Raj Singh's Hartlepool United takeover gains momentum but threat of administration looms large

Will Hartlepool United fans still have a club to support at the end of the month?
Will Hartlepool United fans still have a club to support at the end of the month?

Confidence is growing that a deal for Raj Singh to gain control at Hartlepool United can be struck to stave off the threat of administration.

But an agreement, which has edged closer over the last few days, is understood to still be some way off.

The Mail has learned the prospect of prominent Teesside businessman Singh injecting cash prior to a proposed takeover has been spoken about as a possibility, although the complex legal and contractual details of any advanced investment are yet to be ironed out.

And, at the moment, all parties are believed to be pressing ahead with the main aim, which is the changeover in ownership of Hartlepool United, from John Blackledge and Sage Investments to Singh, supported by club president and lifelong fan Jeff Stelling.
Lines of communication have been opened up directly between Singh and chief executive Pam Duxbury in the last seven days - with significant talks taking place over the weekend.

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At this stage, though, things very much remain in the hands of solicitors of both parties.

It is understood Singh is ready to invest, along with Stelling, and proposals have been put forward, detailing cash contributions to legal representatives. Confidence, too, is high on both sides that a deal can be struck. But, as yet, no cold, hard cash has exchanged hands.

When quizzed by the Mail on the rumours, Duxbury said : "Progress has been made but things have some way to go."

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The next 10 days are crucial for Pools. Day-by-say they are sliding closer and closer to administration.

Wages are due on Friday, March 23 for the playing and non-playing staff.

And, as things stand, Pools do not have the cash to fulfill their obligations, even though they have dropped £30,000 from their net pay since the month of December.

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Costs have been cut due to mainly to player departures.

Jonathan Franks, Keith Watson, Tomi Adeloye, James Thorne, Nicky Deverdics and Connor Simpson all departed in the winter transfer window, which ended on January 31.