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Pools fans ‘left deflated’ by police probe into Hartlepool United

Pools fans at the home game against Wrexham dubbed Save Pools Day
Pools fans at the home game against Wrexham dubbed Save Pools Day

Pools fans say they have been left feeling deflated after it was revealed that the club called in police to investigate possible financial irregularities.

Supporters had been hoping for positive news in the search for a new buyer when the investigation was confirmed by Cleveland Police.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park

Hartlepool United has stressed no-one currently connected to the club is the subject of the investigation.

Fans hope the police probe does not put off potential investors looking to takeover the club.

But an overdue tax bill, understood to be for about £48,000, has now been paid using money donated by fans to an internet crowdfunding page.

Ron Harnish, chair of the Hartlepool United Supporters’ Trust, said of the police investigation: “We were quite up prior to it coming out because we had spoken with John Blackledge and were under the impression solicitors were involved with one interested party.

“We were thinking ‘great’ then this came out with the police and we thought ‘oh no’. Every time we think there is light at the end of the tunnel then a shadow looms across it.”

He added: “Rachel [Cartwright] has paid the bill bless her. Pam Duxbury has said the match will definitely go ahead a week on Saturday.”

Pools fan Mike Lewis who has been involved in the recent fundraising, including Save Pools Day last month, said he was not shocked at the news.

“It has been rumoured for a while,” he said. “It wasn’t the greatest news.

“I think the only good thing is it doesn’t seem like it is into anyone at the club now.

“Hopefully it won’t put anybody off. The main thing is to try to get to the end of the season without going into administration and someone steps in between now and the end of April.

“Hopefully we can come out of it all with a smile and someone there to help us out.”

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill praised fans for working “tirelessly” to save their club.

He added: “I have been in touch with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, to urge his officers to act with expediency but also to be thorough in their investigations.”

The club said HMRC have confirmed they will cancel the serving of the winding up petition adding: “Once again we would like to thank Rachel and all of the fans and community for their generosity of spirit, time and money to support the club.”