Reported new owner of Hereford United has already met with Herefordshire Council

Ledbury Reporter: Reported new owner of Hereford United has already met with Herefordshire Council Reported new owner of Hereford United has already met with Herefordshire Council

SENIOR officers of Herefordshire Council have met with the reported new owner of Hereford United.

But the council has stressed today that the meetings between those officers and businessman Tommy Agombar were “standard introductions” with no outline of future plans for the club.

In a statement, the council said it had yet to receive “formal notification” of the club’s new ownership arrangements and could not take part in negotiations without it.

Mr Agombar, the council confirmed, was introduced to those senior officers  he could expect to “engage with” in future.
future

With United’s club’s own future on the brink, the terms of the lease the council has with the club over the Edgar Street ground stay unchanged.

The council and the club are closely entwined and most recently worked closely to negotiate new leases on the ground.

Assigning the Edgar Street leases – one for 75 years on the ground and terracing to the west, the other for 33 years for the stand and parking area to the east and both dating from 1982 - was one of the last big deals done by the former Hereford City Council.

During the late 1990s, with United facing severe financial problems, the leases were reassigned to property developers in return for a £1m capital injection into the club.  

The money was made available through two companies, the BS (Bristol Stadium) Group and Chelverton.

BS and Chelverton took equal ownership of a special purpose company called Formsole Ltd which made the investment and held the leases – as the tenant under both – with the club holding sub-leases.  

By August 2001, BS had sold its “loan” to Chelverton which ran into trouble little over a year later when control of the leases passed to Carillion Richardson.

United still owed £1m plus interest to Formsole which stayed solvent when Chelverton went into liquidation.  

It was about this time there was talk of United leaving Edgar Street allowing Formsole to sell the site.

This talk came to nothing and by 2003 it was clear the club was staying at Edgar Street.  

The reassignment of the leases was supported by Herefordshire Council when it took control of the former city council’s affairs.

Getting the leases back was pitched as a political priority when the news broke in April 2010 that then United chairman Graham Turner and vice chairman Joan Fennessy were ready to sell their majority shareholding in the club.

The club began negotiations with Carillion Richardson for the return of the leases almost as soon as the Keyte-Russon takeover was completed in June that year.

That deal was done by December with the club paying £452,000 to secure the return of the leases and settle a £1,069,500 debt to Richardsons Developments, clearing the way for a new single lease and the development opportunities that could bring.

The deal was intended to offer the club security for the next 30 years and ensure future re-entry to the Football League - which requires a 25-year secured tenancy.

It also opened up opportunities for grant funding for any future development - £400,000 in the Conference and £750,000 in the Football League.

The council was ready to allow an extension to the new stadium lease of 250 years once development at either end was underway, with proceeds from the sale of development areas held in a joint escrow account.

That money was intended for the construction of two new stands - one at each end of the ground - and modernisation work on the existing stadium.

Comments (4)

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1:06pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Chipper Dinosaur says...

No doubt they met to decide what'll be done once Edgar Street is bulldozed. For shame.
No doubt they met to decide what'll be done once Edgar Street is bulldozed. For shame. Chipper Dinosaur
  • Score: 1

10:54am Sat 7 Jun 14

walter b says...

Hereford football ground was left by its real owner a lady years ago for the people of Hereford to enjoy so it do not belong to the bloody greedy council the council want to look back at the records and give the football back all the money they have robed of them then Hereford united will be a rich club so get your facts straight council and help Hereford united
Hereford football ground was left by its real owner a lady years ago for the people of Hereford to enjoy so it do not belong to the bloody greedy council the council want to look back at the records and give the football back all the money they have robed of them then Hereford united will be a rich club so get your facts straight council and help Hereford united walter b
  • Score: 10

2:13pm Sat 7 Jun 14

probono says...

Did anyone ever get to the bottom of the money allegedly held by the City Council in the recent past ?
Did anyone ever get to the bottom of the money allegedly held by the City Council in the recent past ? probono
  • Score: 4

11:35am Sun 8 Jun 14

yokelyokel says...

"businessman Tommy Agombar"

What is his business?
Does a criminal record not matter?
What is the financial position of his other companies and how long have they existed?
Is it personal money or money borrowed against assets that is being used?

Off you go, Hereford Times, find the answers.

Football history is littered with false messiahs offering to rescue financially crippled clubs and things turning bad.
"businessman Tommy Agombar" What is his business? Does a criminal record not matter? What is the financial position of his other companies and how long have they existed? Is it personal money or money borrowed against assets that is being used? Off you go, Hereford Times, find the answers. Football history is littered with false messiahs offering to rescue financially crippled clubs and things turning bad. yokelyokel
  • Score: 5

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