‘People think we’re a bunch of clowns’ - perception of the Hartlepool hierarchy is source of frustration for Mark Maguire

Hartlepool United chief executive Mark Maguire.
Hartlepool United chief executive Mark Maguire.

“There is frustration that people think we’re a bunch of clowns.”

Chief executive Mark Maguire has expressed his anger and frustration at the public perception of Hartlepool United’s hierarchy.

Maguire explains the decision to give Matthew Bates the Pools job as the "right" one.

Maguire explains the decision to give Matthew Bates the Pools job as the "right" one.

And former Hull City, Stockport County and Chester chief Maguire thinks time will reflect well on the unprecedented decisions taken by the club in recent months.

Pools have come under fire from fans of late for a number of managerial moves which have contradicted and surprised in equal measure.

The decision to appoint Richard Money, despite looking for a young manager, was then followed by Money walking away from the role after 43 days, Craig Hignett completing a job swap into the first-team role from upstairs before Money being shown the door just six days later.

It’s not something that sits at all well with Maguire, but he admits hindsight is a fine thing.

Richard Money lasted just 43 days at Pools.

Richard Money lasted just 43 days at Pools.

And while understanding the frustrations of fans, he does not accept the assumption those in power at Pools do not have a plan.

“There is frustration that people think we are a bunch of clowns - I understand it but I am frustrated,” said Maguire.

“I do get it. But equally it would have been worse not to address a problem and change it. It’s easier to let things drift and we didn’t do that.

“Time will tell if we have made the right decision with the manager’s job, but if feels like we have.”

Craig Hignett won his first game in his third spell as Pools boss.

Craig Hignett won his first game in his third spell as Pools boss.

When asked whether the Hignett call should have been made prior to the appointment of Money, Maguire continued: “Hindsight is great but we needed someone of Richard Money’s experience and challenging nature to wake the club up to the reality of what we needed and where we were at.

“Could we have made Craig manager and brought Richard in as director of football? It wasn’t on the agenda back then.”

As is the case at every club, decisions from the top come under the microscope from the terraces.

Maguire stands by the calls made by Pools since he has been at the helm - and backs them to not shy away from making similar ones in the future, if in the best interests of Hartlepool.

He said: “Matty Bates had earned the right to manage this football club by keeping it in the league. That was the right decision.

“It was a young manager with some big challenges. We monitored those and the board took the decision the club was no going in the right direction.

“At that point the club decided they wanted to continue with the philosophy of a young manager. That is a lovely idea.

“But when we narrowed things down to four candidates - four very good candidates - Richard was thrown into a hat as a contradiction to those in order to challenge our thinking.

“The reasons for appointing him was because he had experience with dealing with the challenges we faced at the club, at the level we are at.

“Did we expect a bounce? Of course we did.

“But it is safe to say, we can’t be afraid to have tough conversations if we feel things aren’t quite right. That has to continue.”