Chester FC are in line to be handed a reprieve from relegation, a little over one month on from dropping into the Conference North.

Hereford United were given a 5pm deadline to pay their football creditors in full by the Football Conference ahead of their AGM on Friday and Saturday at Celtic Manor, Newport, but have failed to comply.

The Bulls are expected to be hit with heavy sanctions from the league, with the most severe being their demotion, possibly to the Southern League, which could see the Blues regain their place in non-league football's top tier without kicking a ball.

New club owner Tommy Agombar, who revealed himself as the Bulls mystery investor on Monday, wanted written assurances from the Football Conference that the Edgar Street side would not be relegated before handing over the £148,000 owed.

With Hereford still owing their football creditors, having a live winding-up order from ex-manager Martin Foyle hanging over them, as well as debts to the HMRC for missed PAYE payments, the Bulls will go to the AGM tomorrow staring down the barrel.

Chester were relegated on the very last day of the season last month when, needing a win to survive, they were pegged back late on by Salisbury City to draw 2-2, while Hereford netted a last-gasp winner at Aldershot to win 2-1 and avoid the trapdoor.

Chester had been preparing for life in the Conference North but may yet be among the non-league elite come Saturday. The Bulls will learn their fate when they appear before league officials at 2pm tomorrow.

Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday, Chester manager Steve Burr said: "I’m one of those people who thinks rules are rules, and if rules are broken then action should be taken.

"We have done everything right and the rules are the same for all clubs.

"Whatever happens, happens but when players have not been paid and rules have been broken then something should be done.

"If we are fortunate enough to get a reprieve then we will take it and try to make the most of it."