Gary Coxall has released the following statement after deciding to step down as the Chairman of Hartlepool United.
It is with huge sadness that I announce that, after some serious consideration over the past two weeks, I have decided to resign from my position as Chairman of our Club.
I am not oblivious to my surroundings and the feeling towards my tenure as Chairman and I feel that, should I continue, it would divide the Club at a time when it needs to come together as one. Therefore, if my Chairmanship is a factor in preventing that togetherness, then I will happily step aside for the good of the Club. The Club is more important.
There has been some criticism of me over the previous few months, some justified and some completely untrue and so wide of the mark it's incredible. However, now is not the time to address those points, but I am confident that over the coming months it will be clear the Club has always come first, even before my own family in some cases.
I am pleased to announce that Pam Duxbury will continue with our original plan of assuming the role of CEO, but will additionally assume all of the duties of the Chair, with my full support and the full support of everyone at the Club.
I have agreed and passed a mandate to Pam for her to explore conversion to a fan ownership model for Hartlepool United. To this end, as of this evening, she has met with the Supporters' Trust to start discussions, and further announcements will be made in due course.
All I ask is that you continue to give your fantastic support to the team - we are certainly not out of this yet, not by a long way, and I still believe that we can retain our League Two status.
For me personally, I will always be a Hartlepool United fan and the Club will forever be in my heart.