Hartlepool United Chairman Gary Coxall has issued the following statement in light of recent speculation and reports.
When JPNG became owners of Hartlepool United last summer we made it clear that we wanted to work with supporters to the benefit of the Club and be as open and transparent as we could about our decisions.
That being the case, I felt it was important to address some of the issues that have been discussed by supporters in forums and online, and covered in the local press in recent days.
It is true that the Club has previously received two winding-up petitions but both have been explained. This "third" winding-up order is totally different, as we agreed a payment plan with HMRC by which we would settle the amount in two separate payments and, as of today, we have now cleared £100,000 of that bill.
As part of the payment plan we agreed that if the second payment wasn't met then a winding up-petition could be back-dated but this has been resolved. In short, it was only a notice of a winding-up, which has been effectively resolved before issue.
The Club also released a statement earlier this week outlining the fact we now have funding in place to press ahead with our bid for the land adjacent to The Northern Gas and Power Stadium, as well as the stadium itself.
I know there has also been some concern about monies borrowed from Access Finance but I can assure fans that this does not – and will not – put this Football Club at risk, in fact it allows us to finally achieve something the Club has wanted to do for years, to own its own ground.
Questions have been asked about why we required the money quickly – to be honest, we didn’t. However, the simple reason is that Access Finance offered us exactly the same deal we would get from any bank but without having to go through various departments and the process taking up to six weeks. There’s nothing more sinister than that.
Early in the New Year we are looking forward to once again sitting down with the Council for more productive talks and working with them for the betterment of the town and the community.
I hope that some of what I have said has helped allay any fears because I can guarantee you that everything we do will always be in the best interests of Hartlepool United.
I may not be from this area but the passion of the supporters and the community spirit in the town has got under my skin and I am looking forward to driving forward with some exciting plans in 2017.
There will be ups and downs along the way, that’s business and that’s football, but I also know that Pools fans will have plenty to look forward to in the next twelve months.
Early in the New Year I will also be ensuring we organise a Fans Forum night at the Club where I will come along and answer any further questions you may have.
On behalf of everyone at Hartlepool United and JPNG may I take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.