Gary Coxall: ‘We want to be part of a successful club by managing Hartlepool well’

Hartlepool United Chairman Gary Coxall.
Hartlepool United Chairman Gary Coxall.

Gary Coxall admits being chairman of Hartlepool United has been a steep learning curve - with new lessons being learned every day.

Coxall became one of the youngest chairman in the Football League when he took charge in June at the age of 34.

Coxall and Peter Goldberg are directors and co-owners of Pools, their JPNG recruitment firm taking over from Increased Oil Recovery (IOR), with Ken Hodcroft exiting as chairman.

The takeover followed a previous attempt by IOR to sell the club to TMH (The Monkey Hangers) 2014 last December, that deal eventually falling through after the club raised serious concerns.

Pools was eventually sold to JPNG, with Russ Green kept on as chief executive.

Coxall is all too aware of the “bad taste” associated with the failed TMH takeover and admits JPNG still have work to do to convince those fans scarred by the episode.

But he is adamant JPNG have nothing to hide and have Hartlepool’s long-term interests at heart.

“I am loving it, genuinely loving it,” Coxall exclusively told the Mail.

“I didn’t think we’d have been as well received as we have been.

“We had a few fans who were sceptical but that is to be expected.

“The old regime did things differently to us, whether it was good or bad but I won’t get into that.

“Hopefully fans will see we are here to invest in the club and not to take away from it.

“We want to be part of a successful team and the only way we will do that is by managing it properly.

“The fans are seeing that now.

“If we can support people to do their work, rather than dictate to them, then they have that freedom and level of trust to go out and do it.”

Coxall has stressed improving the level of revenue coming into the club, through commercial, sponsorship and marketing deals, is key.

“If you want to pump money in, you have to justify it,” added Coxall.

“You can’t just say there’s £10million because if you lose it, you cannot just gift it, as straight away there is then a tax issue.

“For us, even if we were to loan it, this club would then legally be saddled with a loan, and has a debt.

“Even if we came out and said we are never going to call this loan in, then you have a ‘Rangers scenario’ where you have a loan that doesn’t have to be paid back therefore it isn’t a loan and therefore tax needs paying on it.

“And you then have to factor that tax bill in.

“The way to do it is to improve the club commercially and improve the amount of money coming into the club.

“If we sell a player for £2million then that money stays in the club. It doesn’t go out to me, the directors or JPNG.

“Whatever the club makes, stays in the club.”

Businessman Coxall admits it has been “strange” combining his two loves.

He added: “You are still running a business but everything you do is geared towards a Saturday afternoon and Tuesday night.

“We can do our bit around the marketing and try and make a profit but if it doesn’t work on the pitch then it all comes to nothing.

“We have to change a few things to our approach as we are still learning, perhaps we have shown a bit of naivety.

“But it is about having that flexibility to change something.”