Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh provides budget update for Paul Hartley's summer recruitment

Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh says Paul Hartley will have the tools to do the job when it comes to building his squad at the Suit Direct Stadium.

By Joe Ramage
Monday, 20th June 2022, 4:45 pm

Singh ended a month-long search for Graeme Lee’s replacement with the appointment of Hartley from Scottish side Cove Rangers and the new boss will be handed what is expected to be a competitive budget this summer to reshape his Pools squad.

And Hartley has suggested that more arrivals could be imminent before the squad flies out to Portugal next week as part of a warm weather training camp after conceding Pools are ‘short on numbers’ as things stand.

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Hartlepool United chairman and new manager Paul Hartley are comfortable with the budget in place this summer. Picture by FRANk REID

But chairman Singh believes both he and Hartley are comfortable with the budget that has been set for this season and that a play-off push can be expected if all goes accordingly.

“You’re not going to get a figure out of me but I think we’re all comfortable with the money that’s there and, if it’s spent wisely, we should be there or thereabouts in the play-offs,” said Singh.

“You need to give the manager the tools to do the job and I think we’re doing that. The rest is up to them and how they spend the money.

“Hopefully we’ll get value for money which are the words I keep using.

Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh has praised the impact of chief operating officer Stephen Hobin. Picture by FRANk REID

“It takes a lot of things to fall into place,” Singh added.

“You’re going to be bringing a lot of players in. Are the players going to gel? You need a lot of luck.

“But I’m sure it won’t be through the lack of trying and I think, generally speaking, we’re all aiming for the play-offs at least.”

Pools’ success last season, in both the league and the cup competitions, has in part helped Singh to provide an increased budget for Hartley this summer but the owner has also been keen to highlight the work done by chief operating officer Stephen Hobin for his endeavours in increasing the revenue streams at the Suit Direct Stadium.

Hobin arrived at the club last summer and has been a positive influence behind the scenes with a number of financially beneficial deals including the agreement which secured the naming rights of the stadium now known as the Suit Direct Stadium.

“I think everybody keeps talking about the crowds, yes they were good and yes the cup runs were good, but we can’t forget a lot of the work that Stephen has done behind the scenes,” explained Singh.

“We’ve generated a lot of income now into the club since Stephen has been here so I think some credit needs to be given there as opposed to just saying we’ve had the cup runs which have helped.

“But the club is in a really good shape.

“I think I’m on record as saying over the last 15 or 20 years the club has never been in as good a shape as it is now.

“So there’s a lot of stuff which has come together, more so than just the two cup runs.”