Exclusive: Cash-strapped Pools eye money-spinning Newcastle United friendly

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez wants a friendly during his side's 21-day gap between fixtures this month. Picture by Frank Reid
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez wants a friendly during his side's 21-day gap between fixtures this month. Picture by Frank Reid

Hartlepool United have asked Newcastle United if they’d be willing to play a mid-season fund-raising friendly.

And Magpies boss Rafa Benitez admits he is considering the prospect.

Cash-strapped Pools are desperate to find possible revenue streams, with the club teetering on the brink of administration.

One possible route is by organising a mid-season kick around with one of the North East’s big three, similar to the favour dished out by West Ham, who take on struggling Dagenham & Redbridge on March 21.

And the Mail has learned that Pools have asked United whether they’d be willing to visit Victoria Park this month in order to help keep the club alive.

Benítez’s Premier League side are without a game for 21 days between March 10 and 31 and the Spaniard admits he could line something up for his players.

It is less than certain that the Magpies’ manager, whose side are in a relegation battle of their own in the Premier League, will agree to the proposal.

Benitez, asked about the gap between the visit of Saints and the March 31 home clash with Huddersfield Town, said: “We’re already analysing that.

“We would like to play, maybe, a game, but the teams are playing. And then we would like to stay here, but then maybe we have to go and move around so you can guarantee you can play a game.

“We’re working on that now. Still it’s too early, but we’re working on that. We want to continue playing competitive games to be sure everybody has match fitness.”

Pools have a midweek visit to Aldershot Town coming up on Tuesday, but there are no other scheduled midweek matches this month.

Pools are at home to Boreham Wood next Saturday, visit AFC Fylde on March 17, entertain Bromley on the 24th and then have a Good Friday fixture at Maidstone (March 30).