Hartlepool United Supporters Trust launches membership drive

Victoria Park, Hartlepool United
Victoria Park, Hartlepool United

Football fans are being urged to become members of the newly formed Hartlepool United Supporters Trust.

The Trust is now fully registered and fans of the League Two side are being urged to sign up and add their support, with 70 already registering their support.

There are currently 12 members on the steering committee, from a variety of backgrounds, and they will be distributing leaflets about how to become a member ahead of Saturday’s home match between Hartlepool United and Crawley Town.

Organisers have stressed the aim is work together for the benefit of the club.

John McQue, a steering committee member, told the Mail: “After a lot of hard work, the Hartlepool United Supporters Trust is now formally up and running.

“We have had a lot of support from fans and already have 70 people signed up as members before we have even really pressed ahead with our membership drive.

“The Trust is very much run like a Co-Operative so every member has one share and an equal say.

“We are certainly not anti-Pools, this is about co-operating and working together to safeguard the club for the future,” added Mr McQue.

The aims of the trust are:

* To improve communications between the club and it supporters.

* To strengthen the influence of supporters over the running of the club.

* To seek fans representation on the board of the club.

* To work with the club towards a common goal - the future stability and success of Hartlepool United.

* To safeguard the long-term future of Hartlepool United.

Membership of the board will rotate, with the first AGM set to be held in February next year, a formal board will be appointed then.

Organisers have stressed that every member has a one share and an equal voice in the trust.

There are currently 71 football clubs in this country that have active Supporters Trusts regulated by Supporters Direct, including the likes of Exeter City, Wycombe Wanderers and Accrington Stanley.

The move to set up a supporters’ trust first came about following the failed takeover of the club by TMH 2014 earlier this year, with IOR remaining in charge at the Clarence Road club.

The club was eventually sold to JPNG in the summer, with Gary Coxall taking over as chairman.

The Trust has now been officially registered with Supporters Direct and the FCA as a ‘Community Benefit Society’, with moves to protect the Victoria Park ground with an Application of Community Value protection order.

It gives the community six months to have a say in any future plans by the council to sell the ground in Clarence Road, which the authority owns, and come up with their own offer.

Mr McQue said the application was not a sign of mistrust in the new owners, adding the paperwork was submitted back in March when there was much uncertainty around the expected takeover by TMH which unexpectedly fell through.

* Fees to become a member of the Hartlepool United Supporters Trust are £20 for a full member, £50 for a family, Under-16s £1 and corporate member £250.

To become a member visit http://hufcsupporterstrust.org.uk here or pop into the Corner Flag pub, next to the ground.