Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett discusses finances and the multi-million pound investment from owner Raj Singh since takeover

Raj Singh has helped transform Hartlepool United since he took over at the club 18-months ago – but it’s come at a cost.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 6:13 pm
Craig Hignett with Raj Singh

It was confirmed that the club is currently operating with a £400,000 per-season deficit despite improved season ticket sales and other commercial revenue.

That significant shortfall will be covered by Singh in order to keep the club afloat and operating. The chairman is believed to have invested upwards of £1.5 million into Pools and the situation risks being precarious unless revenue streams are boosted.

Hignett’s playing budget is believed to be in the region of £700,000 this season. That has been spent though the transfer of Liam Noble to Morpeth Town has provided a small bit of breathing room.

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And with the Pools boss having to manage the pressure of budget constraints, the demand for a successful season increases.

“It’s massive, it’s not just covering the shortfall, it’s the overall money he’s put into the club,” Hignett said.

“The club is swallowing it up. We’ve made cuts and cuts and cuts and we’ve got it down to somewhere near but we still need to do more.

“That work will continue and we need to get it down so the chairman is happy with where it is because at the moment we’re still quite a bit away. We have to make it work, my budget is my budget and that won’t change.”

A big potential boost to the finances would be an FA Cup run with Pools’ campaign in the competition set to get underway this month with the Fourth Qualifying Round draw taking place from 1:30pm this coming Monday.

And when discussing the amount of investment Singh has put into Pools since taking over last April, the importance of a profitable run is clear.

“Along with my budget there are other things with that and overall I think he’s put in well over £1.5 million into the club,” Hignett added.

“Like I say, moving forward, we need to get it manageable because it’s not sustainable.

“If we get a cup run, we might pull ourselves even but until we do, I can understand why he is like he is with the club and the finances.”