Pools chairman’s appeal to fans as club enters ‘new era’

Hartlepool United fans at the last game of the season against Doncaster
Hartlepool United fans at the last game of the season against Doncaster

Hartlepool United chairman Pam Duxbury has issued a plea to fans to support the club as it aims to win promotion back to the Football League.

The club today announced it has completed a restructure of its ownership with all links to JPNG and Gary Coxall cut.

The majority of the club (99.6%) is now owned by HUFC Holdings Ltd with the rest owned by fans who have shares.

Following the restructure, Ms Duxbury has appealed to supporters to get behind the club by buying season tickets and going to games, as it looks to turn around its fortunes on and off the pitch following relegation to the National League.

She said she plans to improve communication between the club and fans by reinstating formal Annual General Meetings and holding regular talk-ins with her and the management team.

Ms Duxbury said: “It is vital to put down the solid foundations to enable us to be promoted to the EFL at the earliest opportunity.

“I need your support so that I can continue to set these foundations and rebuild the Club.

“I need you to come to our games. I need you to buy your Season Tickets.

“We all need you to come and support the team and cheer them on as passionately as you can, and they need to reward you with their effort and performance.

“I know this is a big ask given the performance on and off the pitch in recent times, however, without you there is no Football Club.”

She added: “Our Football Club is so important to the people of Hartlepool and there is a great love for it beyond the geographical boundaries.

“The reputation of the Club and its fantastic supporters is recognised across the whole of the footballing community.”

Regarding improved communication with fans she added: “I plan to construct a balanced board of directors and integrate a formal fan council that will link with the board.

“I am currently running a fan forum and their support and feedback has been invaluable in helping to make improvements at the Club.

“This has helped to reinforce the fact that I believe we are now moving in the right direction.

“I would expect to formalise the fan group into an elected panel that creates the formal link with the board of directors. A nominated representative from this panel will sit on the board.”

Ms Duxbury said the club was making a loss before relegation and has to deal with the loss of £350,000 revenue following the drop to the National League.

She added: “There is only so much I can do with internal efficiencies, sponsorship and advertising.

“In time, I want the non-match day income to be able to sustain the Football Club and match day income to be available to reinvest and develop the Club.

“At this moment in time we are a long way off that being the case.

“I am successfully working with sponsors – old and new – to provide sustainable and positive support for the Club.

“The support from the local business community has been overwhelming and very encouraging. Utility Alliance, in particular, have been a key part of that.

“I truly believe we are beginning a new era for Hartlepool United and I am genuinely excited about the future of the Club.

“The support from the National League has been outstanding and I am very much looking forward to the season ahead and can’t wait for us to get started.

“We are all in this together and together we will rise.”