of the released message to Andy Lonsdale on 7 November 2014. We asked for his views. Andy declined to comment. We also note that yesterday’s statement did not deny the validity of the voicemails. Make of that what you will." Minutes after this statement is released, and despite being told by the FA to have nothing more to do with the club, a statement appears on the HUFC website  from Thomas Agombar about the article on the SaveEdgarStreet blog saying that "The claims made in the whole article are false and totally refuted by Mr. Agombar. The recording purported to include him and others is entirely false and he wishes it to be made clear that it is absolutely not his voice being heard." and that "Mr. Agombar wishes to make clear to those individuals or groups carrying out these actions that they will be identified, and the appropriate legal sanction/s instigated, including involving the Police where possible."
27th November: Despite Lonsdale asking creditors from last season to get in touch with him directly in a statement issued on 10th November, a number have had little or no response and none of the monies owed .
28th November: It is reported that the club is attempting to sign a new striker and offering to pay him very good money . Ahead of the winding up appearance on December 1st, it is reported that 19 creditors have attached themselves to the petition . Meanwhile, Herefordshire Council state that they are currently owed 3,000 pounds by the club . The Independent newspaper release an article  ahead of the winding up hearing, giving an overview of events of the last few years and including a new piece of information about the relationship between Philip Gambrill, and Alan McCarthy, namely that "Philip [Gambrill] introduced [McCarthy] to Tommy [Agombar]. Alan [McCarthy] buys distressed debt. Tommy needed to get rid of his loans and his shares, and Alan was the only one willing to buy them at the time." The SaveEdgarStreet blog was also asked by the recipient of the voicemails allegedly from Thomas Agombar for their contents to be taken off the site . The blog indicated that this was done to respect the wishes of the recipient and the blog had had no contact from the club, a solicitor or the Police regarding the voicemails.
29th November: The club lose their FA Trophy tie against Sutton 2-1 in front of an improved crowd of 494, meaning that they are out of all cup competitions . Meanwhile, the Bulls News photographer was thrown out of the game by Lonsdale and an associate, Gail Gibbons and assistant manager Neil Phelps . The photographer indicated to Lonsdale that he was a shareholder and creditor of the club to which Lonsdale's response was "I am the Chairman of the club". Following on from the Independent, David Conn of the Guardian covers the situation at the club prior to the winding up order on December 1st . Within the article it is revealed that Martin Foyle, former manager of the club, has rejoined the winding up petition after the club defaulted on payments to him, a settlement that was said by Lonsdale to have come from his own pocket on the 8th September. Lonsdale also admitted that the information that fans have found out about him to be correct and revealed that he was disqualified from being a company director from October 2006 for 6 years. He also accepted that the voicemails, over which there was so much anger from the club, were actually genuine and were from an associate of theirs (his and Agombar's) who is no longer involved at the club. He also reiterated the showcase and sell on policy that the club is looking to run.
30th November: Martin Watson, representative of HUST appears on Radio 5 Live's Non League Football Program  to discuss the state of the club. Chairman Lonsdale is also invited to take part, but declined the invitation.
