Mark Maguire keen to deliver platform for Pools to bounce back to Football League

Football is a simple game, complicated by the people that play, coach and watch it.

Monday, 4th June 2018, 7:00 am
Mark Maguire the Chief Executive of Hartlepool United pictured at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Wednesday 30th May 2018 (Photo: Mark Fletcher | Shutter Press) © Shutter Press

When a club is winning on the park, everything that happens off it becomes a secondary issue.

But, as we all know, the two are intrinsically linked.

If a club is falling apart at the seams it takes a very strong-minded group not to allow that failure and negativity have an impact come 3pm on a Saturday.

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Hartlepool United over the last 24 months are testament to that.

And while it is Matthew Bates’ job to get everything right on the training fields, the players’ job to win points on the park and Craig Hignett’s work to get recruitment and deals that are right for Pools financially, it is the job of new chief executive Mark Maguire to make sure things run smoothly in almost every other aspect of the club.

From saving cash with suppliers, to bringing in sponsorship Maguire’s Pools role is wide-ranging.

And a football man at heart, a Stockport County fan, in fact, Maguire knows that football and players come first at any club.

He also understands the concept that if things are not right off the park, and the platform is not there for the footballing arm of the club to prosper, then things can soon turn sour.

“Quite frankly, without how the fans reacted last season, the club wouldn’t be here any more,” said Maguire when talking about past troubles at Pools.

“They proved that the way they turned out that incredible day against Wrexham and all their fund-raising activities.

“They literally saved the club so it is time we rewarded them with a bit of hard work on our side.

“All I can promise them is that everyone will be pulling in the same direction with the best interests of the club at heart and not the interests of individuals.”

Maguire, appointed this summer after the departure of Pam Duxbury, continued: “It’s a cliche which is rolled out a lot but that is where this club belongs.

“The size of Hartlepool United has been demonstrated by the fans and its history demonstrates it should at the least be in League Two, League One and beyond that let’s have some ambition.

“The job has to be to return it to its rightful place but, most importantly, to look after the club properly behind the scenes.

“We need to make sure everything is done in the right way which, ultimately, will provide the platform too get us back into the Football League.”

Fans have a good right to sceptical of any newcomers to Pools.

They have bitten far too frequently in recent times - although the older fans will know this is no new thing in the history of Hartlepool United post-war.

Maguire hopes under the guidance of himself, and with the cash of Raj Singh and Jeff Stelling in the bank, that perceptions can be changed and trust regained.

“I think the fans are owed something here,” he said.

“All that we can promise the fans and staff is honesty and integrity and the moment I came in the door and spoke to staff, they talked about promises being made and they would wait to trust me on what I was saying.

“Fans and staff and anyone with an interest in the club should act in how we act, the honesty and integrity in what we do and our performance over a period of time.

“It’s time for straight-talking in that regard. Let’s be fairly judged on how we do and all we want honesty, integrity and an understanding.”