CHESTER FC will be keeping a close eye on the High Court today as Hereford United fight a winding up order from their former boss.
If the Bulls are wound up because they cannot pay a £150,000 debt owed to former manager Martin Foyle, then Chester FC, who were relegated on the last day of the season, will get a reprieve and will be playing Conference Premier football next season.
Even if Hereford do manage to make the payment or secure an adjournment, then the Blues might only have to wait until Friday when the Conference annual general meeting takes place at Celtic Manor in Newport, South Wales, to find out if Hereford have been expelled from the Conference for breaking financial rules.
The Blues have already announced their season ticket sales will be delayed until after the AGM so Chester FC fans know which league they will be playing in and chairman Tony Durkin last week told the Leader that the club was being updated by the Conference about Hereford’s situation.
Mr Durkin said: “I can confirm Chester has been in dialogue with the Conference and I’m hoping the league will continue to speak with us and keep us updated about what is happening at Hereford.
“I don’t know what the Conference are doing to assist Hereford’s financial worries, but Hereford’s chairman, David Keyte, seems to be making all the right noises.
“It would be wrong of me to speculate what could happen, but the Conference have promised to keep Chester informed.
“I think at this moment it is too early for anyone to say anything. We’ll just have to see if anything develops before making any comments.
The Leader understands the High Court case is likely to be adjourned but the club need to pay total debts of about £225,000 to stay in the division.
Players and staff are currently owed two months wages and clubs who loaned the Bulls players are still awaiting payments which must be paid by Friday.
The club also have a second winding up petition from HM Revenue and Customs in progress.
Cheshire neighbours Macclesfield are also at risk of expulsion because of unpaid debts to players. The Silkmen are at risk of not being accepted into the Conference League but their situation is not as dire as Hereford’s.
Chester FC will be the first club in line for a reprive as they finished in the top relegation spot when they were relegated on goal difference on the final day of the season.
See full story in the Chester Leader