TOM Killick has called for extra promotion places in the non-league system after it emerged that crisis club Hereford United could be parachuted into the Southern League.

The Bulls, recent members of the Football League who competed with Cherries in League Two four years ago, were yesterday expelled from the Conference having failed to meet membership conditions, which included settlement of their £148,000 debt to football creditors.

Hereford could yet go to the wall with a winding-up order brought by former manager Martin Foyle adjourned until June 30, but the Southern League today confirmed they were discussing the ailing outfit's entry to next season's competition.

Despite the two-division drop, Hereford's new owner Tommy Agombar has promised to sign “quality players” ahead of the new campaign and targeted a Football League return within five years.

Killick admitted that competing with such a force could hamper Dolphins' quest for promotion from the Premier Division but had no qualms over the rules which saw United demoted for their financial profligacy.

Instead, the Tatnam boss argued that the opportunity for all clubs to progress should be ensured by increasing mobility within the football pyramid.

Discussing the possible impact of Hereford's move, Killick told the Daily Echo: “Everyone should embrace measures that attempt to steer clubs away from financial irresponsibility and you need to have sanctions.

“There has to be a consequence and imposing quite a dramatic relegation is the only way. How else do you police it? I'm not in any way opposed to the principle of what may happen because I do think it is important there are repercussions.

“A club of their stature would certainly raise the profile of the league. We wouldn't normally expect to play Hereford in anything other than a big FA Cup game so it would make things more exciting.

“If Hereford come in with big resources, a much bigger fan base and residual players from the Conference then they will be strong favourites to win it but there are no guarantees of success.

“They won't be used to the league, may have to build a side from scratch and will carry a burden of massive expectation. There will be significant difficulties to encounter.

“The only thing I don't understand is why there is only one automatic promotion place. For me, there should be at least two because that would help to cover this eventuality.

“The best way to address these problems while making it fair for everyone is to have a more fluid system with two places up for grabs and another in the play-offs.”

Meanwhile, Killick confirmed his search for a striker was still ongoing with an unnamed target from a league rival on his radar.

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