Hartlepool council loans Pools £77,000 to pay wage bill

Victoria Park
Victoria Park

Hartlepool Borough Council has loaned Hartlepool United more than £77,000 so the club can pay this month's wage bill.

The council has released a statement to say it has agreed to provide temporary support to Pools after providing the club with an earlier loan in December.

It comes as negotiations for a takeover of the club continue between the Pools and a consortium led by businessman Raj Singh.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “This is the second time in four months Hartlepool United Football Club has asked for temporary financial support from the Council.

"The first time was in December 2017 when the Council agreed a temporary loan and this was fully repaid by the end of January 2018, as agreed."

It is not known how much the council loaned the club in December.

Pam Duxbury

Pam Duxbury

Coun Akers-Belcher added: “Working alongside senior Council officers, Councillor Ray Martin-Wells and I have carefully considered the latest request from Hartlepool United to provide a temporary loan of £77,500.

"This amount will be repaid from transfer fees due to Hartlepool United from the sale of former players.

"The majority of this amount (£72,500) will be repaid by September 1 2018.

“Football League rules underwrite transfer fee instalments so there is limited risk in relation to these monies being repaid.

"As an added safeguard, Hartlepool Borough Council has agreed with the Football League and the individual clubs that will be making the future transfer fees that these monies will be paid directly to the Council.”

Councillor Ray Martin-Wells, chair of the council's Audit and Governance Committee, said: “Hartlepool United is important to the town and has important economic benefits.

“We hope Hartlepool Borough Council’s continued support will enable a new owner to be secured and that the football club can then move forward on a sustainable basis.”

Pam Duxbury, chief executive of Hartlepool United, said: “Negotiations are continuing to secure a new owner for the football club. In the short term we have approached Hartlepool Borough Council to provide a temporary loan towards the cost of March’s salary bill.”

The Mail understands Raj Singh's takeover, which also includes money put in by Sky TV and lifelong Poolie Jeff Stelling, has been agreed in principle but has yet to be formally approved by league bosses.

More than £85,000 raised through an online fund started by Pools fan Rachel Cartwright was used by the club to pay an overdue tax bill and to help it fulfil its fixtures for February.