IOR sell Hartlepool United to new owners

HARTLEPOOL United have confirmed owners IOR have sold their shareholding in the club to new owners with Ken Hodcroft leaving as chairman.

Victoria Park
Victoria Park

The Mail revealed earlier today that Aberdeen-based Increased Oil Recovery, who have owned the club since 1997, were looking to sell.

It has now been confirmed that the club has been sold to TMH 2014 Limited after staff at the club had a meeting yesterday.

A club statement said: “IOR announce with regret that, after being involved with Hartlepool United Football Club since September 1997 (17 years), the decision has been made to sell its shareholding in the club to TMH 2014 Limited.

“IOR wishes the new owners every success and would like to thank all of the staff at the club for giving the owners 100 per cent support over the years, which has been appreciated more than words can say.

“We wish them and the team every success for the future.”

Peter Harris, of TMH 2014, has taken over as chairman with immediate effect with Ken Hodcroft leaving the board.

A statement said: “This is, as normal, subject to Football League approval and it is anticipated that such approval will be granted in due course.

“We would wish to place our thanks on record for the discreet and professional manner in which this matter has been dealt with by IOR and Mr Ken Hodcroft in particular.

“In an effort to keep supporters fully informed we briefly outline our immediate plans:

“(i) The main and immediate emphasis has to be ensuring the Club maintain Football League status and the owners will provide as much support to the Manager as possible to give the Club the best chance of succeeding in this.

“(ii) The appointment of a new manager who we consider will be best placed to succeed in maintaining the League position and then progressing the Club forward next season and beyond.

“We anticipate having a manager in place by the end of this week.

“(iii) Engagement with local supporter groups and the local authority so that all parties can work together to the benefit of the Club and the Town.

“(iv) Russ Green has been retained as CEO and will be part of the battle to make sure the club remain in the Football League.

Peter Harris said: “We see this as an opportunity to build and enhance the reputation of the Club. Our first aim is to bring a new manager in and then set about backing him to secure League status.

“I want to make it clear though that we will seek to fully embrace and acknowledge the efforts of the supporters and we want them to engage with us with the aim of always doing what is best for Hartlepool United, I will provide a more detailed statement in this week’s Programme.”

Struggling Pools are currently bottom of the Football League and without a manager.

Ex-Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham United chief Ronnie Moore remains the odds-on favourite to become the next manager.

SportMail quizzed the club about their long-term plans in a recent Q&A, asking what is IOR’s long-term vision for the club and whether they are committed even if Pools are relegated.

The club, making reference to the ongoing issue with Victoria Park, responded: “IOR always considers its investment and economics of any of its business models.

“The situation with the council is very serious and the club has even hinted to the local MP to take notice, but with no response.

“Until the council sell the ground, then IOR will always evaluate its forward position and decisions, no matter what league the club is in.”