Crunch meeting set for Hartlepool United takeover

Pools fans will hope for the best in takeover talks. Picture by Frank Reid
Pools fans will hope for the best in takeover talks. Picture by Frank Reid

Owner John Blackledge is set to meet a local entrepreneur next week in a bid to thrash out a Hartlepool United takeover.

The head of Sage investments, who acquired Pools from Gary Coxall and recruitment firm JPNG in June, will sit down with a Hartlepool-born businessman within the next 72 hours, and try to iron out a package to purchase the club.

The as yet unknown potential investor was the seventh interested party to sign a non-disclosure agreement and provide proof of funds to the tune of £3million.

Informal talks started a few weeks back but have only escalated in the last week.

But where the other six who reached this stage did not come back to Pools with an offer, the Mail has learned that the businessman’s intentions are to thrash things out with Blackledge, who has ploughed £1.8million into the club.

Should that meeting go well, an agreement on a takeover could happen quite quickly, possibly by the time Pools travel to Eastleigh next weekend.

It is understood this investment will not come from a consortium, instead cash will come from one source.

Pools have had interest from a number of parties both at home and overseas.

The Mail can reveal that a consortium from across the pond were considering investing but pulled out, while another consortium from Scandinavia remains in the hat but are yet to show their hand.

Another local businessman with links to football in the area was also involved in talks to invest in the club.

As part of his plans, he could have installed a former manager back at the Pools helm. But that deal is understood to be on the backburner while this current investment is pushed forward.

Potential Swedish investor Daniel Kindberg, revealed by the Mail as an interested party in negotiations, was one of those who signed an NDA.

Meanwhile, the Mail understandsthat club staff and players have been told they will be paid next week.

It is believed the club has found the cash to pay the wage bill for January. The other major bill, to the HMRC, is due early next month. It’s due within two weeks of Thursday’s January 25 deadline date.

Staffing and costs remain under the microscope at Pools, with redundancies and potential player sales a distinct possibility, should things not be smoothed out this week.