Simpson sale's a £50,000 helping hand for Pools' survival battle

Hartlepool United have edged closer to their £200,000 January target by recouping £50,000 from the sale of Connor Simpson to Preston North End.

Friday, 12th January 2018, 9:07 am
Young Hartlepool striker Connor Simpson is off to Preston.

But it is not clear whether Pools will get the fee up front, or, as is more common, this will be paid in instalments.

Simpson, previously linked with Wolves, joined the Lilywhites on a two and a half year deal yesterday.

The 17-year-old was offered his first professional contract in December but stalled in signing it.

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And, given that many behind the scenes were resigned to losing the academy product, the main fear was that Pools may have to go to a tribunal to get their development fee.

But given the current financial climate, the two clubs came to an agreement and Pools moved ever closer to making up their massive cash shortfall for the month, which has the potential to send them into administration.

Simpson went on trial at Premier League outfit West Ham United, managed by former Sunderland boss David Moyes, in December, with a view to securing a place in the Hammers’ academy system.

Despite spending a week in the capital, he was allowed to leave with no offer.

He leaves Victoria Park having made nine first-team appearances, scoring one goal.

Preston boss Alex Neil admits he is delighted to get the deal over the line, even comparing the youngster to current frontman Jordan Hugill, who had a successful loan spell at the Vic in 2015.

“He’s certainly one for the future,” said Neil.

“I think he’s got outstanding qualities with his size and his stature. He’s played men’s football at such a young age.

“I don’t think there’s too many of those types about. The last time we got somebody in a similar situation, it was Jordan Hugill from Port Vale and look what happened there.

“So all the signs are good. He’s one we will take a bit of time with and develop, but I think all the indicators are that there is certainly something to work with and we are hoping to try and make him better.”