1st December: The club is in court to face yet another winding up petition. The case is initially adjourned until the afternoon, since there is a proposal from a company called Newell Properties Developments Limited (NPDL) based in Chelmsford, Essex for a 750,000 pound investment, but the Registrar has asked to see proof of this investment . It is reported that the owner of the company has been involved with 14 dissolved companies and company check reveals this to be the case , with the owner Doug Carroll's interests mainly in the property development sector.. The company website lists brownfield sites, development land, industrial and residential properties as what it develops and trades . It is also reported that HUFC's "owners" Barrister said in court that a 1.5 million pound investment fell through because of a "viscous social media campaign". Towards midday, Chairman Lonsdale and former owner Thomas Agombar arrive at court. Once the court reconvenes, an adjournment of 14 days is given to the club and in that time it has to confirm that a schedule of payments to creditors has been agreed . It is reported by the Hereford Times that the amount on the winding up petition, not including HMRC is around 279,000 pounds , but the Hereford Times then states that the proposed investment by NPDL was pulled between being announced in the morning and the court reconvening in the afternoon due to the company "receiving threats from individuals" . It is instead reported that Chairman Lonsdale has said that the club now have a million dollar fund provided by European Finance Guarantee Limited (EFGL). The SaveEdgarStreet blog  reports that EFGL is a dormant company, which means that the nature of the transactions it can carry out is limited and loaning money is not one of them. Confusingly, it is also reported by the Hereford Times that Chairman Lonsdale will personally put in 1 million pounds to the club , although it is not clear whether this is through EFGL or separately. Meanwhile, the BBC reports that Chairman Lonsdale and former owner Thomas Agombar had a heated exchange with supporters outside the court  and later it is reported that Lonsdale told one support that "if I ever see you at the club you'll be thrown out" . The club later issued a statement on behalf of Lonsdale  indicating that "The intention was always to take the football club forward in partnership with others, the last 10 days however have shown the lengths some are prepared to go to in order to achieve their ends, and good quality investment has been lost due to the campaigns mounted against these and other investors via social media, following the appalling campaign having already been waged upon Club Officials and their Wives and families", despite the identities of potential investors having never been divulged by the club. Lonsdale then confirms that he will "take on the full responsibility of the clearing of the inherited debt". He then indicates that he is prepared now to work with HUST on the condition of "[HUST] approaching the club and ceasing of the current boycott". At the same time, the FA release a statement  regarding Alan McCarthy's failure to take the ODT. They state that the club accepted the charge and that Mr. McCarthy failed to respond. Both club and McCarthy were fined 500 pounds. The club is given until 4pm on the 4th December to comply with the requirements of the ODT or for Mr. McCarthy to divest his shareholding, otherwise the club and Mr. McCarthy will be suspended from all football and football activities with immediate effect. In early evening, Lonsdale is interviewed by BBC H&W  and gives further details on what occurred today, suggesting that the investor NPDL "got phone calls to his office and pulled the investment. So I decided to step in at the last minute and keep the club going. [Doug] Carroll said it was intimidation and ringing him up and basically threatening him and his family. They were going to expose him all over social media and twitter, it's what they've done to a number of people over the last couple of weeks." On his history and the investment he said ""They've [Author's Note: The Fans according to Lonsdale] done all they can to me, they've dug up my past, my families past, disgraceful really. They can't intimidate me any more so I decided at half past ten to do the right thing, get the letter from my investment company that holds the money, get it transferred over to the barrister to show I've got the funds to do it." Lonsdale indicated that the "investment" from NDPL was actually a revolving line of credit. He also stated that he believed HUST to have a hidden agenda and that at some point, possibly in the next two to three years, the club will be redeveloped. This was followed by BBC H&W interviewing Martin Watson of HUST  who reiterated that the boycott of the club stands until debts are paid and that "Hopefully Andy Lonsdale is a man of his word and this football club continues. If that happens and he pays the money there are a lot of bridges to be rebuilt by the club." HUST also released a statement  and included within it was the following from NPDL "Newell Properties Developments Limited has withdrawn its support to Hereford United FC and from here on in has no involvement whatsoever with the club." There was no further comment from NPDL other than to add that they had been "bombarded with numerous calls and emails". HUST reiterated that the boycott of the club was the decision of individual members and asked Lonsdale to identify the person(s) in the voicemail recordings that he said had been involved with the club.
2nd December: The striker linked with a move to the club prior to the weekend, turns down the opportunity . Herefordshire Council reveal  that they are still a creditor in the winding up proceedings and are pressing for settlement. HUST issue a press release  inviting Lonsdale to address an upcoming meeting of the Trust on December 18th, which is after the next court date on the 15th when the winding up petition should be settled in full.
