FOOTBALL | Bulls chairman issues update

Good morning and I hope that this finds you in good health and good spirits at what is a challenging time for all of us.

Your Board has met several times a week since the lockdown with a clear objective to ensure that the Club, despite the losses and situation that the Pandemic presents to us, was able to give full consideration to the well-being of all Staff and Supporters, secure the Club infrastructure and assets and furthermore, ensure that the financial stability of the Club.

I am pleased to say that irrespective of the eventuality that football did not return at all next season, Hereford FC is stable enough to continue.

As talks of a ‘lockdown release plan’ gain traction, there are naturally those that are calling for more. Those that are quite comfortable allowing others to make decisions which, in my opinion, at this moment in time, are no better or balanced than flipping a coin with the long-term future of football clubs at our level, and the health of our fans, friends and families.

Yes, a return to normality would be great. It would be wonderful to see so many of you back at Edgar Street and know that you are safe and well, but this cannot and will not happen until we are confident that the health and safety of you all, is protected.

I also note that some clubs at our level, and a few above, have announced signings and management teams for the future. We are not in that position yet. Our position is not as clear. It would be negligent of us to commence this until such time as we are aware of what the horizon looks like. Will our future lie in the North, the South, elsewhere? We will not ‘follow the crowd’ we will do what is right for HFC, our fans and our future!

The death toll remains high. People are still losing their loves, families, loved ones. Many are unsure of their employment situation, when they will see their families and friends again and suffering from the anxiety and concern that these challenges bring. No matter how large a part this national sport of ours plays in our lives, it seems slightly self-indulgent, delusional and tactless to pretend for one minute that we should be able to apply pressure on a Government to disregard the science and allow football to return in any guise at this moment.

A snapshot:

  • A third player from Brighton tests positive for coronavirus.
  • Three players from Portuguese top-flight side Vitoria Guimaraes test positive for coronavirus.
  • Five players test positive for coronavirus across Spain’s top two divisions.
  • On the 7th of May it was announced the Bundesliga will resume on Saturday, 16 May. The German top flight set to become the first European league to restart following the coronavirus shutdown – following an endorsement from Angela Merkel.
  • On the 10th May Bundesliga 2 side Dynamo Dresden put their entire squad and coaching staff into two-week isolation after two players test positive for coronavirus.

Timing is everything here. Whilst we live on the periphery of what is being experienced at the levels where money appears to cloud perspective – we will be doing what is;

  • Right for our fans;
  • Right for our Club; and
  • Right for the sustainability of our future

These three will drive what we do and how we do it. Difficult decisions will be taken, and we will have to see what our ‘new normal’ looks like in respect of the football environment within which we are placed.

One significant factor that will determine our ‘new normal,’ will be how we all pull together, how we all contribute and how we collectively rebuild this Club, with shared and common objectives to determine our own future. We know that those genuine, loyal Hereford fans among us, with our incredible commercial support and sponsorship, together with our tireless, committed volunteers, will always be there, and, as fans ourselves, the Board cannot thank you all enough for that.

Let us continue to be resilient, continue to be prepared to resume business, but let us be realistic about what we face ahead and ensure that we get the timing right.

For now, stay safe, keep healthy and stand by for any updates as and when situations dictate.

All the best as always

Andrew Graham

Chairman