‘No hidden agenda’ say Pools chiefs

Hartlepool United chief executive Russ Green speaking at the meeting
Hartlepool United chief executive Russ Green speaking at the meeting

HARTLEPOOL United bosses say there is no “hidden agenda” behind their plans to gain ownership of Victoria Park.

Russ Green, the club’s chief executive, was present at the meeting and answered questions from supporters and residents moving to reassure them over the future of the ground.

Mr Green said: “There is no hidden agenda.

“There will always be football played there and we are committed to the town and the football club.

“We just hope that people get behind us and lobby the councillors.”

He said the club provides a range of training schemes and educational courses and improved facilities would allow them to extend that.

Mr Green added: “It is truly refreshing to be working with a local company that wants the best for Hartlepool.

“That is why we want to be part of it and we are only a small cog in the machine alongside all the other partners.

“This is good for the area and good for the town.

“Everybody will benefit.”

Mr Green said the past 15-years have proved the club’s owners, IOR Limited, are “here for the right reasons”.

He revealed that since a bid of £300,000 for the Victoria Park ground was turned down five years ago, around £775,000 has been spent on ground improvements.

That includes £150,000 spent on new floodlights and £250,000 replacing the roof on the Mill House stand.

When asked by one resident what would happen if the land at Victoria Park wasn’t transferred to the club, Mr Green said: “We won’t hold anybody to ransom.

“We just want to extend the services we currently offer.”

The League One club pays £18,000-a-year rent and at the moment has a 55-year lease.