3rd December: Lonsdale accepts HUST's invitation , and suggests that the meeting be broadened out to all fans and for it to be held at the club. HUST welcome Lonsdale's acceptance , but state that other HUST business is to be discussed, so an open meeting is not possible, unless all attendees are HUST members. However, there are plans to stream the meeting live.
4th December: The Hereford Times publish three articles about the club, the first being a helpful timeline of the 8 winding up petitions since June 2014 . The second details the proposed meeting between HUST and Lonsdale . Lonsdale indicates that he still believes HUST to have a hidden agenda, which will become apparent if the boycott is not called off after debts are settled. On investment he says that "I shall now be funding the club personally, unfortunately, but that is something I feel that I have got to do,”. The last article  details the goings on at the winding up proceedings on Monday, with a fans view on Lonsdale's investment and why he didn't do this 6 months ago. Lonsdale is quoted in the article as saying “I cannot understand why some fans want to kill a club with 90 years of history – I hope now that the true fans of Hereford United will see through the smoke and come back," Meanwhile the 4pm deadline set by the FA regarding the charge relating to the ODT passes without comment from either side. Late in the day, a document is posted on line  that is purported to be the proof of funds accepted by the court at Monday's winding up. It details an arrangement whereby a US dollar denominated commercial mortgage backed security owned by Lonsdale in the amount of USD 9 million is held in his name in an Italian bank and is to be used by EFGL as collateral to lend up to GBP 5 million. This clears up the lending issue from the winding up hearing - it is Lonsdale's collateral that will be used to finance a cross currency loan through EFGL.
5th December: It is revealed that a former member of staff is facing eviction from her house after non-payment of wages . The FA tell the Hereford Times  with the regard to the FA's charge that "They [Author's note: both the club and McCarthy] have responded to the deadline. It is now with us to consider their response". Lonsdale responds to an e-mail from a fan  about his investment saying it will "clear all debts and leave a sufficient line of credit for the future", although he is not clear whether the money will be introduces as a loan, or via a purchase of shares or as debenture or as an investment. Lonsdale answers why he didn't invest before saying "As for why did not invest before I was only advising Tommy at the time of the conference, now I have become a fan go to all games and I am fully committed to the future of Hereford united and the way back to the football league.". Although this contradicts a statement by Agombar on the 16th June , when he said "All my advisors said Tom walk away from the club but I shook David Keyte's hand."
6th December: Hereford are spanked 6-0 by Truro , slipping to 14th in the table, still with a number of games in hand over almost all teams in the league. HUST announce that their meeting scheduled for the 18th December will take place at local club Pegasus .
8th December: Despite their web address appearing on the financing guarantee letter produced in court on 1st December, investment firm EFG Hermes deny any link to EFGL . EFGL have not responded for requests to comment.
9th December: Former club cook, Sarah Tranter is interviewed on BBC H&W , regarding her non payment of wages by the club and the fact that she was facing eviction. She thanked Hereford United supporters and HUST who had donated cash so that eviction was avoided. Lonsdale was asked to come on the program, but declined although he issued a statement saying that Tranter had already had some money directly from him and that "If she acknowledges the money she has had from myself and the club in writing, we'll pay her what she's owed the same day." Meanwhile, Alpha Choice Finance, owners of the club move offices . The Hereford Times also report  that the FA do not know when they will release an update on the situation at Hereford.
