Trust Statement 5 Jan - Posted: Friday 05 January 2018
Posted on behalf of Ronnie Harnish, HUST Chairman.
We received an excellent response to our recent survey, with over 98% of responding members stating that they agree the HUST Board should prepare to deliver a fundraising plan to allow fans to have some formal involvement in the running of HUFC should this become necessary.
While we now have Member support to implement this financial plan, and while we believe we could raise funds at short notice, Supporters Direct during discussions this week have recommended that we do not implement this plan until it becomes absolutely necessary to protect the football club, and ensure the season is completed and wages paid. Furthermore, for this to happen we would need full access to the accounts so we could produce a viable business plan. We would like to reassure our members that HUST would only part with any Trust money in return for part or full ownership of the club, and a seat on any subsequent board.
In this regard the Trust Board in conjunction with Supporters Direct are continuing to monitor the ongoing financial situation at the football club, and based on local press reports that six potential buyers will be given access to the clubs accounts we have again asked the club for access to the books as we were publically promised back in May 2017 by Pam Duxbury.
We have also been approached directly by at least one party interested in buying the club and have held preliminary discussions, however, we note that we would only enter into a partnership with a buyer who shared our vision for the club.
We believe that whoever takes over the club should have a business model that is sustainable and that a club the size of Hartlepool United should be more than competitive in the league we are currently operating. We also believe there are proven business advantages to being Supporter owned, which includes the ability to build strategic partnerships, sponsorship opportunities, the ability to develop facilities, the resilience of supporters, and increased match day spending.
We know the club has massive potential with the right business model in place and the Board welcome contact from any prospective owners that share our vision.
Hartlepool United Supporters Trust