The Supporters Trust recently met with club chairman Raj Singh who expressed a willingness to co-operate with the supporters group to discuss ‘immediate options’ as he looks to finalise his exit from the club.
Singh publicly placed Hartlepool on the market at the end of last season and welcomed interested parties but has been unable to secure enough genuine interest, with proof of funding proving to be a significant stumbling block so far.
Singh declared to the Supporters Trust he would continue funding the club ‘in the short-term’ with the emphasis then on the Trust to communicate with further interested parties in an attempt to reach a solution.
And the Trust have now provided an update to supporters whereby they have confirmed they have been in discussions with a number of people and companies who have registered an interest and are willing to commit as a shareholder before they reconvene with Singh later this week.
A Supporters Trust statement read: “HUST campaigns for transparency at club level, so naturally we want to be as transparent as possible about the current process of reaching out to potential investors in a consortium. We’re sure you can also appreciate at this sensitive stage, we have to respect the confidentiality of businesses and individuals.
"What we can say though, is that we have met with a number of genuine people and companies over the last two weeks, who have the best interest of the town and club at heart.
"All have stated that they could commit as a shareholder in the club, for a number of seasons, which gives us a fantastic platform to build from.
"All of those parties are also enthusiastic about the role of the club in the community, wanting to build ties with local businesses and groups. We have also received further expressions of interest in the past few days and intend to continue those conversations. Other parties may emerge, so naturally we need to be flexible about how the future change in ownership develops.”
They continued: “All of this does, of course, depend on seeing detailed accounts from the club and linked companies though.
"A further meeting is scheduled with Mr. Singh towards the end of the week. We would also add that the club has maintained close contact and we believe are genuine in wanting Hartlepool United to end up in safe hands going forward.
“Alongside all of that, we’ve met with a range of people connected with the running of clubs at our level – Barrow’s supporters’ trust have been very supportive – the reason we reached out to them is that their board structure is similar to the one being proposed and they’ve seen finances move to a better place, as their crowd has doubled over the last few seasons. Critically, they were also clear about the challenges.
“We have spoken with a number of individuals who’ve run clubs as part of an executive team, which gave real insight into what may be ahead. Additionally, we’re speaking with local politicians.”
The Supporters Trust have also declared their interest in maintaining a positive relationship with other supporters groups such as Hart Of Our Club, Her Game Too and the North West Corner having recently outlined the principles of the Trust and ‘dispelled some myths’ about its intentions since talks with the club began.
“HUST are also keen to keep other supporter groups at Pools updated. We’ve had positive meetings with all groups including the Supporters’ Association, Hart Of Our Club, Her Game Too and the North West Corner. We really appreciate the time they took to meet us and we gained a lot from hearing how HUST is perceived outside of our membership,” the statement added.
"We appreciate their openness to meeting in the interests of creating a better club in future, one that is fan and community centric.
“We’ve been at pains to state that HUST do not want to run the club, but absolutely do want fans to have a role in ensuring the executive team steering the club on behalf of shareholders and fans is effective, allowing the club to thrive.”