10th December: The day begins with a statement from Alpha Choice Finance , "On December 4 Alpha Choice transferred its shareholding in Hereford United FC (1939) Ltd. This stock transfer ends Alpha Choice’s involvement in Hereford United FC. We wish those actively involved in restoring the club’s success all the best." There is no news on the new owner in the statement, and in the months since Alpha was unveiled as owner they have made no public statements about what they intended for the club. The Hereford Times  reports that the company stepped down as owners due to "many weeks of harassment and misinformation". The new owner is revealed by the Herford Times  to be Andrew Lonsdale, current Chairman. Shortly after, the FA release a statement  beginning "Having failed to comply with the orders of the Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC), both Hereford United and Alan McCarthy are suspended from all football and football activity with immediate effect." The club is to remain suspended until the order issued by the IRC is met. Lonsdale tells BBC H&W  that the ban is due to a delay in documents confirming the share transfer from Alan McCarthy to himself and that the FA will issue a statement lifting the ban later in the day. Herefordshire council then issue a statement  saying that the FA ban does not trigger a termination of the leases, but that they are looking at what other action they may take. Local MP Jesse Norman weighs in on BBC H&W  by stating that he thinks that the council should take the leases back after the "merry-go-round of ownership". Lonsdale is again interviewed on BBC H&W  and reveals that it is now his money that will be put into the club, but that he is not certain it will be available before the next court hearing on the 15th December. Lonsdale also said that Alan McCarthy wasn't "prepared to do the ODT", despite it being stated previously that he had submitted the required paperwork. Lonsdale also confirmed that the FA suspension was down to an "administrative error" and would be lifted today or tomorrow. Lastly on his investment, Lonsdale said it is his money 100%, and that he has been very fortunate financially in the last few years. To end an eventful day, Martin Watson of HUST is interviewed by BBC H&W. He tells them that more creditors have been contacting HUST regarding non payment of debts, but that if the club meets the terms of the boycott then Lonsdale is welcome at the HUST meeting on the 18th. Lonsdale then confirmed that he would attend. The issues of the day garner further national press coverage including both in the Guardian  and as a banner headline on the BBC website .
11th December: The FA's suspension of Hereford United and Alan McCarthy is lifted after less than 24 hours .
12th December: An audio tape surfaces  containing a confrontation between Agombar and Lonsdale and a fan outside the High Court on 1 December. Lonsdale describes one fan as "plastic" and indicates that he will throw him out of Edgar Street should he ever attend. A check on Count Court Judgments  at Hereford reveal that they have grown by more than 16,000 pounds since August. The club continues to garner national press, with the Metro  suggesting that liquidation could be necessary. Delroy Gordon, the most experienced player in the squad leaves .
13th December: The club draw 1-1 with Dunstable to remain in 14th place . However, kick off was delayed by 40 minutes as officials fail to show up because the FA assigns them to other games due to the 24 hour suspension earlier in the week. The Daily Mirror  contains an article on Hereford and includes a quote from Ronnie Radford saying that the situation "breaks my heart".
14th December: Ahead of the WUP on 15th December, it comes to light that Lonsdale has been sending letters to creditors  asking them to prove their debt, notwithstanding the fact that the numbers were verified for the August CVA.
15th December: Today sees the 9th WUP for Hereford since May. It is alleged that the bond that backs Lonsdale's claim to have 5 million in funds available is virtually worthless . The court case is adjourned again  until 4.30pm on Friday 19th December to allow for the 15 working days that Lonsdale said would be necessary to raise funds from the court appearance on the 1st December. Outside of court, Lonsdale talks to BBC H&W  and says he is "very confident" that the money will arrive. He accuses supporters of having "motives" for giving him a rough ride and insists that the financing letter is "legal".
16th December: Lonsdale is e-mailing fans again  and this time announcing a new coach and players that have signed from Liverpool, Everton and Southend. The Saveedgarstreet blog publishes a document  alleging that the liquidator of one of Lonsdale's recently liquidated companies was considering reporting Lonsdale for consideration for a ban as a company Director, which would cause him to fail the ODT.
17th December: Due to the Irish connection through Alan McCarthy, the events at Edgar Street make it into Irish football paper, The Score .
