Hartlepool United fans remain in the dark as they try to support club's future
Fans' efforts to help keep Hartlepool United from going under are in limbo as the future of the club hangs in the balance.
Members of Hartlepool United Supporters’ Trust (HUST) voiced frustrations that it does not know the state of the accounts, despite being offered the chance to look at the books, with the claim “Pools won’t tell us anything”.
Members of the trust board voiced the con cerns as about 150 supporters gathered at the Hartlepool Corporation Club, in Whitby Street, to discuss what could happen next and how there could be an avenue for fans to have some control.
Hopes a new owner can still be found is at the top of their wish list.
The second preferred option is for a fresh backer to come in who would be willing agree to give supporters a financial stake in the club – generated through fundraising – so they can have an insight and influence in how it is run.
The third suggestion is a fans’ takeover, with Supporters’ Direct offering case studies where this has happened.
However, HUST says that while it wants the club to survive, a total takeover is not its aim.
Vice chairman John Cooke told the meeting: “It’s not a good time to be supporting Pools at present.
“There is still time and we live in hope, but through all of this, where does that leave a supporters’ trust?
“That is the aim of tonight, to raise your awareness of what the role of the trust and what Supporters’ Direct is and to look at positive steps we can take collectively as fans of the club.
“We meet in what is a perilous time for our club, both on and off the field, and the club has perhaps never been so close to folding than it is right now.
“However, be reassured that as a trust board, guided by our members and others, we will undertake to try and secure the long-term survival of professional football in this town.”
In a break during the meeting, Mr Cooke told the Mail he was pleased to see such a good turnout and urged all supporters’ groups to work together to help back the cause.
Last Thursday was the deadline for staff wages, which was met by the club.
The meeting also saw a question and answer session with the club’s former chief executive Alan Bamford, Eddie Kyle, who was assistant manager to Alan Murray in the 1990s, and ex-manager Craig Hignett.
Former manager Chris Turner was unable to attend as planned.
HUST was formed two years ago and now has 1,000 members.
The meeting can be watched in full via the HUST Facebook page, which also details the organisation’s next fundraiser.