Joe Ramage: Timing of Graeme Lee's Hartlepool United sacking a surprise ahead of final game against Colchester United

And so the ruthless, cut throat, nature of the football business strikes again.

By Joe Ramage
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 7:28 pm

You never quite know what you’re going to get in this game but you can’t help but feel a sense of surprise following the news that Hartlepool United have parted ways with manager Graeme Lee.

The whys and the wherefores about the decision from chairman Raj Singh, who suggests this was not an easy decision to make, can be dissected long into the night, and will be over the coming days, I’m sure, as we head into the final weekend of the season.

But what is initially striking is the timing of this decision.

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Graeme Lee has been sacked by Hartlepool United ahead of their final game of the season with Colchester United. Picture by FRANK REID

“While we had some great results and occasions in cup competitions, unfortunately, our league performances have not been good enough with only seven wins since Graeme joined the club and as a board we have become increasingly concerned by the drop-off in form,” said Singh in the club statement.

But with Pools safe in League Two, could this not have been a decision made after the curtain comes down on the club’s first season back in the Football League?

Pools host Colchester United this weekend with little to play for other than the pride of sending supporters off into their summer break with a win and 12 months ago that would have been a fine place to be in.

There’s no denying results have tailed off after the club narrowly missed out on a first trip to Wembley back in March when falling to Rotherham United in the EFL Trophy semi-final.

The end of season motions are a conversation that will take place up and down the country with several teams.

But have results petered out to the extreme that this decision, if you are choosing to make it, could not, at the very least, be put on hold for 72-hours?

Regardless of where you sit on whether Lee was the right fit for the job following Dave Challinor’s exit, or where your opinions side over the recent slump in form, as an ex-Pools player of over 250 games, with nothing riding on the line against Colchester it feels a little premature in that there is little reason in not allowing him to see out the season.