18th December: An e-mail exchange between HUST and Lonsdale surfaces  regarding the HUST meeting today, 18th. The invitation by HUST is still open notwithstanding the fact that creditors have not yet been paid. HUST indicate that they want to discuss financial issues although Lonsdale wants to expand the discussion to matters both on and off the pitch. Lonsdale finally indicates that he will not attend "your meeting or kangaroo court" to discuss the finances, but if HUST wish to discuss "the future of football" he will arrange a meeting at the club at a later date. An article appears in the Hereford Times  from one of this year's departed players. He states that he is still waiting for some of his wages, despite contacting Lonsdale about it. Additionally, he states that Agombar was involved with the club despite his FA ban, going as far on one occasion as fining players twenty pounds after they refused to train because they weren't being paid. Despite being contacted, Lonsdale refused to comment. Meanwhile, a story put out by Lonsdale earlier in the week that Aston Villa were interested in the Hereford goalkeeper were refuted by the Premiership club .
19th December: The clubs 10th WUP since the summer takeover kicks off at 4.30pm, with Lonsdale's Barrister claiming he has funds to stave off winding up. But Lonsdale is "stuck in traffic" and because he hadn't got to court to provide evidence the Registrar makes the order to wind the club up at 4.35pm . This triggered an almost immediate statement from Herefordshire Council who said that the leases were forfeit, and that the council would look to regain possession of the ground. News then came thick and fast, with reports of people trying to strip Edgar Street, which resulted in the police being called to the ground . On the back of this local councilor, Jim Kenyon, asks fans  to keep watch over the ground during the weekend given that the council couldn't get a court order to reposes the ground until after the weekend. Meanwhile a group of local businessmen disclose  that they will have discussions with the council after the weekend to ensure the long term future of football at Edgar Street. The Southern League then issue a press release  saying that they will issue a statement when they have details of the hearing. Former Director, Dave Preedy, reports  that there is little damage inside the club, but that it has been "trashed" with TVs and spirit optics missing. HUST then issue a statement  describing their sadness and bitterness at the winding up, but stating that their "principle objective at the moment is to secure the use of Edgar Street, while we are also preparing to speak with the FA with regards registering a new club and securing a place in the pyramid for next season." Manager John Taylor has his say to BBC H&W  telling them that he has "been lied to from day one" and that "in hindsight I should have believed what the supporters were saying". He also confirmed that Agombar was "in the dressing rooms up until 2 months ago [Authors note: 2 months after the FA ban was imposed]. The Guardian ran a story  on the winding up, which contained the only comments to surface from Lonsdale on the situation. He said that he was "gutted" not only about the money put into the club, claimed to be 600,000 pounds, but the 6 months hard work lost. He also said that some fans would be "ecstatic" his ownership is over, but that he will appeal the High Court decision, because he genuinely did have a letter proving funds and was stuck in traffic.
20th December: The morning after the night before. With the winding up order, a new chapter potentially begins. Barring any appeal from Lonsdale, there is no further need for a timeline and the author would like to end by praising the determination of Hereford fans and wishing those involved with a phoenix club all the best.
The questions that the saga at Hereford raise are of interest not just to Hereford fans, but should be of concern to football fans generally. Granted, there have been unpopular owners in the past at other clubs and there will doubtless be others in the future, but this is more than just about unpopularity and, as Mr. Lonsdale has raised, the fact that the owners are not from Hereford but are from London. There appears on more than one occasion to have been at Hereford a complete disregard for the FA's rule book and ODT. There also appears to be a disregard of the conditions placed on Hereford for entry into the Southern League. The club also appears to be able to source funds from somewhere, but always at the very last minute, thus enabling those pulling the strings to keep the club limping on. It is still unclear 5 months after the takeover of the club what the plans for the club are, and how the owners envisage recouping their "investment". Without knowing the answers to these questions, it is perhaps not surprising that the majority of fans are skeptical about the motives of those involved with the club, since they go to the very core of whether the club can and will survive not only in the short term, but also in the medium to long term. A number of questions are posted below, aimed at the club and footballing authorities in an attempt to get to the bottom of what has been happening at Hereford.
