Introducing The Pools Panel

Hartlepool United Pools Panel

Just before Christmas in 1963 a freezing fog sat across Britain and forced the postponement of dozens of football matches nationwide.

The Big Freeze refused to retreat and football’s fixture schedule was decimated for a couple of months, leaving fans all over the country completely devoid of their weekly fix.

Step forward, The Pools Panel – a selection of experienced and knowledgeable professionals brought in to deliberate behind the scenes and serve up the results the country craved.

Back here in 2020 we’re now facing a similar predicament with clubs, players and fans all crying out for clarity over whether the current season can be finished and what the future holds.

Here at Victoria Park we decided to do something about it so that football fans can continue to see results come in from the Premier League down to the National League – and watch the tables evolve during the break.

With that in mind, please welcome the all-new Pools Panel 2020 or, as we like to refer to them, the saviours of football…

Jeff Stelling
Delivering the scores to people in their homes is literally his job. He lives for it. So when we told Jeff we were going to be giving the public what they wanted he was on board straight away to chair our Pools Panel.

Jeff Winter
There was a referee on the original Pools Panel in 1963 so we’ve signed up a former Premier League whistler in Jeff Winter to keep tabs on things this time around. Jeff will keep everyone right and ensure we maintain fairness and neutrality throughout the process.

Dave Challinor
The gaffer has been involved in professional football for over 25 years and therefore brings a wealth of experience to the table. Blessed with massive knowledge and a one-time world record holder, he was quick to throw his hat in to the ring for the Pools Panel.

Micky Barron
A Pools legend and a leader of men who captained the Club with distinction during successful times in both League One and League Two. Well-respected in the game, Barron will be an integral part of the Panel as we move forward.

Ryan Donaldson
The current skipper had to have his say too. Always considered in his views, Donaldson is a student of the game and has played across various levels during a good career so far. An important signing for the Panel.

The Pools Panel will sit for the first time this weekend and their instructions are simple – use all available evidence, form and insight to predict impartially the results of all postponed matches.

This starts immediately – the first game to be predicted will be this evening’s planned encounter between Spurs and West Ham United.

Look out for their verdict, as well as the evolving league tables, here and across our social media platforms over the weekend.

Football, we won’t let you down.