Graeme Lee believes Hartlepool United’s stunning cup success can only benefit the club when it comes to potential transfer targets

Graeme Lee believes Hartlepool United’s continued cup success can only benefit the club when it comes to potential transfer targets.

By Joe Ramage
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 11:06 am

Pools moved into the semi-finals of the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Charlton Athletic with Lee’s side now just one win from a showpiece Wembley final.

And not only that, Jamie Sterry’s winning spot kick ensured Pools would bank another tidy sum of £50,000 to their bank account taking their total prize money to £150,000 from the Papa John’s Trophy so far this season.

Add in the £138,629 earned through their FA Cup success so far this campaign, ahead of next weekend’s fourth round trip to Crystal Palace, and Pools have made £288,629 from their two cup runs.

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Hartlepool United manager Graeme Lee celebrates the latest cup win.

And that is a figure which the club won’t have bargained for when setting Lee his budgets upon his arrival in December.

“It’s something the chairman probably won’t have budgeted for so it’s a massive plus for us,” said Lee.

“The chairman has been clear since day one that there’s money there and there’s funds to bring players in.

“The cup money is massive for the club, for any club.

“The conversation has always been if the right player is there we’ll look at it.

“We’re looking at how we can improve the team and if that’s bringing in players who are going to cost money or bringing in players we’ve scouted who we feel as though are going to come and improve the team then we’ll pick the right ones.”

But despite the extra money available to Pools this month through a number of cup triumphs, Lee retains the club won’t be held to ransom over any player.

“It helps when you get these cup runs because of the finances, it probably makes it a little bit of an easier conversation to have.

“But we don’t want to just up our money or spend our money just because we've had a good cup run. It’s all about the right player.”

And while the cup runs are healthy for the club’s bank account, Lee also believes running deep in both the Papa John’s Trophy and the FA Cup has put Pools on the map for players to consider when looking at their futures.

Pools have recently been in contact with the likes of Premier League sides Manchester United and Arsenal over potential deals from their U23 set-ups and it’s no coincidence those calls were able to be made following Pools’ success in the cups against higher-level opposition.

“I’d say so definitely. The calls I’ve had from different clubs and various agents and the calibre of clubs these players are at are at a higher level,” said Lee.

“If that’s from the cup run then brilliant, if it’s just the agents looking to get their players out I couldn’t tell you which way it is.

“I think people see the games and see how we’re playing against these teams and it probably does open a door a little bit more for us.”

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