The Articles of Association for the club state that the minimum amount of directors is 3. The club had only 2 Directors for a number of months prior to Mr Lonsdale being appointed in November. Does the club believe that there could be any future issues that may arise due to this? Similarly, there is a borrowing limit in the Articles of Association - do the club envisage any problem with this?
It has been stated on several occasions that new directors are to be appointed and also that Mr. Lonsdale's role will change at some point. Is the appointment of Mr Lonsdale as a Director and now Owner the last major change that can be anticipated on this front for the foreseeable future?
The club appears to have a source of funds, but always pays at the very last minute. Do the club believe that this is an acceptable way to run a business? Do the club believe that in doing this they run the risk that either the council will revoke their leases or the club will be wound up?
A statement issued after the Winding Up appearance on December 1st, indicates that Mr. Lonsdale will use his own funds to clear inherited debts. Why was this not done when the club was initially taken over, or at any point over the last 6 months, assuming these funds were available throughout that period? Given that the terms of the boycott of the club were that creditors should be paid, had this occurred, there would have been no boycott.
Thomas Agombar stated in June that ALL his advisors told him to walk away from the club. Mr Lonsdale was one of his advisors at the time. Why, if Mr Lonsdale advised him to walk away in June did he become a Director in November and the Owner in December?
The club continues to talk about "investment". Investment implies generating a return. The club's own CVA that was rejected by creditors indicted that on the football side the club would be breaking even (although a number of the revenue lines, including sponsorship and the crowd figures have not been borne out in reality). Where is the proposed return for investors coming from?
There has been some talk of developing the ground. The leases state the 85% of any profit from any redevelopment must stay with the club. The club was 1.4million in debt when Mr. Agombar took over. Mr. Lonsdale has indicated that any investor will clear these debts. So roughly break even then, any profit on redevelopment will need to be 10 million pounds. Is does not appear to be realistically feasible that redeveloping 2 ends of a football ground can generate this much profit. How will the investors recoup their investment?
How much by way of transfer money does the club anticipate generating in 2014/15 given that the policy of showcase and sell on appears to be the backbone of their financial plan? When Hereford were in the Conference the club most recently received lump sum fees of around 20,000 pounds for two players . Do the club think that any of the current squad will command such a fee and how many players is it anticipated that the club will on sell over the course of a season?
Does the club believe that there will be a shirt sponsor in place for the season 2014/15 at some point?
With current crowds around the 300-400 mark at home, does the club believe that this is a situation that can be tolerated from a financial perspective for the short, medium and long term?
Does the FA think that the ODT is fit for purpose given that Mr. Agombar was able to take the club over and dispose of it without any sanction? Had the ODT been taken prior to any takeover, then Hereford United would not find itself in the situation it currently is in.
Does the FA believe that it is an acceptable situation for 3 individuals associated with Hereford to have either failed or not been able to pass the ODT? And further, does the FA believe that it is acceptable to have another individual to have faced a sanction from the FA for not taking the ODT, and for the club to be charged over the matter?
Does the FA genuinely believe that Mr. Agombar has had nothing further to do with Hereford since they have banned him from doing so?
Given that Mr. Lonsdale has indicated that Mr. Gambrill is acting in a capacity as the club's accountant, but that Mr. Landsman indicated that Mr. Gambrill wouldn't have passed the ODT due to his personal IVA, do the FA think that this is an acceptable situation given that Mr. Gambrill could be considered to have some influence over the affairs on the club?
The Southern League:
It appears that creditors from 2013/14 are still owed money by HUFC. At any point are you likely to consider sanctions against the club given that this is a breach of the conditions that you imposed when letting the club enter your league? Do you believe that in allowing the club to compete in your league, you are allowing HUFC an unfair advantage over clubs who pay their bills in a timely fashion given the overwhelming evidence that creditors have not been paid from either last or this season?