HEREFORD United have been expelled from the Football Conference following their failure to pay their bills, leaving the club’s future in doubt.

Chester, who were relegated on the final day of last season, will be reinstated as a Conference Premier club.

The Conference statement reads: “The Football Conference Ltd has issued the following statement concerning the membership of Hereford United.

“The club has confirmed it will not meet the requirements, to which it previously agreed, set by the Board of the Football Conference Ltd on Friday, June 6, enabling the club to retain its membership.

"As the club was advised at the above meeting, the Board has exercised its unanimous decision that should the club fail to fulfil the requirements it would be expelled from the competition and the Company under Article 5.2.

“At the Annual General Meeting on June 7 of the Football Conference Ltd, the member clubs agreed to an alternative Constitution for the 2014/15 season, in case of the above eventuality.

“Chester FC will now be reprieved from relegation from the Conference Premier and Hayes & Yeading United FC will be reprieved from relegation from Conference South."

Newport County AFC coach and former Bulls player Tony James reacted to the news on Twitter.

James, who played more than 250 games for Hereford between 1998 and 2006, said: “Sad, sad day for my old club…mis-management has cost them dearly. Feel sorry for every player and fan at this moment.”

Former County and Hereford manager Colin Addison told the Hereford Times: "I have just got the news and cannot believe what has happened.”

Hereford avoided relegation on the final day of the season thanks to the efforts of former Exiles boss Peter Beadle and his assistant Steve Jenkins, also an ex-County player and coach.

Beadle took charge at Edgar Street on a caretaker basis in March following the departure of Martin Foyle.

The Bulls ended the campaign in 20th place, finishing above the relegation zone on goal difference after beating Aldershot Town 2–1 at the Recreation Ground on the final day of the season.

Beadle was appointed head coach at Sutton United last month, while Jenkins has left his managerial role at Monmouth Town and is now in charge of Merthyr Town.