IT has taken long enough but finally Hereford United have been expelled by the Football Conference.
Following weeks of broken promises from the Edgar Street club they have been told to sling their hook.
I have sympathy with the loyal fans who backed their club to the hilt – dipping into their own pockets to bail United out of April’s £78,000 tax bill – and have been treated with the utmost contempt.
A penny for Omid Djalili’s thoughts after the comedian gave his time for free to perform two gigs in support of the club.
The players and office staff also stuck by the Bulls despite being owed several months’ wages but they too have been let down and seen as little more than an afterthought for new owner Tommy Agombar and chairman David Keyte (pictured).
But it is difficult to feel sorry for a club of great heritage now finding themselves facing life in the Southern League – four tiers below League One, where they played just six years ago.
The Bulls were given enough chances to pay their football creditors but failed to do so. They also had the option of selling the club to the club’s supporters’ trust but chose not to.
The powers-that-be brought the situation on themselves through bad financial management.
Plenty of clubs struggle after being relegated from the Football League but Hereford pretty much dropped off a cliff in terms of their demise since January.
The Football Conference bent over backwards to accommodate them – putting the very integrity of the competition on the line by extending deadlines for payments.
When Hereford eventually admitted they didn’t have the money to both pay creditors and guarantee they could complete next season, the only option was to expel them.
All of which leads to two conclusions. Either Hereford genuinely didn’t have the money in the first place – in which case why string the Conference along? – or they did but never had any intention of paying.
Whichever, in the short-term, they still have to deal with a winding-up order from former manager Martin Foyle and another impending tax bill from HM Revenues and Customs.
Who knows where they go next?