Hartlepool United’s current plight is like watching a slow death of a football club, according to boss Craig Harrison.
Financial troubles have dominated the landscape at Victoria Park since the end of last year. From the club being put up for sale on December 22, Pools’ economic plight has unravelled, and their troubles have been played out in the public eye.
News that owner John Blackledge had pulled the financial plug in November, brought with it fears that players and staff would not get paid. A winding-up order, petitions, administration and talk of liquidation have all followed, with the good people of Hartlepool and beyond digging deep to help Pools make ends meet. On the field, things have been just as desperate.
Back on November 21 last year, when they beat Halifax Town 4-0 at the Vic, Pools moved to within just two points of the top seven and the play-off places. Since then they have not won a game, been knocked out of the FA Trophy by Workington and seen their hopes of a lucrative FA Cup tie go up in smoke.
They are now staring down the barrel, with the bottom four making up ground by the week, and relegation to the National League North a very real prospect with Pools just four points above the dropzone. All of the off field issues go hand-in-hand with the problems on it, according to Harrison. He is of the firm belief that Pools and the town is slowly being poisoned in this current state of flux.
“It’s like watching a slow death, that’s the feeling,” Harrison said. “The town and football club feel like that.
“It’s slow and that’s my best analogy, watching something die slowly. I’m a positive person, so at this moment in time from my point of view I’m going week by week and looking at Saturday and the next game.
“We have that to focus on. Forget what’s going on in the background, we are building up to hopefully have a high point on a Saturday and that’s how I’m channelling my thoughts.”
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