Fans ‘wait and see’ over Pools’ takeover

Victoria Park, the home of Hartlepool United Football Club.
Victoria Park, the home of Hartlepool United Football Club.

Fans of Hartlepool United say they are watching and waiting over the sale of the club.

The club had been sold by Increased Oil Recovery (IOR) but details of the buyer have not been disclosed.

We have had a lot of investment in the summer, so hopefully this will carry on with the new owners.

Pauline McSweenie

However, it is believed recruitment firm JPNG Global, which has offices in Dubai and London, is set to take over.

It is news which some fans say is not a surprise as it has been no secret the club, based at Victoria Park, was up for sale.

Ken Hodcroft stepped down as chairman after the news broke on Friday.

Chief executive Russ Green is understood to be staying on under the new regime.

Pauline McSweenie, secretary of Hartlepool United Supporters’ Association, said: “These are only my personal views, but I think people knew it was up for sale and that there was going to be a takeover eventually.

“But we have to stay optimistic and hopeful.

“We have already had a lot of investment in the summer so hopefully this will carry on with the new owners.”

He added: “Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards.

“I’d like to thank Ken Hodcroft for all his hard work for the club over the past 16 years.”

Former Hartlepool United mascot and town mayor Stuart Drummond said: “The company have said for some time they were selling the club, so it was just a matter of time really.

“We just hope the new owners will carry on and do just as good a job as the last owners.”

IOR has been looking for new investment for 18 months, with TMH (The Monkey Hangers) 2014’s takeover last December collapsing within six weeks of it being announced.

IOR says it believe the sale is in the best interests for taking the club forward into hopefully some exciting years ahead

The firm, which has owned Pools for 18 years, thanked the club’s staff and fans for their support in a statement, adding the decision had been taken with the club’s “best interests” at heart.

It read: “IOR would like to thank everybody for working together from January onwards to pull off ‘The Great Escape’ at the end of last season, including all members of staff and, particularly, the fans who gave their full support to the club and IOR through what was a very critical period for the club.”

Further announcements are expected later today.