After one of the biggest weeks in the history of Hartlepool United, chairman Gary Coxall has moved to answer a number of questions and dispel a few myths about the direction of the League Two outfit.
In an exclusive two part Q&A with the Mail’s Liam Kennedy, Coxall talks all things finance, winding up orders, Premier League appointments and the future of the football club.
Let’s get straight to it, and talk finance. Can you explain the club’s position with the winding up orders and the state of play off the field at the moment?
GC: “The winding up orders - nobody wants them. We do not plan for things like that happening. But they are not as bad as people make out, nowhere near as bad.
“It is a transition season for us. We want to move from a club that was constantly losing money, with cash having to be pumped in to a club that is self sufficient and successfully so.
“The fears come from facts. We have had winding up orders. But we have never been wound up and we never will be wound up. But if you take that as it is and people start worrying. Then it grows legs.”
You have take a fair bit of criticism for your financial approach and running of the club. Do you think that is justified?
GC: “I don’t think anyone is fighting against the club.
“There is a genuine fear. People fear the unknown.
“No one hates the club, even my harshest critics or Hartlepool United’s. Unless they are a Darlington fan or Carlisle then we know that’s not the case.
“What they have is a fear that something could go wrong. I get that and I accept it.
“Bad news spreads. And bad news sells papers.
“The society we live in and a generation we are everyone thinks they could do it better. When you are an armchair expert you can say what you like. You theory will never get tested.
“I have not been here a long time, people do not know a lot about me. That is fine.
“I have got to earn the credit and take the criticism as it comes.”
Do you envisage any further financial issues?
GC: “This season there might still be some bumps in the road.
“It doesn’t mean to say we are in trouble because we are a long way off being in trouble.
“It is just having the togetherness to get through. I think we have that.
“We have a blueprint - every decision taken at the club is in the best interests of the club.
“This is all part of a wider plan. It is huge.
“The club has to be in a better place than it is now.
“I get frustrated when people talk about how far this club can go. We are taking half a step back to make a big leap forward.
“That step can be catastrophic in some fans eyes.
“We have to earn the fans respect.
“If we are still having this conversation in a couple of years then I will know we are not doing things right.”
On to football matters, how did the Dave Jones appointment come about?
GC: “We approached him.
“We knew who we wanted to get and we were very surprised at how he reacted to that. He jumped at the chance.
“We feel like we have made a big club appointment.
“This is not a Hartlepool appointment.
“We have to start delivering on this belief that we are better than this league.”
With all of the talk of ‘Project Pools’ is Dave Jones seen as part of the long-term future of the club? If so, what is the length of his deal?
GC: “I won’t discuss the length of the deal.
“It is a good contract, though. This demonstrates it is a project for this club.”