Hartlepool United have launched a Supporter Liaison Group designed to engage on a regular basis with the various supporter organisations and to create a direct line of communication between fans and The Board.
Chief Executive, Mark Maguire, commented: “The whole principle of ownership under Raj Singh and Jeff Stelling is to run the Club with transparency and always in the best interests of Hartlepool United.
“The last few weeks have seen a fantastic spirit growing amongst players, staff, and management across all areas of the Club, with a genuine feeling of togetherness and the bond with our brilliant fans is growing.
“To make sure that continues we felt it was important to make ourselves available on a regular basis to understand issues which may arise and to answer questions directly from all of the respective groups.
“It has been a tough few years and that has, at times, strained relationships, but it is vital that everyone with an interest in this great Club moves forward as one.”
The Supporter Liaison Group will be co-ordinated by John Pearson, well known amongst Poolies, in particular for his organisation of the annual fancy dress end of season celebrations.
John has accepted a voluntary role of Fan Liaison Officer and will be co-ordinating meetings and communication between the various groups.
At a meeting on Monday evening representatives of the Trust, Friends Group, Supporters Association and Disabled Supporters’ Association were present and agreed to meet on a monthly basis to discuss matters arising as well as co-ordinate in finding ways to help the progression at the Club.
Hartlepool United understand and value the existence of all of the various groups and we feel it is worth setting out the roles of each in order to encourage fans to support them as they see fit:
The Supporters Association based at the Corner Flag was created to raise funds for Youth Development and, through their match day activities at the Corner Flag as well as organisation of away coach travel and various fund raising events, seek to generate money to the Club.
The Supporters Trust exist to ensure the long term continuation of Hartlepool United, to be there to make sure football continues in Hartlepool should the worst possible case arise. Membership and Direct Fundraising is designed to generate a fund which, in the event that the Club is under threat or there is an opportunity for investment to protect the Club, then they can step forward. In the meantime they are able to galvanise their membership behind any fund raising activities the Club or any of the various fans groups may undertake.
The Friends Group are a Facebook/social media based organisation which was set up simply to raise funds for the Club, with a particular focus on improving the match day experience and in areas like Youth Development.
The award-winning Hartlepool United Disabled Supporters’ Association exists to improve the match day experience of our disabled supporters and provide activities on non match days and throughout the year.
The Club has also reached out to the South East Poolies who represent exiled fans and are looking to find a way using appropriate technology for them to be represented at the regular meetings.
Mark Maguire continued: “We held a really positive meeting on Monday night and it was also really good to meet with some of the exiled fans before the game at Havant.
“If we can channel all of the obvious passion that exists amongst Pools fans everywhere then we can achieve something very special indeed.
“We have asked all of the groups to direct any fund raising activity towards a newly created Youth Development Fund which will seek to raise money to support the production of young players at the Club for years to come.
“To start the ball rolling we are thrilled that Rachel Cartwright is donating the balance of funds raised by her incredible efforts last season - we can’t thank her enough for all she’s done.”
It is intended that minutes of the meetings will be publicised on a regular basis and the Club encourages fans to contact us or one of the groups above to direct any questions or offers of help.