This from HUST regarding the transfer of the matchday 50/50 draw.

HUST was delighted that a further 5000 shares were purchased last week at a time when the Club needs as much income as possible. 37.3% of this £5000 was through the online 50/50 draw with the rest made up from our other fundraising activities. We would like to applaud the support that members, and others, have given to this process and we shall continue to operate throughout the close season to maximize potential income to the Club.

The 50/50 – A brief History

HUST buys shares in the Club with its profits, as is required by a resolution of its membership.

When the Club was originally set up, the defining principle was the involvement of fans in its inception and sustainability. The two leading lights were Jon Hale and Chris Williams, who was Chair of HUST at the time. They subsequently became Chair and Vice-Chair of HFC upon its inception. The constitutions of HUST and HFC were formulated with the recognition that HUST would be the official vehicle through which the future of fan involvement in the structure of The Club would be achieved and sustained, hence the appointment of three HUST Nominated Directors.

All monies raised by HUST are freely given by ordinary fans in order to achieve their shared dream of owning 50% of their Club. The principal of mass fans ownership of 50% of the Club was set out in the Articles of Association on which our Club was founded. It was this promise that we believe was a major factor in convincing Herefordshire Council to grant the lease on the Edgar Street Stadium to Hereford FC.

HUST pursues other successful income streams as well. All of the profits of these also go to HFC.

Why does HFC wish to change?

There has been no tenable business logic discussed with HUST on this decision. It only appears to be a “political” decision, making no economic sense and looking to slow or block the agreed HUST acquisition of 50% of the shares. It is unclear why the Club would move from a proven, successful volunteer ran format, driven by the supporters doing all the work whilst the Club receive and have the freedom to use all the cash; to having to do everything in house and find a new body of volunteers. Not only is this likely to reduce the amount of cash coming into the Club and overload the matchday staff, it changes the view of how the ordinary fan can choose to spend their money.

The decision of the HFC Board to re-allocate the rights to an organization other than HUST is concerning, taking into account the consequences of the following points:

  • As a Co-Operative Society, the donations HUST makes are not subject to Tax or VAT
  • HUST does not determine or seek to influence, the spending of its donations.
  • It is a fallacy that share purchase money is restricted in what it can be used for as this Season (19-20) has proven when the Club indicated that it would be used to support the Playing Budget. (If there was such a restriction it is difficult to see how the Club could survive in the current Covid-19 circumstances, without the need to dip into its reserves)
  • It was agreed between HUST & HFC, in the very early stages, that profits would be handed over in blocks of £10,000. This was to ease the accountancy. HUST has always been able to hand over, at any agreed intervals, whether that be quantity or time interval related.
  • HUST provides the volunteer sellers for all home games.
  • HUST has developed a successful infrastructure for running the draw with a dedicated team of volunteer operatives.
  • There are minimal running costs or overheads to HUST
  • HUST runs a successful online arm alongside the matchday attendees.
  • HUST regularly reaches coverage in excess of 75% of attendance which is the envy of many Clubs, including numerous EFL Clubs. Thanks to the wonderful support of fans, this is widely regarded as the most successful matchday draw in non-league football.
  • On the resumption of football, HUST would be able to reinstate the 50/50 with immediate effect, and is able to continue the online draw weekly until that occurrence, maximizing potential income in the interim period.

We wish HFC well with this new venture to deliver the 50/50 in-house and hope that they can emulate our previous performance. However, we urge the Board of HFC to reconsider its position to ensure the maximum income, to the Club, irrespective of share purchase issues.

HUST remains committed to its constitutional objectives and unwavering support of HFC, to HUST members and the wider fan base.

By Editor

Lifelong Hereford supporter who has endured the rise and fall of the club through progressive generations. Sports journalist, broadcaster and commentator who will never forget his Edgar Street roots.

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