Hartlepool United Supporters' Trust wary of quick sale of Pools and confident of being able to take control, if required
Hartlepool United Supporters Trust last night issued a statement concerning the up-for-sale club.
In it, the Trust said they believe they would be ‘in a position to take an interim controlling interest’ in Pools, to secure the club’s future, if called upon.
Pools were put up for sale just before Christmas, with owner John Blackledge, of Sage Investments, deciding that he has taken the club as far as he can – just six months after assuming control from Gary Coxall and recruitment firm JPNG.
A number of financial problems have since been uncovered by chief executive Pam Duxbury.
The HUFC Supporters Trust statement read: “The Trust Board has undertaken a consultation with members this week, and the early indication is that we will have the green light to implement our proposed plan.
“The situation as it stands is that the current owners of Hartlepool Unitedhave put the club up for sale.
“While the Trust Board would be delighted were an investor to be found with a desire and the money to support the club, we know there are no guarantees one will be found. We are also mindful of the fact any takeover would take time and that the football club would need to be funded in the interim. The current owners have not given a commitment to do so.
“Given the turmoil of the last few seasons we feel it is imperative that any new owners need to be thoroughly vetted and full due diligence completed, and would urge the current owners to ensure this happens.
“The football club has had 4 different owners in the last four years, and we do not believe it wise for the club to change hands in another “quick sale” as this has not worked previously, and has led to companies such as TMH and JPNG being in control.
“With this in mind we want to re-assure our members that the Supporters Trust Board believes we would be in a position to take an interim controlling interest in the club if called upon, and also if required be in a position to raise the funds necessary to ensure operational costs are met for the remainder of the season. We have the full backing of Supporters Direct in this regard who have successfully been through this scenario numerous times at other similar sized clubs.
“We will continue to monitor the ongoing situation at the club, and also continue dialogue with the owners direct and via Supporters Direct. We will make further announcements as and when we have more information.
“As an interim measure, The Trust Facebook Page will be used for official statements only until further notice.
“The Trust Board are grateful for the offers of support that we have had from national media figures, former staff, players and managers, and local businesses.
“As stated, we believe we have plans in place to secure the survival of the club if we are needed.”