Police confirm investigation into Pools finances

Victoria Park
Victoria Park

Police are investigating possible financial irregularities at Hartlepool United.

Cleveland Police confirmed it is looking into Pools’ finances. The club says police are responding to a request it made and that no-one currently at the club is under investigation. 

No arrests have been made.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “Enquiries are on-going into possible financial irregularities at Hartlepool Football Club.”

Meanwhile, a HMRC tax bill, understood to be for £48,000 is due to be settled today with money raised from a fan crowdfunding website.

A winding up order petition, due to be heard in court on March 21, was issued on February 1, but the club says it is yet to receive it.

A Hartlepool United spokesman said: “Following various items in the press and elsewhere regarding the ongoing challenges at Hartlepool United, we would like to make the following statement.

“It has been reported that the club is in receipt of a winding-up order from HMRC. To date, this is not the case. However, the Club has been in contact with HMRC and have confirmed the liability due will be settled in full directly by the Just Giving fund-raisers on Thursday morning.

“This has been made possible by the fantastic fund-raising efforts of Hartlepool United fans and the wider football family.

“In addition, there is a report circulating regarding a police investigation in to financial irregularities at the Club.

“It should be clear that whilst the Club cannot discuss details of the investigation, the reality is that the police are responding to a request by the Club and nobody currently involved at Hartlepool United is the subject of any investigation.

“Meanwhile our efforts are fully focused on exploring various expressions of interest which, whilst the financial challenges in the short term are obvious, must be subject to a process which protects Hartlepool United for the long term.”

The online appeal launched by Pools fan Rachel Cartwright has raised just under £85,000 thanks to football supporters all over the country and abroad.

Pools have been looking for a new owner since December when John Blackledge, of owners Sage Investments, decided he has taken the club as far as he can.

Last week, the club made a fresh appeal for investment.