Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh discusses problems and future plans at Victoria Park with development talks progressing with Hartlepool Council

Raj Singh has reaffirmed his commitment to Hartlepool United, regardless of what division the club finds itself in next season.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 8:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 8:34 pm

Pools are currently going for promotion in the National League and sit second in the table with 13 games left to play.

On the pitch, things have been going well but there have been a few question marks about the club’s standing behind the scenes following a number of redundancies and cost cutting measures at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

“I’ve had to put in what I’ve had to put in,” Singh told BBC Radio Tees Sport

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Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh at Victoria Park. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh at Victoria Park. Picture by FRANK REID

“The fact that the manager has put a good team together proves we’re in decent shape. The club will remain stable as long as we keep putting money in, that’s the top and bottom of it but a lot of progress is being made on and off the field."

Pools are still awaiting the outcome of their application for the Sport England support loan but Singh insisted that no further loans had been taken out by the club.

The Hartlepool chairman also confirmed that he will continue to back manager Dave Challinor for another ‘promotion push’ next season and beyond.

But he admitted things remain a work in progress behind the scenes with some strong comments aimed at former employees, some of whom have attempted to sue the club.

Victoria Park, Hartlepool (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

“We’re trying to fine tune the non-footballing side of the club, we’re not there yet but we’re getting there,” he added.

“It was very difficult to go in and break up the culture that was there. It’s very easy for someone to say they love the club and they’ll do anything for the club but when push comes to shove it’s all take, take, take.

"We’ve had to make a lot of redundancies, we’ve had people trying to sue the club for unfair dismissal. It’s come to nothing.

"It was a culture we had to break down, it has been the most challenging thing without a doubt."

Talks of a redevelopment at Victoria Park have been on the back-burner for some time, but Singh finally broke his silence on the situation.

"I would love to be here for the next five to 10 years but a lot depends on what we do with the stadium,” he continued.

"The stadium is dated and we need facilities there that can be used five, six days a week and help cut the losses with a regular source of income.

“We’ve intentionally kept [stadium redevelopment] quiet because we don’t want to promise anything we can’t deliver.

"There are talks about redeveloping Victoria Park, we’re looking at all different angles and we’re due to go next couple of weeks with a memorandum of understanding signed up so each party knows what they need to do.

"It’s a massive make or break for us. A new stadium and facilities makes you money all day every day which helps to cut the losses and that’s a big deal.

"We’ve been talking with the council for a year and a half and that’s enough talking for me, this has got to be the year where is it going to happen or is it not?

"That’s something that will determine how long we’re going to be around for as an owner.”

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