Hartlepool United making 'good progress' in takeover talks as club thanks supporters for Just Giving efforts

Victoria Park.
Victoria Park.

Hartlepool United are making "good progress" in takeover talks - and the club has thanked Rachel Cartwright and fans for their efforts in keeping Pools afloat with the Just Giving donations.

Pools fan Cartwright launched the Just Giving fundraising drive after the club's dire financial situation was laid bare before Christmas.

In total an incredible £85,190 was raised online from 3,137 separate donations with supporters up and down the country pledging financial support to National League Pools.

Pools last month paid their overdue tax bill to the HMRC, totalling around £48,000 with money raised from the Just Giving page with the remaining balance used to allow the club to continue trading in the short term.

Businessman and former Darlington chief Raj Singh, whose bid is fronted by Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday presenter and club president Jeff Stelling, is in takeover talks with Pools while there is also interest from a Swedish consortium including investors from four different countries.

Pools say they are not in a position to make further comment due to the confidential nature of the process.

A Pools statement read: "The club can now confirm that we have received all of the funds that were raised by supporters through the original Just Giving appeal.

"The appeal’s organiser, Rachel Cartwright, paid the PAYE bill on behalf of the club from the funds and has been releasing further funds on production of receipts for bills which helped ensure our games at Victoria Park could go ahead.

"We genuinely would not have been able to continue trading and move towards a point where a takeover can be completed without the hard work and dedication of Rachel, our amazing supporters and everyone who kindly donated to the appeal.

"We are making good progress with takeover talks.

"However, as much of the process is confidential, we are unable to make any further comment at this time."

Singh and Stelling's consortium has an agreement in principle with current Pools owner John Blackledge, of Sage Investments, but they remain £600,000 short of target funds.

A fundraising drive by Hartlepool United Supporters' Trust aimed at helping get Stelling and Singh's proposed takeover over the line has so far raised £60,000.

Earlier this month HUST launched an ambitious bid to raise £250,000 in order to help the takeover go through, with the possibility of also earning a seat on any post-takeover board.