Raj Singh on why he took dramatic U-turn to appoint Richard Money '“ and his transfer pledge to Hartlepool boss

Hartlepool United took a dramatic U-turn in policy when new boss Richard Money was unveiled at the Super 6 Stadium.

Thursday, 13th December 2018, 6:52 am
Updated Thursday, 13th December 2018, 7:00 am
Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh, manager Richard Money and chief executive Mark Maguire.

The 63-year-old comes with a wealth of experience managing at National League level, a stark contrast to when Matthew Bates, 32, was chosen to lead the side at the end of last season.

But when Bates departed last month the plan wasn’t always to go for an experienced head to steady the ship, according to chairman Raj Singh.

It is well documented that Pools were impressed by Havant & Waterlooville boss Lee Bradbury, 43, before interviewing Money for the role.

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Yet Singh and the rest of the club’s hierarchy were not only impressed by Money’s previous achievements at National League level, which saw him win promotion from the division with Cambridge in 2014, but also his knowledge of Pools’ players and general approach.

When asked if the plan was always to appoint an experienced manager, Singh told the Mail: “No not necessarily. I think the general trend in football at the moment is going for younger managers who can coach, and who can bring fresh ideas to the football team and the club.

“I think the fans would have been a little bit more edgy if it had been another fresh appointment or untried manager.”

Money has worked with Pools midfielder Ryan Donaldson in the past while Cambridge boss. Donaldson went on to score twice in the FA Trophy Final under Money and then bagged another Wembley goal in the play-off final against a Gateshead side that included Carl Magnay, which saw the U’s promoted to the Football League.

Money also worked with the likes of Conor Newton and Paddy McLaughlin during his spell as Newcastle United’s academy, and Singh admits this played a part in him landing the role.

“There were two or three things – one was his knowledge of our players, two or three that he’s had before playing under him,” said Singh.

“The second one was the chopping and changing of the set-up, he didn’t feel he needed to make massive changes so that was important for us.

“His record speaks for itself and he came across as a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of guy and I think that’s very important when people are being honest with each other and get that trust with each other.”

Money may not want to make wholesale changes at the club but will he receive the financial backing to bolster his new squad if he needs?

“Yeah I think so,” replied Singh when asked that very question.

“I’ve said it before, the remit at the start of the season was let’s start with the squad we’ve got, see where we get to, see where we are around about November, December time. If we need to give it a little bit of a push with another couple of players, we’ll do so.

“We know what’s happened in the last couple of months so that’s put us on the back-burner if you like.

“With Richard, the first thing I asked him is what do we need to do to the squad and he said with two or three tweaks we should be all right.

“Nobody wants to start making silly quotes and silly promises but in all fairness if we get two or three guys in we should be able to go for the play-offs.”

Some fans may be worried by Money’s previous job at Solihull Moors, where he departed after just 26 days in charge.

But Singh believes Money can be more than just a short-term appointment after the new boss was handed an 18-month contract at the Super 6 Stadium.

“I think so, if you’d have asked me this question at the beginning of the season how long is Matty (Bates) going to be here, I’d have said as long as we’re successful,” said Singh when asked if Money was in it for the long run.

“It’s the same with Richard – only time will tell whether it’s the right or wrong appointment, but he’s got a really impressive CV, he was impressive with his interview and there’s no reason why he can’t get us out of this division.”