'We’ll look at getting the fans involved' – Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh seeking investment as Supporters' Club approach club
Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh revealed that he’s invested over £2m in the club since arriving two years ago and is seeking investment to help ensure the club’s losses become more manageable.
This is particularly prevalent at the moment with football across the UK suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic with no return date in sight for National League football.
With bills and wages to pay without any matchday income for the foreseeable future, Pools are one of many clubs facing a potentially precarious period.
Although they’re unable to come and physically support their club on a matchday, members of the Hartlepool United Supporters’ Trust have reached out to the club with an investment proposal.
“We have made it clear that we would be interested in investing into the football club through equity investment,” a HUST spokesperson told The Mail.
“We have presented some options to Mr Singh via [chief executive] Mark Maguire and are looking forward to the meeting with us that Mr Singh referenced in his latest interview on BBC Tees.
“We share his concerns about the current crisis on the impact on football and also welcome and agree with his honesty that he can’t continue subsidising the club to the levels he currently is doing.
“We have also actively started helping the football club prepare for the influx of volunteers moving forward and we will support this as much as we can.
“We have sent a recent email to members to ask for their initial views and again encourage anyone whose membership is due to expire in the coming months to renew, and also encourage new members to join us as ultimately it will be our members that have the final say through a vote on any investment proposals.”
The Hartlepool chairman acknowledged HUST’s approach, stating a potential investment deal would make the club ‘a lot more attractive’ to any future buyers or investors.
Despite several redundancies and other cost-cutting measures at the club, Singh isn’t actively looking to sell but admits he would step aside if someone were to come in that could take the club forward.
“The fans are a little bit edgy with the redundancies and what I would say with that is, if you want the Supporters’ Trust getting involved or whoever it may be, it’s going to be a lot more attractive to whoever comes in if the losses are sustainable,” Singh told BBC Radio Tees Sport last week.
“Nobody is going to touch it if the losses are near the levels we’ve had last year or the year before or the year before that.
“Mark [Maguire] has already spoken with the Supporters’ Trust and I’ll sit down with them and tell them where we are.
“Hopefully we can get other people involved and we’ll look at getting the fans involved, buying shares etcetera, we’re looking at all those options. If the losses are reduced – which they will be – then it’s sustainable.”