Jeff Stelling appeals for investors to join consortium to save Hartlepool United

Jeff Stelling
Jeff Stelling

Hartlepool United president Jeff Stelling has today appealed for investors to join a consortium trying to save the club.

The lifelong Pools fan has joined forces with a Teesside businessman and have around £1.2million pounds available to buy the club. But they believe they need another £600,000 to make a takeover viable.

"We can’t afford to find ourselves in the same position 12 months from now so we need sufficient funding in place to guarantee the clubs long-term future," he said.

"Our money is there and waiting if we can find the extra funds. But time is running out. Though it breaks my heart to say it, I don’t believe the club can survive much longer. The club needs investment – and it needs it now."

"We have had promises of backing from a number of people, but so far none have come up with the money when asked."

Stelling believes they have an agreement in principle with Sage Investments and have spoken frequently with current owner John Blackledge. The club is understood to be working on an issue involving outstanding litigation to ensure any new owners would start with a clean sheet.

"We have done due diligence and any serious investor is welcome to look at the report," Stelling said.

"We have been working hard on this for the past couple of months, but we now feel we need the extra funding within the next week or it may be too late.

"There has been rumour after rumour about people with plans to save Pools, but nothing has happened and things are getting desperate.

"I remember standing on the terraces with my late sister Sue in the early 1960s. I can’t bear the prospect of this club going to the wall. I just hope there are some wealthy individuals or businesses out there that may feel the same. The town would be forever grateful.

"I can’t promise you this is no risk. It is football so there is always a risk. But remember it is only a few seasons ago that Bournemouth were playing us and look at where they are now.

"And look at how Newport, who survived at our expense last season, have done on and off the pitch this season. Rochdale’s chairman revealed before the FA Cup tie with Spurs, that they had made a £1.5 million pound profit last season.

"This is a not a get-rich-quick scheme but if anyone else shares our dream, then this is the time to come forward."

Anyone interested in investing should contact Geoff Cunningham on 0113 399 1812.