Hartlepool United fans told there are NO plans to go part-time or dramatically slash playing budget

Hartlepool United will remain a full-time club with no plans to dramatically slash the playing squad budget.
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That was one of the clear messages to come from the latest meeting with the HUFC Fans Forum.

Pools chief executive Mark Maguire met with fans via a video call on Monday to address a number of issues.

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One has been a fear that the club could move towards a part-time model given they are now in their third season in the National League, with it looking increasingly likely that the 2019-20 campaign will be brought to an early close, with clubs currently voting.

Hartlepool United's Victoria Park ground.Hartlepool United's Victoria Park ground.
Hartlepool United's Victoria Park ground.

The minutes of the fan meeting have now been published by Hartlepool United Supporters’ Trust (HUST).

They read: “There are no plans to move HUFC towards a part time model or dramatically slashing the budget for the playing squad.

“A key interest of Mr Singh is that we remain competitive on the pitch, however, there is an acknowledgment that under a new structure there will be a significant need for volunteers to supplement the club employees in both the day to day running of the club and on match days.

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“Where possible the retained staff will take on broader duties and coordinate the role of the volunteers.

“A recruitment drive will take place for fans interested in supporting the club with time and skills and MM is working to announce something in this regard.

“More detailed information will be made available in due course.”

Speaking before football was suspended, Maguire told the Mail: “We haven’t looked at a part-time model at all really because that’s down to the extent to which the chairman is prepared to back it.

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“Part of Dave’s appointment as manager being a crucial one was to keep the chairman's enthusiasm going for it because we need to get it right to keep him enthusiastic because he's spent a lot of money here.

“We previously had a lot of conversations with Craig [Hignett] who was thinking about this mixed model where you get the best of the part time players and try to change your training around and I thought it was quite an interesting idea.

“But we threw it around quite a few people and some people said it was a good idea and some said it was rubbish so we haven’t gone beyond that stage if I’m honest.

“You would hope that the best players available from a lower level, with no disrespect, the opportunity to come and play for Hartlepool full-time with a chance of playing in the Football League is worth the risk to see if those players can follow their dream.

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“It’s not something we’re considering at the moment but if we’re still in the doldrums in two or three years time, we could be thinking differently!”

All football has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.