Hartlepool United are refusing to panic in this summer’s ‘slow’ transfer market.
The Mail understands the club would rather play the waiting game to land the right target, rather than dive in at this stage.
The stark reality of Pools’ situation is that their budget is much tighter than it was this time last season.
The kind of sums spent on wages, and a whole variety of other costs, would put them at the very top end of National League budgets this season.
Sadly, that cash, as we all know, was not spent wisely and despite putting together a more than competitive budget for the fifth tier Pools struggled to get to grips with life outside the Football League, and without the work of Matthew Bates on the park, and Raj Singh off it, Pools would have been playing at a lower level, and would cease to exist in their current form.
The new owners understand the need to cut the cloth to suit.
Gone are the days of spending frivolously.
Pools will run a much tighter ship under Bates, Hignett and Singh. As well as the budget being reduced, on and off the field, squad numbers will also be cut.
The ‘new Pools’ will be run much closer to the IOR model than that other owners.
Every penny will be accounted for and every spend will have to be affordable and correctly justified to the powers that be.
And while some fans are panicking at a lack of activity to date, those close to the deals at the club are relaxed.
This is traditionally a quiet time at this level both for incomings and outgoings.
Clubs often wait til much later in the summer to do their deals. Put simply it is the difference between paying a player to go on holiday and paying to walk straight on the training pitches later this month. Pools are set to return on June 23.
Action is expected to hot up over the next fortnight.
So far this summer the club have managed to add just one player, with former Chester and Torquay defender Myles Anderson signing on the dotted line.
Bates is keen to add a striker to his ranks as well as at least one other defender, with a centre half top of his wishlist.
Meanwhile, the Mail can reveal that Pools did hold contract talks with Neal Bishop, who signed for Mansfield Town this week.
The Stockton-born player opted to continue his career in the Football League, despite a competitive offer by the club.
This was always seen as a difficult deal to do, particularly with interest in the player so high.