IT’S been a busy week at Hartlepool United what with the appointment of a new manager and a takeover.
Both of those news items were welcomed, and there has been a real buzz about the place for the first time in a long time.
The prospect of dropping out of the Football League is unthinkable, with genuine fears that the club could end up playing with old foes Darlington in the ‘jumpers for goalposts’ league.
As for the club’s new owners, that has to be a positive thing as well because, despite providing us with lots of happy memories, IOR had reached the stage where their penny-pinching was causing problems.
I heard one rumour that the former owners had instructed the kitchen staff to turn the gas off when they turned the bacon over to try and save the bills, only joking.
But despite the positivity and the dawn of a new era lines being churned out, it looked like the club was poised to shoot itself in the foot when the story surfaced that convicted rapist Ched Evans was set to sign.
It started on Saturday, the messageboards were going mental by teatime and by early evening the story made Sky News.
Little Hartlepool United, the worst team in England, sharing the headlines with Barack Obama, foreign financial woes and policemen getting shot in New York.
Pools made the front page of the nationals, and first thing on Sunday morning the news crews had set up camp in Hartlepool for the first time since John Darwin paddled back from Panama.
All because Pools were lining up a new signing.
But this wasn’t Messi wanting to swap Barca for Belle Vue, it was Ched Evans.
A decent player higher up the leagues, he has a few goals in him and he’s played at international level.
Just what Pools need, someone to fire them to safety with a hatful of goals.
But he’s a rapist, and as much as people say that a second chance could be deserved, that’s a word which doesn’t sit comfortably on anyone’s CV.
In the end, Pools decided against it and less than a week into their reign, that could be the best decision the new owners ever make.
If Pools do go down, they can rebuild and bounce back.
And while that will be a tough task, rebuilding a team will be far easier than rebuilding the club’s reputation.