HUST emailed our members last week with an update on a number of matters, including our position on the sale of the Football Club and the response we received from Ben Houchen regarding the development of the Hartlepool Mayoral Development Corporation.

HUST continue to be clear that whoever buys our club, and whenever they do that, our position remains the same – we want supporter representation, ideally at board level. The reason for this is simple – the best way to ensure that the club is run in a sustainable way that benefits the whole town and all of our community is to have people onboard who are solely involved through love of the club. We believe that any legitimate new owner, or consortium, would agree.

To ensure that any prospective owners are aware of what HUST can bring, and what we believe in, we prepared a strategy document, which you can read below, describing our hopes for Pools and explaining how we can help to make it into a reality. We reassured members that if the opportunity to invest in Pools as a way of achieving supporter representation does come up we’ll make sure that a full, open discussion involving the whole of our membership takes place. Any investment from HUST would mean using some, or all, of the hard-earned money that has been contributed to our funds over the years, so the HUST membership have the right to make sure it is spent wisely.

Of course, if the price being asked for the club is unrealistically high we could easily go into next season with the ownership of the club unchanged. If this is the case, we’ll continue to press for supporter representation and voice any concerns directly to the club in our usual clear but polite way. 

Slightly separately, the news that Hartlepool Council was likely to hand over the running of leisure facilities in the town to Mayor of Teesside raised alarm about the prospect of Victoria Park being included in this process. HUST contacted the Council, as existing owners of the ground, and Ben Houchen, as a possible new owner, and we received written assurances from Ben Houchen – there are no plans for the ownership of the ground to be transferred or parcelled up into any wider development of the Mill House area. You can read the response from Ben Houchen below.

We know that membership of most supporters trusts tends to boom in times of crisis but keeping a strong core of long term members is vital to ensure that HUST would be able to act in those circumstances. Membership payments are a key fund raiser but, most importantly of all, a healthy membership shows that HUST really does represent many Pools supporters and is worth engaging with. If you are not an existing member then sign-up is quick and easy – you can do so via the link here.