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Edgar Street.

Edgar Street.
The future of this piece of land described recently by Graham Turner as the '' most valuable five acres in the county'' is at the centre of a battle, or at least cold war.

Hereford United have occupied this area for 92 years, and over time a Stadium has grown around and accommodates this famous club.

In times past neighbors have been the cattle market and Merton Meadow car and lorry park.

Now though the specter of a brand new shopping mall has replaced the ramshackle buildings, piles of straw and the familiar country smell of the cattle market.

Merton Meadow is being viewed as a development of various Houses and Flats.

Bang in the middle is the ground with it's dilapidated terracing of the condemned Blackfriars, and hallowed Meadow ends.

These would have caused enough problems for the club on their own as the need to redevelop these parts of the ground are long overdue.

More so now that the contrast between the new mall and the ramshackle Blackfriars end being so stark.

This summer though has seen this patch of ground become the focal point of a battle of ideas. At the same time the club has plummeted down the leagues and sources of funding.

Leases is a term that many are sick of hearing. Three of them that hold the right to rebuild the broken down ends. Rebuild what though?.

Three, well for the moment, ways forward seem to be in the offing. First; the new owners are rumored to harbor plans for a Hotel at the Blackfriars end and some kind of housing on the Meadow end.

There is also the idea that they in fact intend to go further and redevelop the whole ground, providing they can kill off the club in the process.

Another way forward has been mooted in the last couple of days involving doing away with the three leases, combining these into one which will include the council becoming responsible for redeveloping the ground.

Whether any of the above in fact encompasses any truth or even realism in the circumstances can only be the subject of speculation and argument, but of that there is plenty.

The council as Landlords though are the ones that will decide. They have been at pains to settle down the more wild arguments, and the fears these are engendering.

They have received a petition with over 7500 signatures from worried Bulls fans with regard to the current leaseholders plans. Indeed two local parliamentarians have been voicing concerns to them.

They are under real pressure in this matter, a dilapidated football ground was not a problem when it fitted in with the cattle market, it is now though, and something must be done about it.

Bulls fans are divided terribly over the two protagonists in this matter. The vitriolic nature initially of the debate has died down, and thankfully those that are choosing to boycott the current regime have been exceptionally reserved when outside the ground.

The only saving grace at the moment is the councils apparent determination that Edgar Street will continue to host a football club. Whether that will be Hereford United or another incarnation of the club will become clearer next Monday.

Redevelopment cannot be avoided, the means to achieving that though is far from obvious. The important issue is that the cold war over leases doesn't cause a situation whereby in spite of covenants to the contrary, the council take the view that it would be better to just cancel any leases, knock the lot down, and let the football find somewhere else, this is not on the agenda, yet.



Writer:Bullpirate
Date:Wednesday August 27 2014
Time: 8:32PM

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