HARTLEPOOL United fans have voted unanimously to create a new Supporters Trust.
More than 200 supporters packed into the Corporation Club, in Whitby Street, for an open meeting before voting in favour of creating a new Hartlepool United Supporters Trust.
There was presentations from working party members before Supporters Direct Representative Jacqui Forster took to the stage ahead of the vote.
The majority of Sky Bet League Two clubs have similar supporters’ trusts and organisers described the night as an “overwhelming success”.
Phil Dunn, working party spokesman, said: “The passion and feeling in the room from Pools fans was very evident, but not surprising.
“Hartlepool supporters, and Hartlepool people in general are a proud bunch who will rally round a cause.
“People want to see a safety net in place for whatever happens in the future”
John McQue, responsible for pulling the Working Party together, added: “The meeting was brilliant and very positive and we thank everyone who turned up, listened and asked a lot of relevant questions.
“To have such an overwhelming yes vote was fantastic and confirmed that this is something the fans want.
“However, the hard work really starts now.
“After the meeting we had large number of people who came forward to be actively involved and we hope that this is something that will continue.
“We now have a mandate to take this to the next stage and we need people to be involved in that at all levels.
“The Trust will be an inclusive and democratic community organisation that will encompass all types of skill sets. If you want to be involved there is a place for you whatever your background.”
The move to set up a supporters’ trust first came about following concerns on and off the pitch following the failed takeover of the club by TMH 2014 earlier this year, with IOR remaining in charge at the Clarence Road club.
The proposed takeover collapsed following serious concerns within the club’s hierarchy about TMH’s long-term plans for the club.
Those concerns were serious enough to call it off six weeks after it was first announced, with Pools chairman Ken Hodcroft saying the decision was taken with the interest of the club in mind.
Mr McQue added: “One of the important messages we wanted to get across is that we are not a threat to IOR or trying to undermine them.
“The Trust will look to be a partner of the owners. To have fans and owners working towards a common goal is surely what all clubs should aim for.
“This happens very successfully at many clubs already.
“IOR have created the greatest period of sustained success in the history of the club and for that they should be applauded.
“Whether or not IOR are involved in the future remains uncertain but we should never forget their considerable contribution to HUFC which have given us some of the greatest days in the history of the club.
“The supporters too have contributed over many years are so much more than just customers of a business.
“We believe that it is in the interests of the football club and the Trust to embrace a partnership for the common good.
“After 107 years of community support of our football club, we too deserve to have a voice.”
The Trust will now be officially registered with Supporters Direct, and the FCA as a ‘Community Benefit Society’. and a membership drive will begin as soon as the registration is verified.