Things at Hartlepool United are looking up. Under the ownership of Mr Singh, the club appears to have largely regained its professionalism, season ticket sales are going well, some potentially promising new signings have come in, and the new season is not too far away. While this is all hugely positive there remains an important role for HUST to play in the longer-term future of our fantastic club.
The shortest-term aim for the HUST board is to build a mutually beneficial relationship with those in charge of club and we have already met with Club CEO Mark Maguire and offered him our support. During that meeting Mark encouraged HUST to continue doing what we are already doing, raising funds for future investment in the club while working with him in the meantime. We hope to grow this relationship over the coming months and years, and the elected board will be working hard to do so.
Naturally we will also continue to monitor the financial situation at the club, we raised at our meeting with the CEO the fact that the club accounts are overdue and are still to be filed. We were told this was being addressed yet note that they are still to be filed, and on behalf of our membership we will continue to monitor this.
We were also told that club has a three-year restructuring plan, and due to cuts in football league funding, additional investment in years 2 and 3 may be required. In this regard HUST have the potential to become a community investor in HUFC, purchasing shares in HUFC as an organisation in an exchange for a voice from within the club. To do that we need funds and we will continue to organise events, run the HUST lottery, and encourage membership renewal and growth for this purpose. All funds raised are specifically to fulfil the aims of the Supporters Trust, which is to increase the influence and involvement of our fans in the running of our club, and if the worst ever comes, to provide a backstop to ensure continuity of football in Hartlepool.
Members will recall that last season HUST supported the club financially by sponsoring Connor Simpson. Despite paying the club for the sponsorship we are yet to receive the match worn shirt that comes with the deal at the end of the season. The new owners have apologised and are still trying to retrieve it from the launderette- we will notify everyone if and when we get it, however we are understandably wary of supporting the club financially again this season in the same way. We will be contacting all members shortly to get their opinion on the matter.
On the 6th December HUST will hold its annual general meeting at Hartlepool College of Further Education, where along with the AGM items there will be at least six board positions available. Prior to the meeting nominations for the vacant board seats will open, and all HUST members will be able to stand for election. At least four existing board members and two co-opted board members will stand down, though all six may stand for election/re-election or be co-opted to the Board by the new Board members duly elected at the AGM.
To this end the existing HUST board wish to increase the involvement of members in the running and direction of HUST, and we will be holding an informal meet and greet event at the Corner Flag on 19 July. At this session members or anyone interested in joining the Trust will be able to meet the existing board, to ask questions about the role of HUST and the direction the organisation might take, and to find out more about becoming a HUST Board member.